Ready for some fun? First, sort all the squares and half-square triangles by color and place them on paper plates. (This is a pared down version of what we had originally, but you get the idea.)
For each block, place five background squares and four half-square background triangles on a paper plate.
Each person picks up one plate of background pieces and then chooses one design square and four half-square triangles and adds them to the plate. Some will choose five different design fabrics, some will choose five the same and some will fall somewhere in between. That's the fun of it!
Set machines up for a scant 1/4 inch seam and use a neutral thread or match the darker colors. (Please do not use white, even if one of the fabrics is white; trust me on this.) With right sides together, piece the half-square triangle units together. Set the seam and then press the seam toward the darker fabric. (Yes, I use steam.) Trim the dog-ears.
Lay out the units as shown.
This is Row 1.
This is Row 2.
This is Row 3.
The red arrows in the diagram below indicate pressing direction. Because I want the design fabrics to come forward, I press the seams underneath them. The "easy" press would be to press always toward the background (white) squares. Pick your battles--but do as I say! (Sorry, Karen, the diagram is the best I could do!)
Lay the completed rows back into the pattern. Fold Row 1 down over Row 2 and pin as shown. Be sure to match seams (they should be opposing). And the answer is: YES, you do need to pin to get those nice sharp points. As ye sew, so shall ye rip--just sayin'. Stitch and press the seam toward Row 1. See diagram above. Add Row 3 in the same manner and press toward Row 3.
Here's the block from the back, all neatly pressed and measuring exactly 9-1/2 inches unfinished.
And here's this beauty from the front. This block is easy enough to do with non-quilters, if they have some help. We pinned the units for the non-quilters and let them sew them with supervision. Advise them to sew slowly and not through their fingers! Have each person sign their block with permanent pen (I like Micron Pigma in a .03 or .05 point size). They can sign anywhere they want. Most of us signed on the white just under one of the design half-square triangles. (Before you think you've gone blind, this block is not signed!). See Part 2 for "Gramma's" signature block.
Julie commented on Part 2 of this serial blog post and, yes, it is Sam's quilt! We had a blast making it at Julie's baby shower.
Tomorrow (or Monday) will be setting directions and then we are done with this project. Thanks for tuning in.
P.S. Jay, look under the "quilting" label on the left side of the blog and then for the December 4, 2011, post for the design wall story!