The Mini Plaid-ish Quiltalong Week 3 - Block A

The Mini Plaid-ish Quiltalong Week 3 - Block A

Who is excited to see their quilt start to come together? I know I am. 

Piecing for this quilt is pretty simple and we are moving at a nice, slow pace so that you have plenty of time to make your blocks. This week we are only making Block A, so that is 20 blocks. 

It is important that you use a scant 1/4" seam allowance (check out this post if you need more info on what that means) and that your blocks are balanced if you are making a scrappy quilt.

Mini Plaid-ish Quiltalong Block A

What does it mean to have balanced block? Within your dark valued prints and your mid-valued prints, you are still going to have some variety in color and value. Make sure not to cluster all of your darkest dark prints into one block and try to mix up colors and shades so that they aren't clustered together. 

I find it helpful to lay out all of my blocks before I start piecing. This way, I can make sure to get a mix and it gives me another opportunity to remove any fabrics that may not be the best for the project.

Plaid-ish Seam Allowance

Pressing Seams

There are not instructions in the pattern for pressing your seams to the side because I am a big fan of pressing my seams open. But can you press your seams to the side and have them nest?

Mini Plaid-ish Quiltalong Block A

Yes you can! For all 3 blocks, you will want to press your seams toward the mid-valued prints. For Blocks A and B, that will mean pressing toward the 1.5" pieces and for Block C, that will mean pressing toward the 3" x 4" pieces. 

Mini Plaid-ish Quiltalong Block A

Then, when we start piecing our rows together, you will want to press toward Block C. This should create nesting seams throughout the quilt. 

Some Tips

If you are worried about your seam allowance not being a scant quarter inch, make a test block. Block A should end up 8.5" x 8.5" exactly. If your block is smaller than this, your seam allowance might be too large. If you are block is larger than this, your seam allowance might be too small. 

You should not need to square up your blocks — hopefully they will be the correct size.

If you are having trouble getting your seams to lay flat after pressing, put a large ruler on top of your blocks and then place something heavy on top of the ruler. This works really well and will make your blocks a little easier to work with.

I'm looking forward to seeing your blocks on Instagram! Make sure to use the #miniplaidishqal hashtag.

Comments 3

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Cath on

Erica I just wanted to say thank you for this QAL. I’ve got everything cut and hoping to find time this weekend to start Block A. I love the nice slow pace, feel like I could actually achieve this!

And what a beautiful comment from Rosemary above – “every day is a good day to sew stuff”. Words to live by!

Rosemary B on

Erica, I love this quilt along. I hope to join in as soon as…. I finish doing all of the things.
It is hard to describe, this thing. I moved my parents to Virginia in 2013. I have been taking care of them since then. Mom went to heaven in 2016, and daddy lived to be 99 and a half. He died last month and now we have to muddle through the huge inheritance and divide accordingly among our selves. It is hard to do while grieving and I am glad my hubbs is brilliant and has already done this after his parents’ passing.
Anyway, mean time, I am sorting through my epic stash of scraps and I will make a great quilt top.
I also loved the story of how you started being a quilter. You are correct in all of your thoughts.
I live in Northern Virginia and there were some snooty quilt shops back in the days when I started my search for better fabrics, and collections etc. I also felt intimidated by those shops. They made me feel like I was not worthy. Well, that is a bad way to do business.
A friend of mine opened her very own fabric shop in Sterling/Leesburg Virginia, very close to me. She and her daughter have classes and offer so much to the community.
Then, WEB fabrics is Purcelleville Virginia is under new ownership. the new owner and her daughter are also really focused on encouraging the timid and I have met so many lovely people though both shops. Of course I am, I was so so busy this past ten years. Now I am older too. Every day is a good day to sew stuff. Making quilts really started in earnest after mom died. She was always an inspiration to me and we were close. After she went to heaven, I started working on …. not being so sloppy and also harder stuff. I have made a pile of quilts now.
Happy New Week

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