Welcome to the 4th block in our Any Way You Want It – A 50 State Quilt Block Journey. We are introducing the Virginia block! To see our other State blocks (click here – State Quilt Block Journey)
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 Virginia as my 4th block because of some very fun family trips we have made to historic sites, Williamsburg, Busch Gardens and Virginia Beach!
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 original block was 13″ square, and I made mine to be a 12 1/2″ square unfinished. Fundamentally they are the same block.
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.
To Begin With
I have done an extensive video on how to put this block together and I have embedded it at the end of this post.
This block can be broken down into three smaller blocks. Four of the corner blocks, four of the outer center blocks, and one of the center block. Each block has a very different construction.
Choose fabrics that contrast each other so that the pattern will stand out. You will need a light, medium and dark color fabrics for this block. I chose three Batiks from my Stash. I am part of a Batik Fat Quarter of the Month club, so I chose my fabrics out of the stash I have built up through that. Below are the Batik’s I used in this block.
Tips for this block before we start
- Use a skant 1/4″.
- 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.
- Use a smaller stitch like a 2.0 stitch. This will help keep your fabrics from moving after sewing them.
- 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 templates that you have downloaded tell you how wide to cut strips for each template. It also tells you how many to cut from either the light, medium or dark fabric. Get your templates cut out and cut the notches out of the templates also.
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.
You can also fold your fabric strips to cut more templates out at once. This will help with Triangle Template “C” since you need 8 at one time.
Now that you have your pieces cut we will go onto Step 2.
Step 2 – Layout your Block Pieces and start with the Center Block
Layout out all your pieces in the order they go to make the block. Use your handy legend and the picture to help you lay it out!
I used a Block Easel that has a terry cloth fabric that the fabrics stick to so I can take it right to my machine and always have the block layout in front of me.
We are going to start with the middle block. Lay your pieces out just like they will be sewn together. The center strip is where we are going to start and we will add the smaller strips alternating sides. Line up piece “J” to the center piece “H” with rounded corners together and sew with a skant 1/4″ and iron towards the small piece. Repeat for the same piece on the other side. Do the same thing for piece “G”.
You can add both triangles “F” at this point. Sew with a skant 1/4″ and iron towards the triangle.
The new center block can be squared up to a 4 1/2″ block.
Step 3 – Sew all the Outer Center Blocks
We can sew all of these at the same time. I am going to show you how to do one, but all of them will be the same.
Layout out the pieces exactly as they are in the block. Line up the triangles “C” with Piece “J” with rounded corners together and sew a skant 1/4″ seam. Iron the seams towards the triangles. Do exactly the same thing with piece “E” and triangle “C”. You will now have 4 left and 4 right pieces.
Line your pieces back up as they will be in the block, and now we need to sew the two pieces together to make a 4 1/2″ block. Line up your seams and the ends, and clip or pin together. Sew with a skant 1/4″, iron to one side. Your points should be lined up when you iron your block.
Repeat for the other 3 outer center blocks! You will end up with a 4 1/2″ block.
Step 5 – Sew the Corner Blocks!
I would work with just one block at a time, so that you keep the layout of each block intact. Sew the smaller strip “D” to the block “A” with a skant 1/4″ and iron towards the strip. Next add the longer strip “B” on the side it needs to go on, sew a skant 1/4″ and iron towards the strip.
Repeat for the other 3 Corner blocks! You will end up with a 4 1/2″ block.
Step 6 – Finish the Block
Now that all you have finished all your 4 1/2″ blocks, make sure they are in the correct order for the block. We will work in columns and sew the blocks together in each column. Sew with a skant 1/4″ and on the outer columns iron your seams towards the top of the column, and on the center column iron your seams towards the bottom.
Next we can sew our columns together! Line up your seams and since we ironed them in opposite ways they will next together and make a nice flat seam. Start clipping at the nested seams and then clip the ends and if needed clip in between all your clips. Sew at a skant 1/4″ and iron your seam towards the outside of the block.
Repeat or the last column.. make sure you sew it to the center column and not the outer column!! JK, I know you will do it right.
Step 7 – Trim your Virginia State Block
You will want to trim your block to 12 1/2″ square, if you have a 12 1/2″ square ruler, then you can line up your vertical seams on a 4 1/4″ line and the 8 1/2″ line. You can also line up the 45 degree line with opposite corners and use that to center your block in your ruler. Trim any fabric that sticks outside the ruler once it is centered.
Step 5 – Your Virginia Block is Complete!
Share your newly created block with your friends on Social Media! Use the #VirginiaQuiltBlockCC and see what other people are making!
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Watch the YouTube video we made for assembling this block!
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