The final block for the Puzzle Quilt is called Hartford Hope and is a variation of the Hope of Hartford block. It has quarter-square triangle units (which we have come across in several of the previous blocks) and squares. However it has a slightly different construction technique which involves a partial seam. This is an excellent technique to conquer as it can be used to great effect in a number of blocks and for borders.
The instructions for the block can be downloaded here and include a diagrammatic step-by-step illustration of the partial seam but I thought I would include the photographs for you here as you may find them easier to follow. As usual I have included a couple of blank blocks for you to colour in when choosing your colours and placements – although don’t be afraid to try different combinations once you have made those units as you may come across one you prefer.
My original blue and yellow blocks looked like this
and (after much playing with units) this year’s blocks look like this.
But back to that partial seam and how to do it. When you have made all the units for the block – the quarter-square triangles and the paired squares – lay them out around the central square. Once you like what you see then stitch those completed units together, making sure you stitch the paired squares to the correct triangle. Then lay them out around the centre square again.
Pick up the first triangle/squares unit and the centre square and start stitching them together (check you are stitching to the right triangle). Stop stitching about halfway down the seam – its only short and a little bit more than halfway is slightly better that not quite halfway. (For longer seams you can stitch a lot more, just leave a few inches at the far end). I have marked where I stopped with a blue arrow on the photo. If you go too far you can always take a few stitches out.
Press the seam away from the square. (You will see in the photos that I pressed towards the square initially which meant I had to do a bit of resewing at the end to get it to lie flatter.)
Take the second triangle/square unit and stitch it to the first – this will be a complete seam. Press.
Repeat with the third unit.
And again with the last unit, make sure you keep the first unit tucked out of the way as you stitch.
Now you can complete the first seam – I find it easier (and slightly more accurate) to start stitching where I left off rather than from the edge to the middle. Finally press the block.
Next month we will look at quilting, putting the blocks together and finishing the quilt.
You can find links to all the other posts and patterns for this quilt here.