Friday, April 9, 2021

Block Base+ Sew Along

I've joined a new sew along! This one is hosted by Electric Quilt(no affiliation) makers of quilt designing software. 

green and purple batik quilt block 1273

I do all of my quilt designing with the Electric Quilt software, having started with EQ5, upgrading to a much improved EQ6, becoming a tester for EQStitch (EQ7), and now spending lots of time on EQ8. The programs are easy to use and each new version keeps on getting better.

With the opportunity to upgrade my old Block Base to Block Base+, I thought it would also be fun join in on EQ's new sew along featuring Block Base+

And isn't that first block pretty? It's #1273, and according to Block Base+, it's also known under several different names: Maple Leaf, Bright Star, Crow's Foot, Hummingbird, and Rosebud. Personally, I like Crow's Foot or Bright Star.

The new Block Base+ has 4264 blocks, and can be a stand alone program, or linked to EQ7 or 8. As a stand alone program, each block shows the category it belongs to, alternate names, it's history, and multiple preset quilt layouts, which is fun to scroll through for a quick idea of how the block looks in different quilt layouts. More quilt designs are possible when Block Base+ is linked to EQ7 or EQ8.

Unfortunately, this post would be way too long for more detail, so I recommend looking at the handy comparison chart of old vs new - that should answer any more questions.

Now for the Block Base+ Sew Along. The first block was featured March 29, and every two weeks, a new block will be posted by EQ, for a total of eight. For each block, there's also a link-up two weeks after the block is featured, just to show them off. There's no need to sign up for 3+ month sew along which lasts until mid-July. 

The fun of this sew along is that the blocks can be any size you want, in any arrangement you want, in any fabric you want. The sew along is an opportunity to become familiar with the Block Base+ program

I'm making my blocks 12" x 12", which worked well for block #1273 or Crows Foot/Bright Star. Composed of triangles and HST's, it's easy to put together.

green and purple quilt block

All that's needed are:

  • 4 (four) 3" squares of the print (A)
  • 6 (six) 3" squares of background (A)
  • 2 (two) 5" squares of the print (C)
  • 2 (two) 7" squares of background (B) 
Here's the layout:

And a quick tutorial, because this is so easy!

Draw diagonal lines on 4 (four) background square A pieces. Pair each with a print square A piece. Stitch a scant 1/4" on each side. Cut and press to dark. Trim the resulting half square (HST) units to 2 1/2".

                                                                                  2 1/2" squares

Stitch two HST units together, making 4 (four) pairs.

Cut the remaining 2 (two) background square A's on the diagonal. Add them to the print triangle of each pair. This triangle is over sized and will be trimmed later.

Cut the 2 (two) print C squares on the diagonal. Stitch to the HST A unit with straight edges aligned. There is excess on the diagonal.

Flip unit over. Make marks 6 1/2" from corner, then draw a diagonal line.

Cut each background B square on the diagonal. Pair with an A/C unit, aligning 90 degree edges. Stitch on A/C unit drawn diagonal line, making sure seam line hits at the intersection of print A/background A/C (in red circle). Check that A/B/C crows foot unit measures 6 1/2 square. Trim excess diagonal seam allowance.

Then stitch the four units together to make the Crows Foot, Bright Star, etc, etc block.

Here's the completed block again

And here's a hint for non-foundation pieced blocks - I highly recommend printing out both the rotary cutting chart and the templates at the desired size block. It's a double check between the cutting chart and the piece size, which avoids confusion and construction delays. 

Have I convinced you of the fun yet? Interested in owning Block Base+, or upgrading from the old version? Use coupon code AQMAG20 for 20% any Electric Quilt product thru July 31, 2021. And I hope to see your blocks in the sew along!

Happy Quilting!

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  1. I got Block Base+ a week or so and I'm enjoying it. I hadn't seen anything of a quilt along though but so busy with projects now as it is.

  2. Your block turned out perfectly. I've been thinking about joining that quilt along too. I'm waiting to see what the next block is before I decide.


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