Step 1 – Create a paper template for piecing
The block I am making for this is 8 1/4 inch square with a half inch centre plain strip but it can be amended to whatever size you like. I chose this size as it fitted perfectly on British A4 sized paper. The paper that I am using is just normal printer paper nothing special.
Start by drawing a 8 1/4 inch square onto a piece of paper. Once the square is drawn you need to draw a line down the centre of the square making two triangles. Measure 1/2 inch away from the centre line and draw a parallel line. Measure 1/2 inch away from the other side of the centre line and draw another parallel line. This will have created a one inch centre strip. Your template should look like the picture of mine below.
Step 2 – Prepare the fabric.
Each block will have a centre white strip. Cut out a one inch strip of white fabric that is longer than the length of the centre strip on the paper template.
Next prepare varying sized strips of your chosen fabrics – I used strips ranging from 1 1/4 to 2 inches.
You are now ready to start working at the sewing machine!
Step 3 – Sew in the centre white strip.
Start by laying the centre white strip down along the centre strip drawn on the paper template. Place a patterned strip right side down on top of the white strip with the right hand sides lined up.
Line up the fabric and paper template ready for sewing down the right hand side with a 1/4 inch seam.
Once the strips are joined open out the two strips and finger press them flat.
Turn the block around so the patterned strip is on the left hand side and repeat the same steps to attach the patterned string to the other side of the white strip.
You may find that the centre white strip has gone slightly off centre during the attachment of the first strip. Dont worry as long as it hasn’t moved over more than 1/4 inch. Make sure that the patterned strip is aligned to the straight line you drew on the paper template and make a 1/4 inch seam. The visible strip will still be 1/2 inch wide but one of the seams will be a little skinnier than planned.
Finally you will have a 1/2 inch centre white strip visible sandwiched between 2 patterned strings.
Step 4 – Adding the strings
Now you have the centre sandwich you just need to continue adding strings to the block to cover the whole paper pattern.
Whilst adding the extra strips stagger the start of the strips to adjust to the slope of the paper template. I personally don’t cut each strip to exactly the right size before sewing. I just stagger the start of the strip and sew the strips together to about 1/2 inch below the edge of the paper template.
The last strip that you add at the point should extend at least 1/2 inch beyond the width at the tip of the corner point or else you may find later on when straightening off the block that the tip is lost and you don’t get a sharp corner.
When you have finished adding strips to one side start adding strips to the other side until the template is completely covered.