Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Charm Swap - Jacob's Ladder

I thought I would share this great block and talk about how I made it with charm squares. I am participating in a charm swap/challenge with batiks. Each participant ended up with about 115 five inch batik charm squares. We may add two fabrics and have to use every fabric we received. The finished quilt can be any size we like. I knew right away that black would be one of my added fabrics. It took some thinking to come up with a design, because I was limited due to the size of the charm squares. One day this block came to mind because it makes good use of the squares I had.

To make Jacob's Ladder, also known as the Road to California, you need to make two different units. Each block requires four half square triangle blocks and five 4-patch blocks. Each are easy to cut out of charm squares and waste very little fabric. Today I will tell you how to make the half square triangle squares, next week we will make the 4-patches and the following week, make the block and talk about design ideas using these.

For each block you will need two 5 inch squares of background and two 5 inch squares of fabric for the design. Make sure you have good contrast so your design will show up well.

You will want to mark the lighter of your two fabrics with a pencil from corner to corner diagonally.

Sew 1/4 inch to each side of your marked line.

Cut your square in half on the marked line.

Press seam toward the darker half of your square.

Trim square to 4 1/2 inches. If you are using pre-cut charm squares you may still have some pinked edge on the side of your block, but that's ok, it will be in the seam allowance.

My quilt is 4 blocks by 6 blocks so I sewed 48 of these, making 96 finished half square units. I mixed them all up in the blocks so no block has two of the same. If you just want to make a sample block for future reference you can use all the same color like I am doing for my sample block.

Next week I have two ways to make the four patch blocks, see which one you like the best!

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