Mod Peaks Sew Along - Starts 6/17/19

Zen Studio Quilt Along - Week 2- Block A



Zen Studio Quilt Along

Dates:  February 11th, 2019 – March 31st, 2019
Duration:  7 weeks
Quilt Size Featured:  Lap – 41” x 57”
Instagram Tag:  #zenstudioqal

Reminder: The quilt along takes place on Instagram using the hashtag: #zenstudioqal

Make sure to include #zenstudioqal in your captions so we can all see your posts. It's also fun to check out what everyone else is making, go ahead and follow this hashtag so you don't miss out on any great pics!







Organizing Pieces For Your Blocks

Welcome Back!!  I hope you all were able to find the perfect fabric for you Zen Studio Quilt and have sliced and diced all the pieces you need for the blocks.  If not, no worries, there’s plenty of time to catch up. For this week, we will be constructing Block A.  But there is still a little prep that needs to be done.

Before I start to sew my blocks together, I sort my pieces and build blocks in a pile.  This helps keep me organized and retain the correct order of the piecing. 

First, I line up my pieces in columns and keep the same color in each column with same sizes in each row.  Make sure you have your colors in the order you want them pieced together.  For instance, My block will go in order starting with purple, to orange, then grey, and blue.  You will keep this color sequence order for all of your blocks no matter which color you start with.
After you’ve lined up your rows of colors and sizes, we can start to build your block piles for piecing.  Start with the first block set Block A.  Grab the smallest piece for your first color, then move to the next color and choose the corresponding piece size until you have all your pieces.  For my block A, this is what my pile looks like.

I continue to do this until I have block piles for all of my Block As.  Then I move on to Block B and start with the first color piece for that block and continue the process. Remember the color pieces are in the same order for each block no matter which color you are starting with.  So, if your sequence for Block A is purple- orange- gray- blue- purple- orange- gray, your sequence for Block B will be blue- purple- orange- gray- blue- purple- orange. Repeat for Blocks C and D starting with a different color for each block set. Make sure to reference the pattern for which color you will be starting with for each block!!


(Blocks B, C, D)


Pinked Edges


So, remember those “Pinked” edges of the Jolly Roll Strips I was telling you about last week.  I’ve got an important tip for you.  The tips of the pinked edges are included in your ¼” seam.  If you start at the base of the pinked edges, you will have some major issues constructing these pieces.  Below is an example of how to line up a pinked edge with a straight edge.


Construction Block A





Alright, now that we are prepped and organized, let’s get to piecin’!!

You'll start your block with piece 1 and piece 2, placing them right sides together.  Sew a ¼” seam and then press them open before moving to piece 3.  To help with the construction, remember you’re going in a clockwise pattern from piece to piece. Reference Block Construction Page on pattern. Be sure to press each seam open after each piece is added for a nice even construction. 



Squaring Up Your Block

Once pieced, you'll  need to square up your block.  This step is important to help keep consistent block size for quilt top assembly.  It's important to press your block very well before squaring up.  Be careful when pressing and make sure you press and lift your iron and then press again.  Do not push your iron all over the bIock, it can distort the fabric and block shape.

I like to use my cutting mat to help center the block to the appropriate size measured out on my mat and trim the sides using my rotary cutter and ruler. You could purchase a square ruler that is the needed size, however it's not necessary.  Remember, it's ok if the pinked edges are still part of your block once you've squared up, they'll be sewn into other blocks later on.

If you go to square up your block and it's too small, the culprit is typically your 1/4" seam (for this quilt, anyway). It's probably just a hair to wide. If you're new to sewing and unsure of your 1/4" seam, create one block and square it up before you make the rest of your blocks.


How do you correct the "too small block"?  Well, if you're new to quilting, I would suggest one of two options.  Option 1, pull out your handy dandy seam ripper and deconstruct your block and try again (ugh, this is no fun). 

Option 2, my favorite, let it go and move on.  I'm not a big fan of taking apart every mistake in my quilts.  Most quilt blocks are pretty forgiving when constructing your quilt top and, unless it's a major error, it'll all get squared up in the end.  Quilts are hand made and will have mistakes, that's what makes them so special. You'll never learn and grow as a quilter if you're constantly going back and tying to correct all your mistakes.  A lot of becoming a great quilter is practice. So, take note of what happened and be more knowledgeable for the next time.

If you're a more seasoned quilter, you may have your own handy tips and tricks on how to correct a block too small.  I personally have never attempted to do this so I will not be suggesting one way or the other is best.  If you'd like to leave your tips below to share with everyone else, that would be awesome!





Alright, that's all we have scheduled for this week.  Feel free to contact me or leave comments below.  Next week we'll work on Block B!

Be sure to check out your emails for this week's contest rules!!  And don't forget to share, share, share!!  Share those pics and tag them #zenstudioqal.





Emily Jackson

Instagram: @lemonyquilts







Janine Wallgren



Instagram: @lilbeanquilting





  • Thanks Cheryl!

  • I have had a number of blocks that are too small – even using a 1/4’ foot with a guide. I’m now trying the “scant” 1/4" seam to see if that helps. One thing I learned on my last quilt was to square as I go. You know how big each component should be as you’re piecing your block. Quickly checking the size can spot an error early on. Once the block is pieced, if it’s too small, you can use the freezer paper method to square it up so that it’s sewn squarely to other blocks. It’s time consuming and not too much fun, but does help square your quilt up. I learned about it on Rachel Rossi’s site: :)


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