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Mar 1, 2013

Sisters' Ten Modern BOM March Block: School Girl's Puzzle

Mar 1, 2013
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**Get the latest dish from Andover Fabrics here**
Sisters Ten BOM 1
And we're back with the March block for the Sisters' Ten Modern Block of the Month Club!  This is the block that is featured in the BOM button up there and it is called School Girl's Puzzle.

{Sisters' Ten BOM will post new blocks the first Friday of the month in 2013.  Feel free to join in the fun with us anytime throughout the year.  For all things Sisters' Ten, go here.}

**If you prefer to print out your patterns, a downloadable PDF file is available for just $1.00.** 
March - School Girl's Puzzle blog cover

Cutting Instructions.

For 12" blocks.
  • Cut (5) 4 1/8" x 4 1/8" squares of Fabric A (background).
  • Cut (2) 4 1/8" x 4 1/8" squares of Fabric B.
  • Cut (3) 4 1/8" x 4 1/8" squares of Fabric C.
  • Cut (2) 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" squares of Fabric C.
  • Cut (4) 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" square of Fabric D.  
March sisters' ten fabrics

For 9" blocks.
  • Cut (5) 3 3/8" x 3 3/8" squares of Fabric A (background).
  • Cut (2) 3 3/8" x 3 3/8" squares of Fabric B.
  • Cut (3) 3 3/8" x 3 3/8" squares of Fabric C.
  • Cut (2) 2 3/4" x 2 3/4" squares of Fabric C.
  • Cut (4) 2 3/4" x 2 3/4" square of Fabric D.  

Piecing Instructions.
*Use a scant 1/4" on all seam allowances. See the Scant Rant series for details.

1.  Make Half-Square Triangle (HST) units with Fabric A and Fabric B.  Use (2) Fabric A squares and the (2) Fabric B squares to make (4) total Half-Square Triangle units using the method in this tutorial.  The HSTs should be trimmed down to:
                      12" blocks:  3 1/2" (unfinished size).
                        9" blocks:  2 3/4" (unfinished size).

2.  Make Half-Square Triangle (HST) units with Fabric A and Fabric C.  Use the remaining (3) Fabric A squares and the (3) larger Fabric C squares to make (6) total Half-Square Triangle units using the method in this tutorial.  The HSTs should be trimmed down to: 

                      12" blocks:  3 1/2" (unfinished size).
                        9" blocks: 2 3/4" (unfinished size).

3.  Layout the Half-Square Triangle Units, remaining Fabric C squares and Fabric D squares as shown below.
school girls puzzle 1

4.  Sew each of the four rows together, alternating the direction the seams are pressed.
Sisters' Ten BOM March School girls puzzle 2

5.   Sew the rows together and you're done!

Sisters' Ten BOM  MarchSchool girls puzzle 3

6.   Make (2) blocks.  They may be identical blocks or made from differing fabrics for a scrappier look.  This month try to think a little more about value when selecting your block fabrics.  As you can see when the blocks are side by side, I chose to give each block a different feel.  Block 1 on the left has a more subtle and understated feel.  Block 2 on the right is loud and pulls your attention.  I also substituted another fabric in the brown center blocks for visual interest in Block 2.  Play with the color a bit.  Sampler quilts often have a lot going on - so sometimes finding a place for the eye to rest can be tricky.  It will be fun to play with the block arrangement later if you have blocks with differing values in them.

sisters' ten March block 1Sisters Ten March Block 2
Fabric is Alison Glass for Andover, Lucky Penny with background Quilter's Linen in Straw by Robert Kaufman.

Please add your blocks to the flickr group for Sisters' Ten when you get a chance.  Thank you to everyone who is contributing to the group - all of your blocks look great!  

[Is anyone still reading?  :)  I wanted to ask your opinion.  This month for the tutorial I used diagrams for the block instructions instead of photos.  Do you have a preference?  My lightbox/photography studio is too small to accommodate all the pieces so I've been having some difficulty with the step by step shots.  I like the diagrams - I think they look clean and professional.  But really I'd like to know what is easier for you to work from.  I appreciate your comments!]
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  1. First - I love that you are showing it in 2 color ways/value sets. Thank you! And I love that you are doing this at all; this has got to be a ton of work.

    Second - I love that you simplify the piecing by having us do HST units, etc. So much easier!!

    Third - as to your question -- I do find the drawing easy to work with, except that I keep having to double back and remember which fabric goes in which spot; perhaps an A, B, C, D on the colored diagram would be helpful? I know you used similar colors to your fabrics, but for me, and especially those who buy the print PDF (and maybe don't print in color?) I think that would help a lot.

    Looks like a fun block, though! Can't wait to get started!

    1. Thank you for your input! That is a great idea about labeling the diagrams with the corresponding fabric letters. I know I NEVER print my PDFs in color and sometimes it does create some confusion. Super!

    2. YES! I bought the PDF and I wrote on my print outs A, B, C etc on each of your colors so I can (try to anyway) I printed mine in color but I have to keep double checking which fabric is each letter also. Excellent input

  2. I like the diagrams too. I've been keeping up. I just need to load pictures to flickr. I should be able to make these March blocks this weekend. Thanks!

  3. I love the pink/brown block really nice contrast. I think it was SOOOO smart of you to show high and low contrast in your blocks for those of us who don't think in color. The diagrams are nice and I'm sure helpful for the beginners. I don't need that level of instruction for piecing so it makes no difference to me.

  4. I love the diagrams! It makes it so much easier to see the individual components without patterns getting in the way.

  5. I think the diagrams are great -- almost easier to "read" than true pictures!

  6. Another vote for diagrams here. I love seeing other peopke's fabric choices, but the fabrics can be distracting too.

  7. The diagrams are okay with me, too. They are easy to follow. I love the pink/blue/brown version!

  8. I like diagrams too and agree about the labeling. I also really appreciate the work you are doing. This gets me in the quilt room (where I stay!) and that's all good. thanks

  9. I'm still a fan of the photos, I really enjoyed seeing how each of the bocks was put together in photo form.

    That being said, the instructions are still very easy to read in diagram form.

    It's a case of six in one hand, half a dozen in the other. I just prefer how the photos look, but in the end the result is the same.

  10. If it's a lot easier definitely go with the diagrams. I enjoy seeing the photos of the actual blocks but you do have the finish pictures at the end.

  11. While I like the photos to see how your fabric choices came together, I really appreciate the diagrams. They are neat and clean and easy to understand. I like the way you used both in this post. Keep up the great work!

  12. Hi I like the diagrams!

  13. love the diagram! more concise!

  14. Diagrams are easy to follow but yes a label would probably help beginners. Like Loretta I can work out the piecing easily enough but it's handy to have something to refer back to. I am up to date so far and am loving this BOM. Thanks for sharing it.

  15. I like exactly how you did it this month, photo of the cut squares of fabric, and then diagrams for the rest. Just label the diagrams A,B,C and so on and it will be perfect!

  16. I like the diagrams. Good idea about labeling them. However, I did like the February explanation using fabric for the center square. Maybe a combination of both is something is a different or trickier.

  17. I love to see photos of fabrics used in patterns. But with that said, I love your use of the diagrams. I would have to agree with Marci, maybe labeling you diagrams would work. HONESTLY, the directions are well written and easy enough, that I'm not sure it would matter either way. I cannot wait to see how this quilt turns out.



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