After last time, I considered the best way to make those corner blocks to achieve the crossover effect with two colors of lattice. I did an experiment with drawing the block to scale and just cutting and piecing with math. That almost worked for me, but I got the sizing wrong. I’m usually pretty good at the math, but I’m having a mental block on this one! Paper piecing is an option but isn’t the whole solution, as you can’t piece a block on one paper. You still need to do it in at least two parts. And I’m not interested in ripping paper from all those corners.
Time to go old-school with a contemporary twist. Some of you ::ahem:: experienced quilters know where this is going: TEMPLATES! To update the template method, I used freezer paper, a method my friend Karen M showed me. This way I could draw the block to scale, cut it to pieces, and add the seam allowance as I cut the fabric. Here’s how:
I drew a 6″ square (the finished size on this experiment) on the matte side of freezer paper and marked the sides at 1.5″ from each corner. (The rail block is 6″ wide, and 1.5″ is the width of the rail that will match up with it. See the EQ7 illustrations below if you are lost.) I drew lines from mark to mark, diagonally across the square. Then with scissors (no, demons didn’t swoop down and carry me off to hell!) I cut the freezer paper into template pieces.
I pressed the fabric first so it was good and flat, and prewarmed. Then I pressed my templates to the fabric with the shiny side of the paper against the fabric. I needed 1 of the long diagonal. I needed 2 of the short diagonals, so I folded the fabric to cut 2 at a time. Similarly, I needed 4 of the triangles, so I pressed 2 templates to the fabric, and folded the fabric once to cut 4 of them. With the rotary cutter, I cut 1/4″ from each template edge, all the way around each piece.
Then I stitched the triangles to the short diagonal, matching the edges that would seam to the long diagonal. I pressed the seams open.
Then I matched centers of the long diagonals with the centers of the pieced corners and pinned so they wouldn’t shift. After stitching I pressed toward the long diagonal.
The photo isn’t great, but this created a 6.5″ unfinished block, 6″ finished. I haven’t tested it against a 6″ finish rail sashing, but because I started with the template, I expect it will work.
To do this for a whole quilt, I would cut more layers at a time. The freezer paper can be reused, so you only need to cut that template once. The process is actually pretty simple and stitching the blocks together was easy. This would definitely be better than doing stitch-and-flip for all the sashing and all the corners.
Besides playing with the piecing, I also played with using these corners in a design. They work within a traditional Garden Maze, of course. But they’re also useful as part of a border treatment for a medallion or any other quilt. Here’s an example using all square blocks in the last border:
And one more. Note that the blocks in the last border below are sized differently. This one will work great when the border isn’t sized nicely for square blocks. The rail spacer blocks can be whatever length needed. (To see how the length of those non-square blocks is figured, see how to calculate the length of spacer units in my post on border size problems and solutions.)
Now that I know how simple this construction is, I expect I’ll use it like the pictures above. I’ve also put a Garden Maze on my list for the future.