Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Today's block gave me a lot of trouble for such a seemingly simple block, but I think I've conquered it. In the "block tips" on the CD they recommend appliqueing this whole block but I'm not THAT fond of applique.
Here's my way.

Trace the following parts of the block diagram onto pattern paper and cut out, adding a ¼" seam allowance all the way around. I printed mine as templates from the CD, but they'll be quite easy to trace and cut out from the book.

Using these patterns, from your main fabric cut one center piece (D) and four side pieces (B).
From your background fabric cut four 1 & 9/16" squares. I know this sounds like a weird measurement but just estimate somewhere between 1 ½" and 1 & 5/8" and you should be fine.

Attach the squares to the center segment. Trim the seam allowances to 1/8". This is important to reduce bulk when we applique the melons later.

Now attach the side segments.
Line up the pieces as follows and stitch only to the seam between the center piece and square.

Attach the other side of the side segment as follows.


Repeat on the other three sides.

Out of your main fabric, cut two 2" squares and cut each in half diagonally, resulting in four half square triangles. Center and attach these triangles to the four corners of your block as follows. Press and trim block to 5".

On the back of the block, clip the seam allowances of only the background fabric squares as follows. (Click on the photo to see more detail.) This is, once again, important to make the applique easier.

Now for some reverse applique.
Trace a melon onto freezer paper. Cut out leaving enough freezer paper around the melon to be able to iron firmly to the block. Cut out the center of the melon. Position the freezer paper on the block being careful to line up the points on the melon to the corners of the squares. This is important if you want the melons to be straight.
Using a hot, dry iron, iron the freezer paper into position. Make sure that it is securely attached.
Trim the seam allowance a little smaller and clip the curves every 3/16".
Position a piece of background fabric at least 1" bigger than the melon behind the block and baste everything together REALLY well. The melons are small and you don't want any shifting.

Using reverse applique, applique the melon to the square.
Because the melons are so small, place your stitches quite close together.
When I got close to the points of the melons, I pulled the freezer paper back a little so I could ensure the point ended up in the correct position touching the square.
Repeat this process to applique all four melons, remove freezer paper, and press.

Not perfect, but I'll take it.

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