Friday, February 6, 2015

Smitten Quilt Along : Large Block One

Hey everyone!  I hope you are ready to sew some hexagons together!

For more details on the Smitten Quilt Along, visit this post here for dates and supplies, etc.  If you haven't purchased templates, go ahead and make your's using the pattern and template plastic or other material of your choice.  (Be sure to add the seam allowance if making your own templates.)

This month, we're tackling the Large Block One.  This is probably where you will want to fussy cut your favorites!  I consider this the showpiece block for this quilt. There are a lot of pieces in this one, so it may be worth it to cut and piece several at a time after you get the first one under your belt!  :-)

Grab your pattern, templates and marking pen and select your favorite prints!  Following the pattern, cut out all the correct pieces needed for the block.  Update:  Pattern Error -  Someone commented that there is an error in the cutting directions for this block.  You need to cut piece "D" instead of "B" based on the printed templates in the pattern.  Since I used acrylic templates, I just followed the pattern diagrams and did not notice the misprint initially. 

(Cutting TIP:  If you are using the Marti Michell templates and don't need to fussy cut, follow the directions included with the templates for cutting from strips to make quick work of your cutting.)

Mark the wrong side of your fabric pieces with dots where the 1/4" seams would meet.  (The acrylic templates have holes, making this super easy!) Alternatively, you could use your ruler and pen to draw lines along the seam allowances to mark your start and stop points.

We'll use these dots as our start and stop points for sewing. Sew a 1/4" seam and always backstitch to secure, but don't sew past the dots, unless we are sewing to the edge.  (You'd sew to the edge when the seam is not part of a Y-seam intersection... this will hopefully make more sense in pictures below.)

Here's how I machine-pieced mine together...

I worked in segments to build the border around the main center hexagon.  To try and sew more efficiently, I prepped and then sewed all the same seams for each of the six segments at the same time.

I'll refer to the blue diamond as the center and the yellow and pink pieces as the sides.  Pin or glue baste and then join the top and bottom side pieces by sewing from the inner dot all the way to the outer edge.  Complete this on both sides, remembering to start sewing at your dot (1/4") from the edge where the side pieces will join the center diamond.

Next join the side piece to the center diamond.  Pin or glue baste to keep things in place.
To glue baste, draw a thin line of glue about 1/8" from the edge.  This should be inside your seam allowance. Be careful not to glue all way into where the Y-seam will be.  Lay the fabrics right sides together and carefully press to heat set the glue.  Then go ahead and glue or pin down the next seam.

You'll need to shift the fabrics a little as you line up the pieces. It should look like this ...

Head over to your machine and sew the pieces together.  Start at the joint in the Y-seam and begin at your start dot, being sure to move the other pieces out of the way.  Sew all the way to the edge.

Complete each seam to join the center and outside pieces.

Next, join the left side diamonds in the same manner to get a completed segment.  Make six segments.

Next, we'll join the segments of the border to the center hexagon. I chose to join two sets of three segments. You'll start at the dot on the inside of the segment border and sew to the outer edge.

Then join the segments to the center hexagon. Pin or glue base in place.  If glue basting, be careful not to glue all the way into the Y-seam, as we will need to shift the fabric around to sew the seam. Sew all seams from dot-to-dot (not all the way to the edge!).

Sew both sides on and then join the border by sewing the final two seams. You'll sew from the dot (inside of the border) all the way to the edge of the border.

Carefully press your block and admire your work!  :-)

Now plan and sew four more ... you need 5 completed Large Block Ones.

I hope these photos were helpful to you...  I can't wait to make a few more myself and to see your's too! Don't forget to use #smittenquilt and #smittenquiltqal on Instagram. :-)

If you have questions, leave a comment, email me or tag me on IG!

Happy Sewing!  :)

P.S. Learn more about glue basting from my friend Cristy here.


  1. I looked at the pattern and I am wondering if there is a mistake. Template B in the page with all the templates is a diamond. Template B in the instructions of Large Hexagon One is half a hexagon. Should it be Template D in the instructions?

  2. I am working on my hexagon three of the (5) large Hexagon One. I am enjoying working on this pattern. Hope to be ready in March for the next five.

  3. I have been having a lot of fun working through these blocks! I used 30's repros that I had on hand and I am about to start making "small hexagon one" blocks. I certainly no longer fear set in seams!

  4. Latecomer, here. But with inspiration from your step-by-step guidance, I've made the first large blocks. I made six, but I don't think that really matters. In fact, I'm thinking of making the quilt a tad larger than the pattern. Now, on to step two. Making this pattern by machine seemed like a daunting task, and I nearly decided not to pursue it. Thanks!


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