Sunday, August 27, 2017

Interlocked Squares


"Interlocked Squares" quilt block as used in the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild logo
Completed "Interlocked Squares" block using method described in this post.

I found a version of the "Interlocked Squares" quilt block -- similar to the block used in the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild logo -- on the Field Guide to Quilts site. The AMC Quilts site also had an "Interlocking Squares" piecing guide. The AMC site used a piecing plan different from the Field Guide site. The AMC site featured a snowballing technique that I thought simplified the piecing process for this block considerably. I used the snowballing technique featured on the AMC site to lay out a sixteen-inch "Interlocked Squares" block that exactly replicates  the block used in the GAAQG logo shown above. Here is a graphic of the block on 1/4-inch graph paper.

Graphic A: Layout for 16-inch "Interlocked Squares" quilt block as used in the GAAQG logo 

Cut pieces for one "Interlocked Squares" block

To make one "interlocked Squares" block, you will need: (Note: all pieces are 2.5-inches wide, except for 4.5-inch squares.)



Background (white in this demo), 60-inches of 2.5-inch strips and one 9-inch square. Cut 
  • four 8.5-inch long strips
  • four 6.5-inch long strips
  • four 4.5-inch squares

Dark contrast (dark blue in this demo), 46-inches of 2.5-inch strips. Cut
  • four 6.5-inch strips
  • eight 2.5-inch squares

Light contrast (aqua/green in this demo), 48-inches 2.5-inch strips. Cut
  • four 4.5-inch strips
  • twelve 2.5-inch squares
Graphic B: Layout for 1/4-block 16-inch "Interlocked Squares" as used in GAAQG logo. Graph grid is 1/4-inch. Entire 1/4-block shown is 8 x 8 inches square.

Make each quarter block

Pieces needed for one-quarter block of "Interlocked Squares"

For each quarter block, divide each set of cut pieces into one-quarter block squares, as follows:
Background (white)

  • one 8.5-inch strip
  • one 6.5-inch strip
  • one 4.5-inch square
Dark contrast (blue)
  • one 6.5-inch strip
  • two 2.5-inch squares
Light contrast (aqua
  • one 4.5-inch strip
  • three 2.5-inch squares

Graphic C: Graph of 1/4-block of  16-inch "Interlocked Squares" showing piecing layout and joining process.
Grid is 1/4".

Individually stitch each one of five units -- numbered one through five in image above -- that make up one-quarter of the "Interlocked Squares" pieced block. Four of these identical, one-quarter square units, when rotated and stitched together, will make up the entire block as shown in the first diagram titled "Layout for 16-inch 'Interlocked Squares' . . . " pictured in Graphic A at the top of this article.


Unit #1
Sew two 2.5-inch dark contrast squares to one 4.5-inch light contrast strip as shown in Graphic C diagram above. Lay one square, right sides together, on each end of strip, and stitch a diagonal seam in the same direction across each of the two squares. Trim seams to 1/4-inch and press open with seam toward the dark fabric.

Pieces for Unit 1 of each quarter-block for "Interlocked Squares" block
Stitch two squares diagonally across top and bottom.
Unit 1 complete
Unit #2
Lay one 2.5-inch light contrast square, right sides together, on top left corner of of a 4.5-inch background square. Stitch diagonally across corner of square, as shown in Graphic C diagram above. Trim seam to 1/4-inch, press open. (This is called "snowballing" the corner of the square.)
Pieces for Unit 2 of each quarter-block for "Interlocked Squares" block
Snowball 
Trim seam
Press seam. Unit 2 complete

With right sides together, sew unit #1 to unit #2 as shown in Graphic C diagram above.




Unit #3
6.5-inch dark contrast strip

With right sides together, sew unit #3 to top of completed set as shown in Graphic C diagram above.
Piece for Unit 3 of each quarter-block for "Interlocked Squares" block



Unit #4
Snowball by laying one 2.5-inch light contrast square, right sides together, on top of right corner of 6.5-inch background strip. Stitch diagonally across corner of square, as shown in Graphic C diagram above. Trim seam to 1/4-inch, press open. 
Pieces for Unit 4 of each quarter-block for "Interlocked Squares" block
Snowball
Trim seam
Press seam. Unit 4 complete
With right sides together, sew unit #4 to top of completed set as shown in Graphic C diagram above.

Unit #5
Snowball by laying one 2.5-inch light contrast square to bottom of 8.5-inch background strip. Stitch diagonally across corner of square, as shown in Graphic C diagram above. Trim seam to 1/4-inch, press open. 
Pieces for Unit 5 of each quarter-block for "Interlocked Squares" block
Snowball
Trim seam
Press seam. Unit 5 complete
With right sides together, sew unit #5 to left side of completed set as shown in Graphic C diagram above.





Your quarter-block is complete.

Complete the entire "Interlocked Squares" block


Make three more quarter blocks. Arrange as as shown in the first diagram titled "Layout for 16-inch 'Interlocked Squares' . . . " pictured at the top of this article.
Second quarter-block completed and rotated to create "Interlocked Squares" design
Third quarter-block completed and rotated to create "Interlocked Squares" design
Fourth quarter-block completed and rotated to create "Interlocked Squares" design
Stitch quarter-blocks together:


Right sides together, sew top left and top right quarter together. Press seam and set aside.

Right sides together, sew bottom left and bottom right quarter together. Press seam and set aside.



Right sides together, sew top and bottom half of block together. Press seam and set aside.

Your "Interlocked Squares" quilt block as used in the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild logo is complete.

Twelve of these 16-inch blocks laid in a 3 x 4 grid without sashing or borders 
will make an approximately 46 x 62 inch quilt top.

Update January 17,2018

"interlocked Squares" Mini-toot Video created with Adobe Spark online now available below:



Resources

http://fieldguidetoquilts.com/0Frontmatter/Home.html





"Interlocked Squares" block at a glance

"Interlocked Squares"quarter-block process -- make four of these quarter blocks to make a complete "interlocked Squares" block.


 Five sections of each quarter-block of "interlocked Squares" block

 Sew sections 1 and 2 together.

 Sew section 3 to 1-2.

 Sew section 4 to 1-2-3.

Sew section 5 to 1-2-3-4.

Make four. Rotate to create square. Sew together to create "Interlocked Squares" block.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Alisa made Jake a photo comforter with Minky backing

Jake's photo comforter showing Minky backing
by Linda Theil

In January Alisa ordered a "Collage Fleece Photo Blanket" from Walgreens online at a sale price of $15 plus tax with free shipping. She had the "blanket" printed with photos of Jake, and planned to give it to him as a present for his ninth birthday this month. 


Photo collage fleece blanket ordered from Walgreens online
Alisa decided to back the lightweight knit "blanket" with Cuddle Embossed Dimple Minky 60-inch-wide yardage in a dark gray "Ash" color. 
Cuddle Embossed Dimple Minky in "Ash" gray
We cut off the hems, measured the result, and cut a piece of Minky to the same size. With right sides together, we basted the photo top to the Minky backing and stitched a 5/8-inch seam around the perimeter, leaving an 8-inch opening on one side to turn the blanket through. We used a long, narrow, zig-zag stitch for the seaming. 

In one seam, we inserted a personalized label that Alisa ordered from Border City Quilts on Etsy.
Personalized label ordered from Border City Quilts on Etsy, inserted in edge seam of comforter. Also showing topstitching 5/8-inch from edge seam of comforter.
After turning the comforter right-side-out, we topstitched about 5/8-inch from the seam around the perimeter using the same narrow, long, zig-zag stitch we used for the seaming. Our finished comforter measured 37 x 55-inches. Alisa thinks the blanket she ordered was narrower than the 50 x 60-inch blankets currently on the Walgreens' website.

We had a difficult time fitting the back to the top because the Minky is so stretchy. I would be tempted to try adding some kind of stabilizer to the Minky if I ever tried this again. Or perhaps use a soft woven flannel instead of the super-luxe knitted Minky!

Walgreens 50 x 60-inch "Plush Fleece Photo Blankets" are normally priced at $60 plus shipping on their website. They are running a 75-percent-off special until August 19, 2017. Photo blankets are also available at online photo site Shutterfly. One word of caution: our photo blanket was very lightweight -- not of a weight I would normally expect in a blanket.




Apre-b'day:

Jake likes his birthday comforter.