It looks daunting, especially when looking at the cover photo and flipping through the book. However we are going to tackle it in sections making it a loss less scary.
A couple tips before we even get into today's section. A lot of the pieces in these blocks are small and a smaller ruler will be easier to handle and cut with than the 24" ruler many of us have in our sewing areas. I like using my 8.5"x4.5" Creative Grids ruler as well as my 3.5"x12.5". Also it is a great idea to change your rotary blade, you will get nice clean cuts. While your at it change out your sewing needle. Because these are smaller blocks that are going to be sitting for some time before being put into the final project, I shortened my stitch length to about 2.0. All the block sizes listed in the quilt are finished sizes, which means they will be that size when your quilt top is complete, do not trim them to this size now. They all need to be a half inch larger.
First up is Section 1. On page 32 of the book there is a picture that shows the 10 sections of the quilt, some of the sections are quite small with only 2 blocks, and some are going to be a little more work. The pages previous to this outline which pieced block goes where in each section. The visual for Section 1 is on page 26.
For Section 1 we will need to make a total of 5 blocks.
Puss in the Corner on page 13 is the main block, we will be making the first block on that page, the one without the border.
This is a good block to test your seam allowances for the project. by stitching your 5 squares together in a row and measuring the end result (which should be 5.5") you will discover if you need to adjust your seam allowance at all. I did not cut my larger squares at the 2 7/8", I just bumped it up to a nice 3" which gave me a little room to trim those Half Square Triangles before I assembled the block. I also did not cut them on the diagonal but rather marked the diagonal, stitched a 1/4" away from the line on each side and than cut on the line. This helps avoid some stretching on this bias edge.
We also have 4 filler blocks, which I find is where the pattern book gets quite confusing, but I have put several hours into marking where each blocks goes to save you some grief.
The first filler for Section 1 is a Pin Wheel block from page 19, it has no borders and should measure 4.5". I did the same here as in the previous block, cutting my squares the 3" and leaving them as squares.
On page 21 we have to make a hourglass block and add the two borders to make a 6.5" unfinished block. (follow the instructions in the first column to make the hourglass block, and than add the round 1 and 2 borders as listed in the second column.) I have included a picture of how to stack your fabrics for the second step, it sounds a little confusing just reading it straight from the book, the pink lines on my block would be your stitching lines. Notice that the fabrics are right sides together, and I have the blue pieces touching the white. The seams should nest nicely together, stitch on the unsewn diagonal.
On Page 22 we need to make 2---3" finished square in square blocks. 1 we will leave as is, the second we will add a border as per instructions on the next page to make it finish at 5" (5.5" unfinished.) I used the Simple Folded Corners Ruler from Creative Grids for this block. It is a new ruler that allows you to eliminate the need for drawing the diagonal line on your squares. Simply line up the edges of the ruler with your square and trim off the extra and than sew. You do need to be careful not to stretch here though as these are now bias edges.
Once you have finished up all your blocks, place them in a bag labelled section 1. This will keep this section altogether and will take the guesswork out of which block belongs where later on when we assemble the quilt.
Please share your blocks on our Gypsy Wife QAL page, and if you have any other tips mention them there as well.
I am excited to see your fabric selections for these blocks.