June 8, 2018

Star Spangled Picnic Tutorial Part #1

Welcome to the Star Spangled Picnic block tutorial!
I'm offering this block tutorial in 2 parts. 
Part 1:  The Watermelon Section.  Use up scraps to make it!

 Dark Red Cut: (1) 1-1/2" x 18" and (1) 1-1/2" x 2"
Light Red Cut: (1) 1-1/2" x 18" and (1) 1-1/2" x 5"
Black Cut: (1) 1-1/2" x 5" and (1) 1-1/2" x 2"
*Note:  You may want to consider cutting the 1-1/2" x 18" strips into smaller lengths, like (2) 1-1/2" x 9" strips.  I find sewing smaller lengths together creates less wonkiness'.

Sew the strips together as shown above and press. 

Subcut each strip set into 1-1/2" units.

You'll need 11 contrasting red units, 3 black/light red units and 
1 black/dark red unit

I recommend 'squaring up' each unit to measure 1-1/2" x 2-1/2"  
Set these units aside.
*Note:  There are a lot of pieces to the watermelon section.  Cutting, Pressing and 1/4" seam allowance is important to maintain the correct block size.  

The next step is to create 10 Half Square Triangles that run across the top of the watermelon.  Cut out contrasting red squares as shown above.  

Create 2 Half Square Triangles using the 2" squares.  Create 8 more Half Square Triangles with the 4" squares using the Magic 8 Method.  If you've not used the Magic 8 Method before, you will love it!  Click on the blue link for instructions!  
 *Note:  I've sized up the squares so you can trim for accuracy.

Press each Half Square Triangle to the dark red and trim into 1-1/2" squares.  I love my Bloc Loc ruler!  They have a groove that nestles right inside the seam line holding the hst together while trimming. 
There's an Amazon link at the bottom of this post if you need one!  Quick, Easy and Accurate!

Sew 2 Half Square Triangles together.  Sew the hst unit to a '2 patch' and press the seam open.  Now you have a '4 patch' unit.
Your '4 patches' should measure 2-1/2" sq.

Sew (4) '4 patches' together with the contrasting red units
Sew (1) '4 patch' together using the black/dark red unit. (shown at the right side in the photo above)

Following the photo above, sew the top row of  '4 patches' together.  This will measure 2-1/2" x 10-1/2". 
Create the bottom row of  '4 patches'.  Sew only the middle 3 together.  (See photo below)

Before i go any further...i'll have you cut the green rind fabric.
Cut (2) 2-1/2" squares
Cut (2) 1" x 5" rectangles
Cut (1) 1-1/2" x 12-1/2" rectangle
Referring to the photo above, place the 2-1/2" squares, right sides together on top of the remaining (2) '4 patches'.  Draw a diagonal line and stitch on the drawn line creating 2 hst's. 

Flip, Trim the excess fabric underneath and Press towards the green.  Sew one hst to each end of the '4 patch's'. 

Matching seams, sew the top half to the bottom half of the watermelon.  Your watermelon will now measure 4-1/2" x 10-1/2".
 To match seams I use a new product called Seam Align.  It's water soluble, non toxic, leaves no residue and once the seam is sewn together, you won't even know the light weight glue was there.  

Run a small dab of Seam Align on the edge of a seam, match seams together and heat set for a couple seconds.  It holds in place while you sew.  No more pinning!!!  It's developed by a company out of Canada.  Ask your local quilt shop if they will carry it!

Let's add the side rinds!  

But first, let's cut the background fabric.
Cut (2) 1" x 5" rectangles
Cut (2) 3-1/2"squares

Sew a green 1" x 5" rectangle to a background 1" x 5" rectangle.  Press towards the green. Trim each to 4-1/2" long and sew to the sides of the watermelon.  When dealing with small pieces, i like to size up a bit, sew together, then trim down for accuracy.

The last rind piece is the 1-1/2" x 12-1/2" rectangle.  Finger press to find the center and likewise, do the same for the watermelon block.  Pin the centers together, then add pins to both ends of the block.  I also like to place a 3rd pin to secure the long rectangle so it will not shift when sewing.

Finally we'll add the last pieces to create the watermelon section.  Using the (2) 3-1/2" background squares, create corner triangles.  Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of each 3-1/2" background square.  With right sides together, place the squares on opposite ends of the bottom portion of the watermelon.  Sew on the drawn line, flip, trim the excess fabric underneath and press.

The watermelon section will measure 5-1/2" x 12-1/2" 

Part 2:  Flag Bird Tutorial is now available!

Follow me on Instagram @laughyourselfintostitches


  1. I love it ! Will you be coming out with a pattern too?

  2. Yippee! I was so excited last night that I stuck your Instagram post under my husbands nose!

  3. This quilt block is so charming and so me . . . it screams everything that I love about summer. Perfection. Thank you for the tutorial and all the little tips to make it easier. These tutorials take a lot of time to put together and I just want you to know how very much they are appreciated.
    Have a lovely week and happy quilting.
    Connie :)

  4. This is so cute! Thank you for the wonderful tutorial. Inspiring!

  5. Thank you, Karen. This block would make a great quilt for my front door. Can't wait to see the 'how' of the rest of the block.



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