Block of the Every Other Month – Foreign Language

Our newest block of the month is Foreign Language – designed by our very own Lynne Nostrant. Lynne’s inspiration for this block was “Magic Inch Quilts.” You can see a tutorial from Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle of Modern Quilt Studio to learn how to make similar blocks.

How to get started: 

  • Use the photos and instructions below to make your block.
  • Our color palette for this month is Yellow Submarine. Use solids from the color palette below for your background. Any brand is fine. For the 1″ strip, use Kona Oyster (some was distributed at the meeting.)
  • Complete as many blocks as you’d like.  Each block is an entry into the drawing for the block lotto.
  • Bring your finished block(s) to the March meeting for a chance to win them all during the block lotto!

We can’t wait to see what you make and what unique layout the winner will choose!

Foreign Language Block Instructions

  1. Start with a 7×10 inch piece of your solid background color: Sunflower, Navy, Persimmon, Rose, Emerald. If you plan to make severely angled cuts or curved cuts, use an 8×11 piece as you will lose some when you trim. You will also need a one inch strip of letter fabric for each block. The length of that strip depends on how many cuts you make. Plan on one 1”x 40” for each block and you should be safe.
  2. Starting at least one inch from the sides, make between 1- 5 cuts in the background. (See examples) You can use a ruler or cut freehand.

3. Label the pieces in your preferred manner, thinking about the order you will sew them together, as you will sew the smaller pieces together before the longer ones.

4. Using a one inch strip of the letter fabric (Kona Oyster), sew one side of the strip to piece 1, then the other side of that strip to piece 2. Repeat for successive pieces. Ironing the seam allowance toward the letter fabric will make the letters pop out of the background a little. If you are using an accurate 1/4 inch seam allowance, your seams should exactly meet in the middle when pressed flat on the back.

Note: If you will be using curved piecing, you must cut your letter fabric on the bias or your blocks will not lay flat.
  1. After pressing, trim your block to exactly 6.5 x 9.5 inches.
Tips:
Use painter’s tape for numbering your pieces, always placing the number in the upper left of the fabric for orientation. Just don’t sew or iron over it! For complicated piecing with several cuts, take a picture with your phone for reference. It can be confusing, especially with solid fabric.
Registration marks in the seam allowance help to line up pieces for angled or curved cuts.
You can use a 6.5 inch wide ruler for the first trimming to easily trim both sides. Then turn it and have a straight line to use for finding the 9.5 inch mark.
If you find that your block is a little short, just add in another one inch Oyster strip, followed by at least one inch of your background color.

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