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If you have been following my blog then you know that I have been working for awhile on the Swoon pattern by Camille Roskelly. Since I only have time to stitch 2-3 blocks per month (if I’m lucky) this quilt has become a lengthy work-in-progress. And because of the complexity of the block - which is what attracted me to it in the first place - each one takes about two hours to construct. The very first block, however, took four hours since I made mistakes on nearly every step. So let me share what I learned along the way in hopes that I can spare you a few minutes when you are constructing your quilts.

The first step involved making eight half-square triangles. I used my quarter-inch seam marker and Bohin marking pencil to indicate a stitch line 1/4” on either side of the diagonal. After stitching on the line, cutting the squares in half on the diagonal line, and pressing, the half-square triangles then need to be cut down to 2 1/2”. This allows you to square up the block and cut off the dog ears. This step was going well the first time until I cut off too much on one block and had to go in search of more fabric to make another one.

The second step involves sewing a 2 1/2” square onto two corners of a 4 1/2” square. After marking the diagonal line I first stitched right on the line only to discover that the square was too small. I then ripped out those seams and stitched just on the outside of the marked line. If you stitch right on the line then the triangle that you flip will not be large enough to fill the space. I know that doesn’t make sense but that is just one of the many things in quilting that fall into the don’t-make-sense category.

The third step requires you to make four flying geese units each with two 2 1/2” squares and one 2 1/2” x 4 1/2” rectangle. Again I stitched just outside the marked line and pressed before trimming as I learned by watching Camille’s YouTube video on constructing the Swoon block. That worked well until I forgot to trim one of the triangles before attaching the second one. That error resulted in remaking one of the blocks.

Because of the mistakes I had made on the previous steps I was actually able to stitch the block in the fourth step without any problems. Finally!! This step involved sewing three 2 1/2” squares to three corners of a 4 1/2” block. In addition I realized that I could actually chain-piece the blocks in steps 2-4 and cut them apart with my Blade Saver thread cutter. Using that technique was a huge time saver.

Now that all of the parts were constructed it was time to start putting them together. First, the flying geese units were added to the block made in step 2. This was easily done as there were no points to be careful of. I did discover, however, that now was the time to switch from the 1/4” foot to the walking foot and press the seams open. The addition of more layers made the walking foot and open seams much better options. Throughout the construction of this block I used my wool pressing mat which was especially helpful when dealing with the open seams.

The next step involves making units with the half-square triangle and stitching them to the sides of the blocks made in step 4. For some reason I have had to redo this step several times when I have positioned block 4 incorrectly. And of course I didn’t notice that until the entire block was constructed. In addition I had to take care in matching the half-square triangle. Errors there led to more quality time with the seam ripper.

The final step in the construction of this block was to stitch all of the parts together into a 9-patch. There was quite a bit of matching of points to pay attention to. Certainly not a detail to overlook if you want your block to turn out nicely.

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