Monday, April 02, 2012

The Granny Square and Tutorial

I found that I had a few minutes this weekend and thought I would find out what all the hubub was about regarding the granny square block.
  I made one and then I couldn't stop! 
OMGosh they are so fun, fast and addicting!
  Have you made any?
 Do you even know what I'm talking about? 
Here are a few of mine:

Granny Squares

Granny Squares

Granny Squares

And my favorite so far this one:

Granny Squares

I discovered a few things while making them so if you want to know how to make this block here goes.

Cut 5 2.5" squares for the inner "circle"
Cut 8 2.5" Squares for the outer "circle"
Cut 12 2.5" squares for the background.

Here's what I did.
 Lay out your block. 
Here the orange is the inner circle, the outer circle is the blue and the background is the snow.

 TIP:  When you gently tug on a square along one side it is stretchy, if you tug gently on an adjacent side it is less stretchy (warp and weft of fabric). 
When I line my fabrics up I put the non stretchy side (Warp) next to each other to sew together to form my rows. 
So as you can see on the photo it is on the "side" of each square while the more stretchy part  (Weft) is on the top and bottom of the square.
 This allows for less stretch when I sew my pairs together.
  Ever sew a pair and find one side magically grew while you were sewing it? 
It is because you put one stretchy side with one not as stretchy side!

Notice the pins on the left side of the blue and white pair. 
Since I will be sewing them together in a chain, I want to keep straight which color goes where.
 I always put a pin on the left side of each pair I am sewing. 
Then as I cut the sewn pair apart I can lay them down in order and know the orientation or each pair and not get confused as to where they belong!

Now I would remove the pin from the orange one and sew the 2 pairs together.

Proceed to sew all of the squares into rows and press the seams open.

Here's the front.

Now it is time to sew your rows together. 
In order to make the seam lines match up
I put a pin through the center of the open seam on one side

and check to see that it comes out of the center of the other side. 
Pin in place.
 Continue to pin all intersections and you are ready to sew.
 Remember that you are now sewing the stretchy sides together so there is a little more "give" as you ease your rows together.

This one on the top and bottom kind of threw me for a loop. 
Just center it over the middle square in the row with 3 squares and sew it to the middle.
 You should have a quarter inch on either side, which you can see in this photo.

All sewn together the back looks like this before pressing. 

Now press half the seams in one direction and the other half in the other, kind of like splitting the block.

Here's the front.

Now you need to trim it up. 
 I discovered that on my Creative Grid ruler I had several great spots to check the alignment for trimming. 
 I had a nice angle at the top and the bottom of the ruler (white line) that matched the diagonal on the block and a great 1/4" line to line up at the colored points!  

Once you are certain you are lined up, trim off like this!

Once I cut this side and it's opposing side in the same way I had straight lines to line up for cutting the other direction.

My first block was between 9 1/8 and 9" so I trimmed them all to 9" using my square ruler.

VOILA!  Here is your granny square all set and ready to use.

So sally forth and make more Granny squares!! 
 What a wonderful way to use up all those left over binding bits
 (if you use 2.5" strips for that) 



Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

This is wonderful Pam! Thanks!

Michele said...

Really great blocks. I joined the QAL but because of so many other obligations, quilting and otherwise, I have yet to get time to make any.

Brenda said...

Thanks Pam! I have been rolling it around in my mind to try this block. Now I have your instructions to check back with!

Sherry said...

I love the Granny Square block. I've got mine started (for 2 quilts) have 15 done for one & 13 done for the other. I know they are mainly for using scraps but I have a million charm packs so I've made mine sort of controlled scrappy by cutting my charm packs into 2.5" squares. They are addictive! So fun! Yours look great!

Sandie @ crazy'boutquilts said...

Very sweet blocks. I have been resisting this one.... I don't know how much longer i can hold out! :-o LOL

Allie said...

Those are just darling!

The Nifty Stitcher said...

What a great little block - now on my to do list!!! Thanks for sharing.

My Old Quilting Soul said...

I see that you are, in fact, addicted to these little blocks and I love that you put up a tutorial :) I will be back Thursday, btw, if you want to do the drop then!

Anna said...

I'm saving this tutorial to my pinterest quilt toots! Thank you!!!

Judith Blinkenberg said...

This is my next quilt! Lovely, wonderful tutorial and there's a print at the end! Your blocks are so, so nice. It's a nice way for me to practice my 1/4" sewing too. I thank you very much.

Judith Blinkenberg said...

Thank you again. I just printed them and have a nice binder with protective sheets. I am moving this month and will show you pictures when I begin. I have many jelly rolls so I'm going to use one of those. Maybe I will get this kind of bug!

Faith said...

They look great Pam, I might just have a go is the point five a 1/4? or a bit more? you can tell Ive not been brave enough to tackle blocks for a long time (gulp)

Kerri said...

I adore granny squares. I have 5 more to make and am hoping to finish them in the next week or so!! Yours are lovely!!

greelyrita said...

It occurred to me that if you took 3.5" white squares, cut them from corner to corner and used them at the end of the rows, you'd have straight of grain edges on your block, to make joining all these blocks a bit easier.

greelyrita said...

4.25", not 3.5" works. Sorry about that.

Post a Comment

Your comments make my day so much more special. Please, I invite you to share what you think. ~Happy Stitching~