Let’s talk Skant, Grain and Stitch in the #2 Block of the Journey of US State Quilt Blocks – Michigan

Welcome to the 2nd block in our Any Way You Want It – A 50 State Quilt Block Journey. We are introducing the Michigan block! Our first block was the Florida Sunshine Block and if you are interested in seeing that block click here – Florida Sunshine Block.

In 1912 Hearth and Home solicited quilters to submit a quilt block that they thought represented their State, and they then published them and I am recreating these blocks for us to make!

I chose Michigan as my 2nd block because I was born and raised there and lived there until about 7 years ago! The colors I chose are from Michigan such as the state flower – the Apple Blossom, the state bird – the Robin and the state wildflower – the Dwarf Lake Iris.

Below is a picture of the pattern that I have to work from, and I was able to reconstruct this block pattern in EQ8. The Florida block I had to reconstruct in Illustrator.

Below I will give you tips on building this block and also lay out the steps to build this block. Follow my tips and you will get a beautiful 12 1/2″ block.

Go grab the templates for this block below and let’s get started! The pattern includes cutting the templates and instructions on cutting the strips for your templates.

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    I have done an extensive video on how to put this block together and I have embedded it at the end of this post.

    To Begin With

    This 12 1/2″ block is make up of four smaller blocks that are exactly the same. I will show you how to make the smaller quarter block and the other three will be exactly the same.

    Colors inspired by the State Bird – The Robin

    Choose fabrics that contrast each other so that the pattern will stand out. I chose colors that represented the state, but you can choose colors of your choice.

    Make sure that the two larger strips in the middle are in the same position for each block so that you have that circular motion in the middle when all 4 are put into one block.

    Patience – take it slow, keep your pattern in front of you and enjoy the process.

    Tips for this block before we start

    1. Use a skant 1/4″ seam when constructing the smaller quarter block. The way this block is put together a skant 1/4″ will help keep your block from getting really wonky and stay square. SKANT 1/4″ is your friend!!!
    2. Cut your strips with the grain of the fabric. This will help prevent stretching the fabrics when sewing. We want the fabrics to keep their shape.
    3. Use a smaller stitch like a 2.0 stitch. This will help keep your fabrics from moving after sewing them.
    4. The notches on the side of the template need to be cut from the fabric. This will be very important to line up your pieces.

    Step 1 – Choose and Cut your Templates

    The pattern will tell you how bit to cut your strips for each of the pieces. Templates B – E will all be from the same size strip.

    I suggest 3 fat quarters, but you can use scraps or full pieces. Just make sure you have enough to cut your strips out. Remember to cut your strips with the grain of the fabric.

    Lay your templates on the fabrics you have chosen so that you know which template will be cut from the appropriate fabric.

    Take your fabric and square it up with the grain and cut your strips to the width needed according the pattern. The number of strips will depend on the width of your fabric.

    Next up will be to cut your templates out of the strips that you just cut. The pattern also tells you how many of each template you will need to make a 12 1/2 block.

    Now that you have your pieces cut we will go onto Step 2.

    Step 2 – Layout your Quarter Block Piece and Sew the Center Section

    Layout out one of your quarter block sections according the pattern template that I provided. I left this layout to be pieced until the end so I could use it to build my other three sections.

    We are going to start with with the F Pieces. I would suggest putting all four of these together right now so that you get them in the right order from the beginning. I didn’t do that and ended up with a large block that wasn’t correct. Choose which side you want your dark on and keep it on that side for all four sections. Sew the dark and light F pieces together on the long side with a SKANT 1/4″ seam. Iron the seam to the dark side.

    Next we can add the H piece to the bottom of the section we just sewed together. Match the notches on the side of H with the edge of the fabric on the section we just sewed.

    Sew H on with a SKANT 1/4″. Iron the Seam towards piece H.

    Step 3 – Sew on the Strips, Trim your section

    Now we will sew the strips on to the center section starting with Strip E. Line up strip E with the notches matching the edge of the section you just sewed. We will sew Strip E on one side with a SKANT 1/4″, iron the seam towards Strip E. Then sew the other Strip E to the other side with a SKANT 1/4″, iron the seam towards Strip E. You can see in the second picture below how the notches help line the fabric up after it is sewn and ironed.

    The rest of the block will be put together just like Strip E except you will work down the alphabet alternating sides until you have your final A piece on.

    Once you are done with your section, we will now trim the block to 6 1/2″. I use a square ruler that has a 45 degree line on it and I line that 45 degree angle up with seam in the middle and the two corners. Check that your block measures at least 6 1/2″ and if it is larger trim the two exposed sides. Turn your block 180 degrees and line up the 45 degree line with the center seam and the 6 1/2″ marks on the sides you just trimmed. Trim anything that is larger than 6 1/2″ on the other two exposed sides.

    Repeat Step 2 and Step 3 to finish the other 3 sections!

    Step 4 – Assemble the 12 1/2″ Block

    Place all four of your sections together with the large triangle in the middle. We will now put two sections together by matching the edges and the seams on each block. Make sure you line up the seams so that your points will match when you sew it and turn it.

    These sections will be sewn with a 1/4″ seam, not a SKANT 1/4″ seam. Iron your seam to the right. Repeat for the other two sections, but iron your seam to the left.

    Now we can put together the two sections you just made. Start with nesting your center seams, then line up the outside edges. Next match all the seams in between and pin so that your points will match.

    Line up halves at ends, center seams and then strip seams

    If found the best way to sew this was to sew with the seams, so start at the seam in the middle and sew 1/4″ seam on the side where the seams are iron towards you. Next flip your block over and start sewing where you started last time and start sewing the side and the seams will now be toward you. Keep your 1/4″ seam here too.

    Iron your seam open, check your block is at least 12 1/2″ and if needed trim it down. Use the same method to trim here as you did for the section above, but put the 6 1/4″ mark on the 45 degree line at the center of your block.

    Align the 6 1/4″ mark on the 45 degree line with the center of the block, line up 45 degree line with seams

    Step 5 – Your Michigan Block is Complete!

    Share your newly created block with your friends on Social Media! Use the #MichiganQuiltBlockCC and see what other people are making!

    Subscribe on YouTube or below with our Newsletter to stay get informed on when we put out our next block in the journey.

    Completed Michigan State Block in the State Wildflower Colors (Dwarf Lake Iris)

    Youtube Tutorial

    Check out the Florida Sunshine Block below

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