We offer 13 Block of the Month programs to independent quilt shops.
About the Block Instructions
All of our block instructions include paper patterns, so you don't have to buy templates or tools to cut the pieces. They are easier to cut and will be cut more accurately with the tools -- believe it or not, using templates on strips saves as much time as strip cutting without templates.
If you cut the pieces as recommended, you will find that the nipped corners make aligning squares and triangles for sewing a breeze, and your block will come out true and the right size.
Our tools include an exact 1/4-inch seam allowance; no "scant" seams, please.
About the Cutting Layouts
Fabric requirements are listed for each block. The sizes listed serve 2 purposes: They are the most efficient sizes a shop can cut without waste for block kits, and they help you identify which fabrics are A, B, etc. The sizes are determined so that, generally, the longest dimension of a shape will be cut on the lengthwise grain. For example, if a piece of fabric is listed as 5 1/4 inches by 13 inches, a shop can cut 8 pieces 5 1/4 inches wide across the width of fabric (figured at 42 usable inches) and the 13 inch dimension will be on the lengthwise grain.
We always recommend that you cut strips first and then use the templates on the strips to cut the pieces, even when you are using a small piece of fabric. The cutting layouts indicate the number of rows needed for the sizes given.
If you are using fabric kits, look at the cutting layouts and cut the fabric into 1 or more strips that are one dimension of the pieces to be cut from it, as shown in the cutting diagram. The pieces are shown on the cutting layouts in such a way that they will be cut on the lengthwise grain for a particular block design. The cutting layouts show the most efficient ways to place templates on strips in order to cut the pieces with almost no waste.
If you are not using a block kit, do not cut the fabric to the recommended size in the instructions. You don't even need a "full length" strip. Just cut a strip that is long enough to get the number of pieces needed. If you are cutting a piece from scraps, true up one edge and cut a strip the width of one dimension of the template, then put the template on the strip and cut the piece. Follow the recommended grainlines in the cutting layouts.
Take a few seconds to nip the corners as you cut the pieces from strips. Removing that little bit of extra fabric not only makes a triangle fit a square perfectly, it makes a huge difference in overall pressing.
About the Fabrics
The shops using our programs select the fabrics to be used in the BOM quilt, unless they are using one that is keyed to Marti's new Maywood Studio fabric line.
If you may not be finishing your BOM in the time the shop allots for the program, be sure to purchase enough fabric to finish your quilt at another time.
Sewing the Pieces
We recommend chain piecing pairs and pairs of pairs whenever possible. For example, when 4 corner units are identical, chain piece pairs of pieces and create all 4 at the same time. Press before clipping the pieces apart.
The pressing directions shown in the instructions are based on the way we made the blocks for our quilt. Having already removed that little bit of extra fabric at all the corners and pressing as recommended makes for nice, flat intersections where pieces meet to create the block design. Swirl pressing is often illustrated to help distribute bulk at seams where many pieces meet.
Thank you for participating in one of our BOMs. If you have any questions about the instructions as you go along, please ask for help or a demonstration at the store.