Hi everybody!

We’re back for the 5th month of the 2018 Quilter’s Planner Block of the Month Sampler Sew Along!  It’s hard to believe that we are already in May.

This month, we are working on Block 5 (page 31-32) in the Quilter’s Planner Magazine.  Block 5 uses Square in a Square units to create its design.  Take a look at our great tips below to help you get perfect results!

For our Block 5, we used the following feature fabrics by Alison Glass for Andover: Diatom in Seaside from Sun Print 2018, Compass in Lapis from Sun Print 2018, and Latitude in Seaweed from Diving Board.

QP Insider Tip #1: Try Paper Piecing the Square in a Square Component instead of Traditionally Piecing It

The traditional piecing method for the Square in a Square block can be tricky. If you are struggling, or you just prefer the precision of paper piecing, here is a foundation paper piecing (FPP) template to use.  

If you’ve never paper pieced before, this is the perfect block to try.   Stephanie also filmed a short video showing you how to use the paper piecing template.  Click here or below to watch the video about how to start paper piecing.  

You will need to print 3 copies of these templates (there are 2 per page, and you will need a total of 5 units) and make sure your printer is set to 100% with no scaling.  The templates are only for the 5 Square in a Square components of this block. Please also make Half Square Triangles as directed and assemble the rows as instructed in the pattern. 

Square in a Square FPP block:

QP Insider Tip #2: Fabric Selection Is Important

When selecting fabrics for this month, note that the square in a square blocks are all on point.  If you are planning to make the quilt using the Modern Bliss layout (which is already set on point), these blocks will be constructed on point; however, they will appear to be straight once the entire block is rotated.

QP Insider Tip #3: Start Oversized and Trim Down

Cut the 10 – 2⅞” squares a little oversized.  I cut my squares at 3⅛” and then followed the instructions with my slightly larger triangles.  They may look a bit strange when you are sewing, but you will have more room to trim them down to size. 

QP Insider Tip #4: Starch

Consider using spray starch like Niagra or a starch alternative like Flatter by Soak or Mary Ellen’s Best Press on the background squares that will be cut into triangles.  A word of caution about using starch – use it before you cut your pieces. It may cause your fabric to shrink. I would suggest testing it on some scraps first so you know how the fabric will behave.  Starch will give body and crispness to the fabric so it may feel more like paper than floppy fabric. My personal starch alternative favorite is Flatter. It is more of a smoothing spray, so you get less body than with the other two.  It comes in a variety of scents, as well as unscented for allergy sufferers like me. Best Press will give your fabric more body than Flatter, but less than a true spray starch. It is also available in scented and unscented

QP Insider Tip #5: Don’t Trim Off Seam Allowance When Squaring Up

There are a few things to watch for when squaring your block, with the most important being to make sure that the points of your square are ¼” away from the edge of the block.  

QP Insider Tip #6:

If you’ve chosen to follow the Modern Bliss layout, there are 2 versions of Block 5 in the quilt pictured on the cover of the magazine (the rightmost blocks in rows 3 and 6).  Also, don’t forget that the Modern Bliss layout uses blocks set on point (rotated 45 degrees), so that may be something to consider when selecting fabrics.

QP Insider Tip #7:

When sewing your blocks together to make rows, you must be careful not to lose the tips of your squares in your seam allowances.  As we learned when sewing together flying geese in month 2, when you join your Square in a Square block to your Half Square Triangle block, try sewing with the Square in a Square unit on top of the HST. This way, when you are at your sewing machine, you will be able to see your previous line of stitching so that you don’t sew through the top point of the block.  Sew your seam a hair to the right of the intersection (shown by the red line) and you will end up with perfect points every time!

Sewing Flying Geese Units Together. Look for the point. Sew on the red line.

Guidelines to enter your sewn blocks into our monthly challenge (win prizes on Instagram and Facebook):

Between the 1st and the 7th day of each month, you’ll find the pattern for that month’s block and select your fabrics.

Between the 8th and the 14th, you’ll get your fabrics prepped and cut.

Between the 15th and the end of the month, sew up your block and post it to Instagram (please tag @thequiltersplanner and use the #QP2018sewalong hashtag) and/or to the Facebook Group (using the same #QP2018sewalong hashtag).  We will have prizes for both, but you are only eligible to win the monthly prize once.

Rules for for Entering your Sewn Blocks to Win Prizes Online:

When you post a photo of your block on Instagram or in our Facebook group by each deadline set for the month (usually the first of the next month),  you’ll be entered into a drawing for some great prizes from our sponsors: Andover Fabrics, Aurifil, OLFA, and the Quilter’s Planner.

Each month’s entry must be posted by 12:01 am Central Time to be eligible.

You MUST tag @thequiltersplanner on IG or post your block in our Facebook group with your entry and use the hashtag #QP2018sewalong (please be sure to use the hashtag on Instagram AND Facebook) so we can track your entry.

If you win one month’s prize, you will be eligible to win again at 6 months and 12 months, if you complete and enter each month’s block on time.

Some prizes may not be available for participants outside the US due to shipping costs.  Winners will be contacted via social media and asked to provide an email address and shipping address.

If a prize alternative is required, it will be sent via email.

If you do not receive your prize within one month, please contact us at [email protected] so we can contact prize sponsors and help coordinate a new shipment.

These contests are not affiliated with Instagram or Facebook in any way.

General Tips for Sewing the 2018 QP Block of the Month Pattern:

Fabric requirements are listed for the whole project on p. 26 of the pattern magazine.  They are also listed per block, if you do not plan to sew the entire sampler.

Along the way, we will provide you with tips and tricks on Instagram, in our Facebook group, and via email for success and to answer your questions as they arise.  

If you’re worried about missing Sew Along dates, we’ve got you covered – reminders will be posted on Instagram, on our Facebook page, and in our Facebook group as we move through the different phases of the Sew Along.

While these aren’t required, 3½” and 4½” square rulers may speed up the process of trimming and squaring your blocks.  If not, there’s no need to worry. Many quilting rulers have 45 degree lines printed on them. These handy lines are great for helping you to align your seams.

Happy Sewing!  Please contact us on Instagram or in our Facebook group and tag us if you get stuck or have questions!