Sunday, 13 October 2013

Patchique Week 1 - Blocks 1 and 76

Firstly, congratulations to Margaret from Quebec – Margaret won a copy of Susan Briscoe’s ‘Japanese Taupe Quilts’ book to mark the beginning of my Patchiqué Quilt Project.

Just in case you missed the details – I am creating a quilt based on 9” blocks from Susan’s book.  The main section of the quilt will consist of 49 blocks (seven rows of seven blocks) and I shall be making one patchwork and one appliqué block every fortnight – hence the title Patchiqué.  However, I am not sticking to the taupe colour theme. Instead I am using beige, tan, green, cream and raspberry hues.

Each fortnight I shall detail two blocks I have made from the book, together with hints and tips, in case you wish to sew along.

So let’s not waste any more time and make a start .....

Block 1 - Kasuri koshi kaku
The first patch block is Block No. 1 from the book – Kasuri koshi kaku.  You may know it as a nine-patch block (not to be confused with a nine-square block).  This is a very simple block and if you use a scant ¼” seam allowance you will find it an easy block to make to size.   I used two shades of green and a white flower print.  Neat eh? 

Onto the first applique block - Block No. 76 Kumai sasa kuruma (translated to “nine bamboo leaves wheel”). 
Block 76 - Kumai sasa kuruma
This block is rated medium difficulty but once you have your background square marked up it is quite easy.  I say easy but can you spot the obvious mistake between the block from the book (above) and my block (below)?  Yes, it is true - the Patchsmith has made a mistake on her very first applique block.  I positioned the petals the wrong way round, with the pointy end facing inwards!  Am I going to change it?  Nope - I'm leaving it.  Even though it is more 'daisy' than 'bamboo leaves' it reflects my scattiness and my love of daisies.  It is therefore, typical Patchsmith and it stays!
To position the petals accurately you will need a protractor - remember those - they were the plastic half circles in the math sets you had at school.  Don't worry if you haven't got a protractor to hand - there are plenty of free printable protractor templates on-line (just Google it - see comments below). 

I creased the background square by folding it into quarters and ironing the centre. This made it easier to position the petals.  Using the protractor I positioned each petal 40 degrees apart (measured from the centre of one petal to the centre of the next petal) with each petal placed ¾” from the centre point.  Once done, it was a simple case of fusing and stitching which was quick to do using quick-fuse applique. The template in the book is the correct size and can be traced directly onto the paper side of your fusible webbing (i.e. Bondaweb, Wonder Under, etc).

For the centre of the flower I used a 1” circle although the book states a ¾” circle. The reason for my sizing is because I traced around a coin and that is the size it turned out.  It worked out quite well as I was able to fussy-cut the circle to add an extra bit of detail.
And there you have it – the first two 9½” blocks done.   If you are sewing along then KEEP THE PROTRACTOR – you will need it again.  In a fortnight's time I will be sewing patch Block 3 and applique Block 71.   (I haven’t found the right fabric yet for Block 2 so I will come back to that one later.)

If you have any questions then just post a comment and I'll reply. 

Sew until next time .......


  1. These are simply gorgeous blocks! I love your fabrics!
    I will post my first one... #1 early this week. I want to make #76 this week, too. Thanks for the protractor link!
    I really want to "expand my horizons " and try new blocks with The Patchique Sew Along!

  2. Hi Susie,
    Glad to have you onboard. If you don't fancy making a bed quilt these blocks will make a fantastic table runner. There are a couple of examples of table runners in the book.
    As for the protractor - I have removed the photo as it wasn't a template and I didn't want to confuse anybody. To find a template just Google 'free printable protractor'. When you find one you like just right click on the image and select 'print image'. You may have to enlarge it slightly. They come in 180 (half circle) and 360 (full circle) images.

  3. Oooooh! So tempted to join in with you ;) Your blocks are so tempting with their gorgeous fabrics. My book is just sitting there shouting at me.... Is Bondaweb your favourite fusible?

    1. Bondaweb is my favourite fusible. It also goes by the name of "Wonder Under" or "Vliesofix". In the 'Mug Rug Basics' tab at the top of this blog is a page on Quick Fuse Applique. It gives hints and tips on using fusible webbing.
      Here is a quick tip: If you cannot get the paper backing off your cut-out, gently scratch the paper with a sewing pin to create a tear in the paper. You should then be able to peel the paper away.

  4. Great blocks :) I love the white flower print fabric.

    I'll be joining in with my book, my aim is to make all 125 blocks so i'll probably be upping my block count each week

  5. I shall be following your blog with interest. Some of those blocks have itty-bitty pieces and will require a lot of patience!

  6. Well, isn't it just like The Patchsmith to discover an error in the book? Tee hee...with your chosen fabrics, the flower block definitely looks like YOU were the one with the correct orientation of the petals! You are off to a brilliant start, and I'll be looking forward to the new blocks every two weeks!

    1. Nope, the error was all mine. I have to say I do like the Bamboo Leaves orientation - it is so Japanese. If I need an extra applique block at any time I will redo Block 76 and follow the book EXACTLY to get it right next time.

  7. These are just gorgeous! Looking forward to seeing it as it comes along!