Friday, September 5, 2014

Marcus Fabrics Friends & Companions Designer SEW-ALONG

Thank you for joining me and the other Marcus Fabrics friends and designers in our FIRST ever sew-along. By now you are probably itching to see what the final quilt is going to look like. Let me just say that you will not be disappointed. When I saw the quilt I was thrilled with how great it looked--and it had not even been quilted yet!

So, a bit about Nancy Rink Designs.  Obviously, my company is named after me.  But if you have been to my booth at quilt shows, you know that a big part of Nancy Rink Designs is my husband, Oliver, a retired history professor. Here we are in our booth at the Best of the Valley quilt show.
BOV Photo
We have written two books together, both published by Kansas City Star. The first Away From Home: Quilt Inspired by the Lowell Factory Girls and the second El Camino Real: Quilts Inspired by Early California History have feature quilts that were made with Marcus fabric collections designed specifically for each book. Currently, we are in the planning stages of a third book using our formula where Oliver does the research and writes the history and I design the quilts and write the instructions.
When it comes to design, I enjoy working with both traditional and contemporary fabrics. My two most recent collections and accompanying block-of-the-month quilts, Mill Works and Color Love, clearly show the two sides of my "design personality". 

If you would like to join our mailing list and receive information about new fabrics, patterns, and special offers, click HERE.

So let's get to this week's installment in our Sew Along. My block is called Plus Four.

Cutting Instructions
From both the Red (1034-0111) and the Cheddar (1033-0128), cut:
     Four 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" rectangles
     Two 2 1/4" squares (NOTE: this are cut oversized and will be trimmed during construction)
From both the Blue (1109-0150) and the Olive Green (1702-0116), cut:
     One 1 1/2" x 13" strip
From the Beige (1038-0188), cut:
     Eight 1 1/2" squares
     Four 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" rectangles
     Four 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" rectangles

Sew together the Blue and Green Strips. Press toward the Blue fabric.
Cross cut into a total of EIGHT 1 1/2"-wide segments.
Assemble two segments into a Four-Patch. Make a total of four.
TIP FOR ACCURACY: Arrange the segments as shown so that the Blue fabric is in the upper right and lower left corner of the Four-Patch. When segments are oriented with their seams facing as these seams do, they will easily nest/lock together.
On the wrong side of the Four-Patch, press the seam in opposite directions to reduce bulk. A little Four-Patch will appear!
Arrange a Four-Patch, a Beige 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" rectangle, and a Beige 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" rectangle as shown. Stitch rectangles to the Four-Patch. Press seams toward the Beige rectangles. Make a total of four.
Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the wrong side of the Beige 1 1/2" squares.
Position the marked Beige squares on the Red and Cheddar rectangles as shown. Stitch on the drawn line. Trim excess fabric. Make a total of four Red/Cheddar sets.
Press seams in the directions indicated by the arrows.
Eight copy
Sew together, pressing seam in the direction indicated by the arrow. Make a total of four.

Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the wrong side of the Cheddar 2 1/4" squares. Position a Cheddar square on top of a Red square, rights sides together. Stitch 1/4" from both sides of the drawn line. Cut on the drawn line. Press seam toward the Red fabric. make a total of four Half-Square Triangles.
TIP FOR ACCURACY: I cut my Half-Square Triangles oversized and trim them to size using a square ruler or a Block Loc Ruler, which I will show in the next few steps. If you wish to use another method, the mathematically correct measurement to cut the Cheddar and Red squares is 1 7/8", so they will be 1 1/2" once sewn.
The  Bloc Loc Ruler has a groove on the underneath side that locks on the seam. Position the ruler on a HST as shown. The HSTs will be trimmed to 1 1/2", so make sure to leave enough extra fabric beyond the 1 1/2" markings on the ruler as indicated by the arrows.
Rotate the HST and ruler and trim the other two sides.
Half-Square Triangle Perfection!

Arrange four HSTs and sew into a pinwheel as shown.
Arrange the units as shown. Sew together in rows, pressing seams in the directions indicated by the arrows.

And here is your finished Four Plus block! Click here for a PDF version of these instructions.

Now it's time for a giveaway. Three winners will be chosen at random from those of you who post a response. If you are looking for a topic, please consider sharing a technique you use to improve your sewing accuracy. On Monday September 8, I will post the winners and the prizes they have won. In the meantime, feel free to do a little shopping on my website We've put a couple of kits on special just for the Sew Along.

The next stop on the Sew Along Blog Hop is Mary Ellen Robison of Red Crinoline Quilts. Don't miss her post on Friday September 12. Here is the entire list of Sew Along Designers and their websites.  Please share with your quilting friends so they can join us for all the fun.  It's never too late to start!

8/1                        Pam Buda ~ Heartspun Quilts                        
8/8                        Paula Barnes ~ Red Crinoline Quilts           
8/15                      Sarah Maxwell ~ Homestead Hearth                          
8/22                      Pati Violick ~ Marcus Fabrics                      
8/29                      Gloria Parsons ~ Olde Green Cupboard       
9/5                        Nancy Rink ~ Nancy Rink Designs                
9/12                      Mary Ellen Robison~Red Crinoline Quilts
9/19                      Dolores Smith ~ Homestead Hearth             
9/26                      Lisa Shepard ~ Marcus Fabrics                     
10/3                      Red Crinoline Quilts ~ Quilt Revealed!      



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I hope to read the next your article updates

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