Friday, January 1, 2016

Hive 9 January Tutorial - Plus Banner Block

Happy New Year and welcome to a new year of the Stash Bee; I would like to extend an especially warm welcome to my Hive 9 bee members! My name is Yvonne and I will be leading Hive 9 in 2016.

For January, we will all be filling out a "Get to know you survey". When you post about your finished block for January, please answer these questions so everyone in the hive can get to know one another better.

1. Name: Yvonne Fuchs (aka Quilting Jetgirl)

2. Where you live: Tehachapi, CA - a mountain pass town in the very southern edge of the Sierra Nevada mountain range

3. Tell us about your family: I have been married to my husband for 12 years. My mother is a quilter, and my husband's cousin's wife (that's a mouthful) is also a quilter. The 3 of us are sharing a bed and breakfast room together when we attend QuiltCon in Pasadena in February!

4. Tell us about your pets: I have a 13 year old, black and white (tuxedo) cat named Puppy. When my husband and I were dating, I had moved into my first apartment after college and started my first full time job. I wanted a pet, and set out to find a kitten. My boyfriend (at the time) really would have preferred I get a puppy, but as I was the one picking the animal out (and paying for it!), I got a cat. I did let him name him, however. Our vet loves this story and apparently tells it to other vets across the country when he goes to conventions.

5. How long have you been quilting? I started my first quilt in 1995, but I have been really active as a quilter since 2008.

6. What crafts do you do other than quilting? I have recently been making a lot of knotted embroidery floss friendship bracelets (I made a lot of them as a teenager). I dabble in other crafts, but my true crafting outlet is quilting.

7. Fabric line you want to buy next: I don't tend to ever want to buy an entire fabric line. The exception to that is that I am seriously tempted to buy a full bolt of a full line of solids.

8. Preferred quilting method (FMQ, long arm, hand, etc.): I own a long arm, and I like to FMQ on my long arm. I also love matchstick straight line quilting. And just because I own a long arm doesn't mean I quilt everything with it; I still like to FMQ with my domestic for smaller pieces.

9. Where we can find you on social media:
BlogInstagram, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, and Periscope (@QuiltingJetgirl). Whew!

10. Favorite book: Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card

11. Favorite show to binge watch: I don't own or watch TV! I quilt!

I am super excited about this block, which I am calling the Plus Banner Block. It will be 14 1/2" square unfinished and ready to ship to me (14" square finished in a quilt top). I designed this block when I was on vacation last September, and it is a great block to use to hone your accurate, consistent quarter inch seam allowances.

I was inspired by a color palette I saw on October 1, 2015, on Kitty @Night Quilter's blog. She pulls gorgeous color palettes for inspiration once a week using her amazing photography coupled with the palette builder tool created by Anne @play-crafts.

For this block, please select one mid- to dark tone blue in the "blue jean" colorway (slightly gray). Carolyn Friedlander prints on the upper right of the image are especially good at capturing this shade of blue. I have extended out the color range indicated in the color palette to go darker through a couple of Tula Pink True Color prints as indicated in the upper left of my fabric pull. The solid blue in the image above is Kona Prussian, for reference.

You will also need one mid-tone pink to light burgundy. I would prefer to stay darker in color and tone and away from very light pink if possible.

For the background fabric, you will need one white to off white fabric that falls in the Kona White to Kona Snow range. White on white prints are also OK, but please try to avoid low volume prints if you can; I would like the background to read as close to a solid white as possible.

Prints that read as a solid or solids are welcome in your fabric selection, and I hope my fabric pull image above is helpful.

Fabric Requirements

Background Fabric (white):
  • (2) 5 1/4" x 5 1/4" squares
  • (4) 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" squares
  • (8) 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares
  • (4) 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangles

Blue Fabric:
  • (2) 5 1/4" x 5 1/4" squares
  • (4) 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" squares

Pink Fabric:
  • (2) 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares
  • (1) 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangle

Fabric Requirements / Fabric Prep for Plus Banner Block Piecing

Piecing Instructions

Step 1 - Half Square Triangles (HSTs)

Combine the (2) white and (2) blue 5 1/4" x 5 1/4" squares and (4) white and (4) blue 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" squares, right sides together, as shown in the photo above. Draw a line corner to corner on the wrong side of each white square.

Sew a seam 1/4" away from both sides of the drawn line. Press to set seam [optional]. Cut along the drawn line. Press seam open. 

Note about pressing seams for this block: I would prefer if all seams are pressed open. As I mentioned earlier, this block is all about sewing a consistent 1/4" seam allowance (and not a scant 1/4" seam). I think that if you piece with a 50wt thread or thinner and press your seams open, this block will come together very precisely. I have a blog post about a tip I use when I plan to press my seams open.

Trim the (4) larger HSTs to 4 1/2" square and the (8) smaller HSTs to 2 1/2" square.

Step 2 - Arrange Blocks

Arrange your blocks as shown in the photograph above, taking care with the orientation of the HSTs. The block will be pieced in 3 columns: the two sides of the block and the center of the block.

Step 3 - Piece Sides of Block

Sew together a 2 1/2" square HST, 2 1/2" square background fabric, and 2 1/2" square HST to create a 2 1/2" wide by 6 1/2" long unit for each side as shown in the photo above. Press seams open.

Note that from this step forward, it is important to sew an accurate 1/4" seam allowance (and not a scant 1/4" seam allowance).

Sew a background fabric 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangle to the side of a pieced 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangle pieced in the previous step. Refer to photo above for orientation. The pieced unit should measure 4 1/2" wide x 6 1/2" tall. Press seam open.

Sew a 4 1/2" square HST to the top and bottom of the 4 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangle pieced in the previous step. Refer to photo above for orientation. The pieced unit should measure 4 1/2" wide x 14 1/2" tall. Press seams open.

Step 4 - Piece Center of Block

Piece together the (4) rows of 2 1/2" squares and HSTs to create (7) 6 1/2" wide x 2 1/2" tall rectangles as shown in the photograph above. Press seams open.

Sew the (7) 6 1/2" x 2 1/2" rows together to create a 6 1/2" wide x 14 1/2" tall pieced center for the block. Press seams open.

Step 5 - Finish Piecing Plus Banner Block

Sew together the (3) column rectangles to create a 14 1/2" square Plus Banner Block. Press seams open.

A quick note about directional prints and HSTs. If you choose a very directional print for your blue and if you care to do so, it is a simple matter to get the print to be oriented in the same direction in all your HSTs.

Step 1 - Arrange all your Blue squares with the directional print going in the same direction.

Step 2 - When laying your background fabric on top of the squares (with your pre-marked line corner to corner), place half of the background fabric squares with the line going from the upper left to the lower right and the other half with the line going from the lower left to the upper right.

Step 3 - Continue with the earlier piecing instructions, noting that as you place your HSTs for the block layout, you should be able to get all the prints going in the same direction in the block. Again, this is not something I am asking you to do. I just thought I would point it out if it interests you. :)

I went ahead and used all the fabric from my initial fabric pull to create (5) Plus Banner blocks, and I am looking forward to creating a fun quilt top using what you send me!

When put together, the Plus Banner Blocks make a fun secondary pattern in a quilt top. Thank you so much for sewing with me!


Cyndi said...

Hi from Hive Mama 7. Just wanted to say I love this block and the colors you chose. I may have to try this block some time.

Christina said...

I love this pattern! This is going to be so much fun! Thanks for the AWESOME instructions!!

Allison/Savage Pink said...

Such a lovely block Yvonne! Thanks for the wonderful instructions.

Unknown said...

Hi Great block and easy to understand instruction. I have one question, I am new to this whole thing and was wondering if I should use the same fabric as one you pulled. It is the Cotton + Steel pink, all my other pinks are bubblegumish in color. You can email me directly at kristimrussell at Thanks again