Updated: Jul 31, 2022
Well, we are lucky to have a Bonus Block today - 'Roundabout' from Moda.
This one was lots of fun to make and it went together like a dream.
For the 9" block I chose to alternate the light and dark fabrics, starting with the striped toweling in the centre. So if the centre of the quarter block was light, the next row around was dark, second row light and third dark. With the dark centre I had a light strip around first, then dark and the third row was light again.
Note that I alternated the directions of the stripes in the centre too. I thought that would be fun.
Once I have cut everything out, I like to lay out my block to check the fabric layout and also so I know I haven't forgotten to cut any pieces.
I can also easily select the next piece to sew, this way I hope to avoid mistakes. (Ha ha).
The first step is to sew the A to B pieces. Because I have stripes in the centre, I like to sew these on the striped side of the fabric. This way I have my ¼" foot as a guide and I can make sure I am also sewing parallel to the stripe.
I am chain piecing all the A to B pieces here. It is quicker.
As you can see I pressed my seams away from the toweling because it is a heavier weight fabric. However, when I was sewing the 4 quarters of the block together, at the end, I realised that I should have pressed the two white centres away from the toweling and the black centres towards the toweling. If you keep doing this for each row you add, the block will have nested seams when you sew the 4 quarters together. Or, if had read the instructions (who does that) I would have known how to press the seams - there is another suggestion there.
If I made the block again, then this is what I would do.
When I add the next row of fabric, I stack up each section with the strip on the top edge. This way I sew the right strip to the correct side of each quarter of the block.
I this photo there are 5 sections because I am making the 4 ½" square at the same time.
It makes life very easy.
I set the seam first by pressing it flat then I press each seam from the right side of the block, with just a gentle push away with the iron. This way you don't get any tucks in the seam, ensuring the block is the correct size.
Note to self - I need a new ironing board cover!
When you join up the 4 quarters of this block there are lots of seams to match, unless you do the 3rd layout suggestion.
I like to pin my seams and since I had pressed half of them the wrong way, they were going to be tricky to match.
My tip is to lengthen your stitch to about 4 - 4.5. This way, the machine sews over the pins a little easier, and if you have to unpick it then it is much quicker. I open it out and check the seams and if I am happy with the matching seams, I just reduce the stitch length to 2.5 and re sew the seam.
I hope these tips are helpful to you, I look forward to seeing your 'Roundabout' blocks pop up on the Blockheads 4 Facebook Group.