Thursday, 31 January 2013

Block Tutorial - Road to Tennessee

If you've popped over from Judith's blog to see what February's Bee Blessed block is, I hope you'll like it!  It's a scrappy version of the "Road to Tennessee".

We're going to work this block with white solid and bright scraps with a view to creating some more children's quilts for donation to a Belfast Mother and Baby HIV Unit.  I hope you'll join with us in having a go at this month's block. (If you are used to making siggy blocks for other Bees, you should find this is pretty much the same deal but with reverse placement of the fabrics).

So enough waffle from me and on with the tutorial.  Rotary cutters at the ready!

Use scant 0.25" seam throughout.

Cut 16 squares 3.5" x 3.5" in bright coloured fabrics.
Cut 32 squares  2" x 2" in plain white solid.

Draw a diagonal line in pencil on the wrong side of each white square.

Sorry about the late night blur.

Take one white square and lay it right sides together on top of one of your coloured fabrics lining it up to the top right hand corner.  I have laid the ruler to show the direction your diagonal pencil line should run.  Sew along the diagonal line.  (Just a wee note if you happen to be using directional prints:  once the white corners have been stitched this will restrict where you can place the unit within the overall block design, so if you need it to sit in a particular direction you might need to work out which opposing corners to stitch the white squares to.)

 Repeat with all remaining coloured squares by chain piecing.

 Trim away the excess fabric 0.25" from the stitching line as shown. Repeat for all squares.

Press the seam towards the coloured fabric. Repeat for all squares.

Now take the remaining white squares and align them right sides together with the opposite corner of your remaining coloured squares.  Stitch along the diagonal line, trim away the excess and press seam towards the coloured fabric in exactly the same way as before.  Trim each unit to 3.5" square if necessary.

You should now have sixteen 3.5" squares with one pair of opposite white corners.  Decide on your layout remembering to take care if you have directional prints you want to end up a particular way.

Piece into pairs and then into 4 four patch units remembering that with each pair you should press seams in alternate directions to allow your intersecting seams to butt more easily.

These larger four patch units can then be stitched once again into pairs, pressing seams in alternate directions to allow beautiful butts (!) when you make the final row join.

And finally, trim to 12.5" square and breathe!

Hope this all makes sense, apols for some of the dodgy photos - it's so hard to tell at night whether the pics have taken clearly.  Any questions, please ask.

Looking forward to seeing your fab scrappy Road to Tennessee blocks!


  1. I am going to make sending blocks to your bee a priority this year, and this looks like fun.

  2. I can definitely do some of these!

  3. I haven't done January's yet! Yikes, I need to catch up. Di x

  4. Great tutorial, Sarah! Hope I get to make one of these eventually!

  5. Muchas gracias por el tutorial, esta muy bien explicado.


  6. Sarah I hope you don't mind that I have directed the Modern Irish Bee to this tutorial for this month.

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