Monday, 14 May 2018

Patchsmith Sampler Block 11 - Buttons and Spools

This week’s block from the Patchsmith’s Sampler pattern book is the Block 11 – “Buttons and Spools”.  It looks a little unbalanced when made due to the seam allowances but don't worry - once it is stitched into a project or quilt it will look perfect.

I would rate this block as 'difficult' and suitable for experienced patchers as you are dealing with small pieces of fabric.  However, if you are new to patchwork I have two larger blocks to share with you - either of which can be used in place of the trickier Block 11.

If  ‘Spools’ are your thing then you can substitute a Large Spool Block for Block 11.
Large Spools are easier and you can have fun with the thread section

To make a Large Spool block you will need to cut the pattern pieces as follows:
A – Two 6½” x 2” rectangles (spool fabric)
B – One 3½” square (thread fabric)
C – Two 2 x 3½” background rectangles
D – Four 2” background squares.

You can add an extra touch by constructing the thread square (piece B) from three 3½” x 1½” strips of fabric as I did for the large yellow spool.
Create a fun three-thread middle for the Large Spool Block

Or you could go one step further and stitch six 3½” x 1” strips together to create a more detailed thread square (piece B).
It really is quite simple to add interest to the Large Spool block.

Whichever thread option you choose, just follow the ‘Spool Block’ instructions for Block 11 and you should end up with a Large Spool block measuring 6½” square. 

When it comes to the ‘Buttons’ for Block 11 you will find that the construction is made a tad easier using my stitch-and-slice method for making the buttonholes.  Even so, the small buttonholes finish at just ¼” each.  
Those small buttonholes measure just ¼” each!

So if you are new to patchwork or your ¼” seams are not quite there yet I would recommend making a Large Button Block instead. 

To make the Large Button Block you will need to cut your pieces as follows:
E – Two 1¼” x 2½” black (buttonhole) rectangles
F – Two 1” x 2½” rectangles (button fabric)
G – Two 2½” squares (button fabric)
H – Two 6½” x 2½” rectangles (button fabric)
J –  Four 2¼” background squares.   

Follow step 4 of the pattern to create a buttonhole unit measuring 2½” square.  Cut this unit in half to create two buttonhole units each measuring 1¼” x 2½”.  Follow step 5 to create the middle buttonhole section measuring 2½” square.  
The 'large' buttonhole unit should measure 2½" square
Continue with the pattern to make a Large Button Block which measures 6½" square once step 8 is completed.

And as an extra bonus if you make two Large Spool and two Large Button blocks.....
Four Large Blocks come together
.....you can stitch them together to create one big 12" (finished size) Buttons and Spools block.  Now that really is an awful lot of fun to be had from one little block pattern.
A 12" Buttons and Spools Block.
You can find all the blocks from the book HERE or by clicking on the tab at the top of the page.  

UntiI next time I look forward to seeing your blocks on Instagram (block11buttonsandspools) or in the Flickr Group.  

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