Friday, September 8, 2017

Lady of the Lake Block Tips

I have been obsessed with this block since I saw a whole quilt of it at a show, completely done in red and white solids. So when I happened upon this Fat Quarter Shop Stitch along, it just seemed like fate! The Lady of the Lake is a classic half square triangle block and Fat Quarter Shop has a free pattern and a video tutorial as well here:

We are working on our Christmas projects, and this project is a bench pillow-- although it is mostly machine embroidery, a quilt block would make it special. The fabric I chose is the brand new Berry Merry from Basic Grey-- any fabric they design has me running for the credit card. I first got to know Basic Grey for their scrapbook paper-- when the first collection came out in fabric, I had a seizure! I picked these two fabrics from the collection for the block.

You might wonder what this Christmas fabric has to do with a Lady of the Lake block, but as I sewed along, I realized there were not only deer and snowmen, but also a turtle. So there.

The Fat Quarter Shop recommended Triangles on a Roll, and I'm a fan, but here's one size I don't have. I only need to make one block, so instead I tried the "Magic 8" method. I cut a big 9" square from each fabric to make 8 half square triangles at once. Draw an X on one fabric, with 1/4" seam allowances on each side. Then layer the two fabrics right sides together and sew on each side of the line. Cut. This part goes amazingly fast.

If you were a mathematician, I'm sure you could figure out exactly what size big square to cut to get 3-1/2" squares, but I was an art major and prefer to trim them for more precise results. Plus, we only need seven half square triangles so if I get a deer with it's head cut off, I can toss it.

Now trim them to 3-1/2"-- use the 45 degree line on your ruler to make sure those seams are right in the corners. If they aren't now, don't expect them to be later!

The big square in the middle is 9-1/2 x 9-1/2. I fussy cut it for the deer and made it quite a bit larger to again trim precisely.

When sewing this block, definitely lay it out first! It gets really confusing to have all the dark triangles pointing the same way. 

It might seem easy to sew the smaller squares into rows, because it looks like there's no points to match- but if you don't have 1/4" from the point to the raw edges now, things are going to go badly later.

You'll sew a row of three squares and one of four squares.... when you stitch them to the big block, you'll see exactly where to sew for perfect points!

The trickiest part is on the last seam-- just pin at the intersection of the rows so that seams align. 

If you followed the pressing directions, the pieces will nest- and you'll have six points that match perfectly!

Yay! My Lady of the Lake block went "swimmingly!"

Ta-da! The deer and Christmas turtle are prancing under the starry winter sky, waiting for a glimpse of Santa, who brings the gift of peace to all of the woodland creatures!


And what message do the creatures have for Santa?-- here comes the embroidery part!

Working on the Santas Helper Christmas Club is coming along happy to say, this is project number 8! Our club will start in early October, and we release a new Christmas project each week. They are for machine embroidery, but if you are a quilter, you'll be too busy finishing up your summerhouse quilt anyway!!

We'll be showing more Christmas sneak peeks over the month of September, so be sure to bookmark this page and enjoy a feast for the eyes!

XOX Carol


  1. Well done Carol. I have HST envy. LOL! The sneak peak is GORGEOUS!

  2. Beautiful six-point seam, Carol. Basic Grey fan here too (and Sweetwater and Urban Chics - all paper designers too, I think) but I'm on a Heather Bailey high at the moment. Not sure what a turtle has to do with Christmas (other than all creatures great and small etc), but who could not love such a cute guy? And a surprise finding him too. Love quirky surprises. Looks like another great Mystery project starting soon. Yay!

  3. Your Lady of the Lake block is PERFECTION!!! AND, "sew" looking forward to the Christmas Club! WooHoo!!!