Penny from sewtakeahike and the Ringo Pie Bee joins us today with her lovely Sprout Block tutorial. Ayumi is back tomorrow with another amazing paper pieced tutorial for a Juice Glass; both Penny and Ayumi have created fantastic quilt designs incorporating the two blocks! Download the free Sprout + Juice Glass PDF Patterns today.

Did you see our Ringo Pie Bee Interview with Ayumi + Penny?! Plus here are some of our favorite Paper Piecing Resources. Comment in any post this week for a chance to win one of three $20 gift certificates!

Find Penny’s patterns in the sewtakeahike shop, and don’t miss her awesome Isosceles Pezzy Picnic Quilt tutorial! Penny is in the Spring 2012 Stitch magazine, and she also has designs in a new C&T Publishing book coming out this fall. Hear Penny in recent podcasts with Pat Sloan and seamedUP, and visit Penny every day at sewtakeahike!

First, here are some tips:

  • Press your block after each addition of fabric.
  • Be sure to leave a 1/4″ of fabric around all edges of the pattern to allow for joining seams.
  • I use regular old printer paper and sometimes it doesn’t come off the block super easy. To remedy that, reduce your stitch length (my stitch length is normally set to 2.5, I adjust it to 1.7 when I paper piece), this will give the paper more perforations and help you tear it off when you’re done!
  • Throughout the tutorial, you will see marks on the fabric side of the paper. Don’t pay any attention to them! I use recycled paper on a regular basis so the marks have no bearing on the pattern!
  • If you are going to be making several of the same blocks, try this method to save some time: For each part of the pattern, cut two rectangles or squares (whichever was most needed for the section) and sew it to the first block area. If it fits, then I use the second one as a template to cut more, based on the number of blocks you are making. Sew the entire first block in this manner and by the time you finish the first block, you will have all the pieces cut for the rest of the blocks. This will save time (no unpicking because you know it the fabric pieces will fit!) and the blocks go together so quickly if you don’t have to guess and figure out the best way to arrange your fabric!
  • When stitching different sections of a block together, i.e. the right and left sides of the sprout block and the top and bottom sections of the juice block, baste stitch them together first. Then if the sections aren’t matching up, it is easy unpick. If the pieces match up, then stitch back over the baste stitch with a normal stitch length.

Step 1: Print and cut out your paper Sprout Patterns for the right and left sides of the block.

Step 2: Using whichever side you like first, lay your first fabric right side down and the first half of the pattern right side up over the fabric. Make sure your fabric is arranged the way you like and the edges surpass the area on the pattern that it will cover by at least 1/4″.

Step 3: Lay the fabric for the next pattern piece right side towards the first piece, making sure the edge of the fabric will cover the area needed and extend at least 1/4″ beyond the area. Sew along the first line.

Step 4: Turn it over, fold back the second piece of fabric and either iron or use a seam roller to press the seam open. (This is a very important step to help reduce the possibility of having a wonky block once the paper is removed).

Step 5: Fold the second fabric back over the first fabric and trim the extra fabric in the seam to about 1/4″.

Step 6: Continue steps 3-5 until the block is complete and then follow these same steps to complete the other side of the sprout.

Step 7: Turn your blocks over and trim to 1/4″ past the edge of the pattern line on all sides.

Step 8: Place the right and left blocks right sides together, matching up the seam from sewing on the last piece of fabric…

…And sew them together using a 1/4″ seam. Press this seam open, then remove the paper from the back of the block.

Here is a Juice Bar quilt top that incorporates today’s Sprout Block and Ayumi’s Juice Glass Tutorial (on the blog tomorrow!):