Thursday, 12 April 2012

A Block A Day Keeps The Boredom At Bay!!!

So, if you've read my blog you'll know that I have been hired to make up 200 cushions for someone, they are plain and simple 60cm square zip closure cushions in cream...................................................BORING!

Sewing the same thing over and over again is rather dull, but then I would be rather silly to turn down a well paid job, so, I decided I needed to break my day up, only a little, but enough to keep my sanity in check!

This is where my aptly named blog title comes into play, here is my "how to not go crazy" plan:

A Block A Day Keeps The Boredom At Bay:

The ultimate goal is to create a patchwork quilt for a friends daughter for her birthday, as a nice surprise (hopefully)

Her birthday isn't until June, she will be turning "terrible 2" haha!

So I figure I have plenty of time to spread the making of this quilt over.........a block a day to be exact!

When formulating my "how to not go crazy" plan I thought it would be cool to record my daily "anti-crazy sewing session" and turn it into a tutorial, that way if you wish to, you can join the "Block A Day" crew!!

Now as the age old saying goes............There is no time like the present, so lets crack on!!

Anti Crazy Block 1: The Chequer Square Block

This is the block design
What you will need to make the Chequer Square Block:

4 Different patterned/plain fabrics
Templates: which you can download and print here (templates include a 5mm seam allowance)
Taylor's chalk
Sewing machine - human or electrical!!

Now, For the sake of this tutorial I am going to label my fabrics A, B, C & D:

And this is the way I am laying them out:

So once you have downloaded your template you should cut as follows:

Using the Square Template cut:
2 Squares from fabric A
2 squares from fabric B
4 squares from fabric D

Using the Rectangle Template cut:
4 Rectangles from fabric C

Ok so we start our chequer square by making the centre square, to do this:
Lay out your A & B squares as in the diagram above and below

Now following the direction of the arrows put the right sides together (from top to bottom in picture) place your A square on your B square and then your B square onto your A square, so you end up with them positioned as shown below.

Using your 5mm seam allowance, stitch where I have drawn a dotted line:

Once you have sewn the 2 squares you will end up with 2 rectangles as below, iron your seams towards the A squares, this way when you lay them together the seams will lay in opposite directions and you won't get a bulky middle point.

Now making sure your squares are opposite each other diagonally , place right sides together, again in the direction the arrows show:

Stitch using your 5mm seam allowance along the dotted line:

Ta Dah! Your middle square is done!...................Iron your seam to one side, it doesn't matter which

Now,  take 2 of your rectangles that you cut from your "C" fabric as shown below

Lay your right sides together and stitch along the dotted lines

Now you have a piece that looks like this:
Iron both seams facing outwards

Now going back to your other bits, Take your remaining pieces and lay them out to make strips like these:

Placing your 2 D squares onto the ends of your C rectangle right sides facing, stitch along the dotted lines
Repeat this process with your last 2 D squares and C rectangle

You'll end up with two strips like so:
Press your seams in towards the rectangle

Lay out all your pieces as shown below

Placing the top strips onto the main middle section right sides facing, sew where the dotted lines are shown:

Hey Presto, we made a Chequer Square patchwork block:
Iron your final 2 seams outwards

Chequer square patchwork block
Chequer Square Patchwork Block

Wasn't that easy?
Just that little break of making something pretty and colourful kept me as sane as I could ever hope to be!
I'm going to continue my daily blocks and I will continue to share, so why not bob along each day and join in!!

Until tomorrow folks!!


  1. Oh I love that fabric, pinks, chintz, vintage style what could be more perfect

  2. 200 cushions!!!! You will go crazy! The block is beautiful, lovely fabrics - in may case though it had better be a block a month though! Great tutorial, thank-you for sharing.
    Jo x