I hope you’re ready to play along with the Block of the Month series here on the Polka Dot Chair! This month we kick things off with a very simple plus block. It’s designed to be a skill builder block. If you’re playing along be sure to share your finished blocks on social media with the hashtag #PolkaDotChairBlocks
If you missed it be sure to check out this post offering tips and trick to picking out fabric for a quilt. You can find an index to all the posts in this quilt block series to date by clicking here.
UPDATE: You can now purchase a PDF with ALL of the block instructions for each month in one place!! Click here to PURCHASE
Ok, first up some business. This project along with ALL of the other projects on this blog are offered to you for free. The only thing that I ask is that you do not use them for any commercial purpose. If you have a shop, this is not meant to be a program for you to use in your store. It’s meant to help build the online community of people who all LOVE quilting. Please respect that so that I can go on sharing these projects for everyone. If you are playing along and have a blog of your own, PLEASE feel free to post the blocks on your blog, just link back here for the instructions. If you have a friend that wants to join in, send them the link to this page, please don’t print out the instructions and make a bunch of copies. Thanks!!!!
Let’s get this party started shall we? The first block in our series is a Plus Block. I picked this block because I thought it would give you great practice stitching those 1/4″ seams.
This block measures 15″ x 15″ and is composed of 25, 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ squares. It’s just a simple grid, the pattern comes alive when you pick which fabrics go in which spot in the grid. Make sense?
I stitched it up in 3 different fabric variations to give you some ideas for ways to change the look of the block. There is the low volume version above. I’m calling this one my “hidden holiday” quilt… notice the Apple in the center there? It’s my “nod” to September.. there may be a pumpkin hidden in the block next month :)
This version with a gray “linen look” background – working on this one for my teenage son.
and this version with a simple white background.
I’m also planning to make a Christmas themed set of blocks, but I’m going to stitch that one along with you guys this month.
Let’s get started:
Begin by cutting:
20 squares from your background fabric each 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
5 squares of all the same color of fabric in various prints each 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ (you can repeat a print if you like, but keep them all the same basic color so that the “plus” shows up well in your block)
Lay out your squares in a grid with the colored pieces of fabric making a plus sign in the center.
You are going to stitch this block together by rows.
Pick up the pieces in row 1 and pin them together. Stitch with 1/4″ seam.
Repeat for all 5 rows.
Press the seams of your block to one side alternating directions. For example the even-numbered rows press to the right and the odd-numbered rows press to the left. This is a nifty trick that will help you line up your seams when you stitch the rows together.
Lay out your rows in order again.
Pin row 1 to row two right sides facing. “Nest” the seams next to each other, since the seams are pressed in opposite directions they will snuggle right up next to each other.
Place a pin in every seam.
Stitch with 1/4″ seam allowance.
Next stitch row 2 to row 3 and so on until you’ve stitched all 5 rows together.
Press the seams all to one side again. Remember go “up and down” with your iron not side to side.
Square up and trim the block so that it measures 15″ x 15″ (it should be really close to that measurement when you’re done)
If you’re playing along please post your blocks on Instagram or twitter with the hashtag #PolkaDotChairBlocks and tag me @polkadotchair – You can also upload your blocks right to my facebook page! If you post them on your blog let me know so that I can pin them too!
The next block will be posted in October around the 23rd.
If you have questions about the block construction just leave them in the comments section, I’ll answer them there. That way others will benefit from all of the answers.