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How to Make the Patchwork Block: Sierra Reel

This tutorial is about about how to make the patchwork block “Sierra Reel”. This was the first block that I actually remade for 2 of my versions. I felt like the contrast between the background and the pattern wasn’t strong enough. It made such a different to redo them and I’m glad I did. I’ve got 5 different versions of this block included in the tutorial to spark your imagination and show you what can be possible. I know you’ll make yours unique and I can’t wait to see your block(s). Remember to share it in the Facebook Group or on Instagram using the hashtag #FreeBlockFriday.

Block information

Block Number + Name: 05 – Sierra Reel

Quilt Pattern: Jumping Jacks Sampler for Free Block Friday. Enter your details below to get your copy of the pattern.

Construction Method: From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates and Rulers

From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates Used:

I’ve put together bundles of the templates and rulers I used for this project and you can find them in my online shop.

Make Your Own Templates

If you’d prefer to make your own templates the pattern comes with free printables of the templates so that you can make your own. To help you with making your own templates I’ve done a tutorial showing you one way to make them.

Before You Sew

If you’d like to know “My Top 10 Beginners Patchworking Tools” you can find them by clicking here.

Measurements for the pieces needed to construct this block will not be provided in this tutorial. It is a prerequisite of making this block that you have a copy of the pattern. Measurements can be found in this pattern.

Choose Your Fabrics

I provide 2 colouring options for the Jumping Jacks Sampler: Bubblegum and Rainbow Spectrum. This tutorial shows the bubblegum version. If you’d like to make a version with the exact fabrics that I have used they are:

I’ve also made 4 (yep four!) other versions of this sampler that I’ll reveal as we work our way through it. You too can make these versions simply click the buttons below to purchase the fabric bundles I used.

Plan Your Quilt with PreQuilt.com

I’ve collaborated with the wonderful team at PreQuilt.com to provide you with free colouring sheets for the Jumping Jacks Sampler. You can plan your quilt blocks based on the fabric placements I have used in my blocks.

How to Make the Block

General Advice:

  • Tolerance Levels: you need to decide what is an acceptable tolerance level for “mistakes”. For example if your blocks are consistently 12¼” instead of 12.5″ are you ok with this? Or if your seams matching are less than an 1/8″ “off” are you ok with this. There’s no hard or fast rule and it’s different for everyone, so remember it’s your quilt so make your decision for you.
  • Press your seams at each step. Click here for a great article on how to press your seams for patchwork.
  • You can iron and starch your fabric prior to cutting. I also starch when pressing bulky seams. If you can afford it, a wool pressing mat does wonders to help flatten seams.
  • When pinning, pin away from you so that you don’t move your pieces when pinning.
  • Where possible I chain piece all the pieces I can in one step. If you’re unsure of what chain piecing is, click here for a tutorial on how to do it.

The photos below show you the step progression of making this block. Please read the accompanying text before starting to make your block.

Block Assembly Steps

1: Four Patch Units

Use the From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates to cut all the block pieces. [Please see tutorial picture “Step One” for the pieces laid out.]

Refer to your copy of the pattern for which templates to use for each piece.

  1. Attach Piece J to Piece B. Press. Make 4.
  2. Attach Piece B to Piece J. Press. Make 4.
  3. Attach Piece JB to Piece BJ. Press. Make 4

FYI: I pressed my pieces away from Piece B, towards the solid. When I join the two rows to complete the unit I press this seam open. It’s a personal preference, I just like the the 4 patch lays a little flatter like this.

2: Half Square Triangle Units

Use the From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates to cut all the block pieces. [Please see tutorial picture “Step One” for the pieces laid out.]

Refer to your copy of the pattern for which templates to use for each piece.

  1. Attach Piece C to Piece H. Press.
  2. Attached Piece F to Piece H. Press.
  3. Attach Piece E to Piece H. Press.
  4. Attached Piece D to Piece H. Press.

FYI: I pressed my pieces towards the Piece H.

3: Square in Square Unit

Use the From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates to cut all the block pieces. [Please see tutorial picture “Step One” for the pieces laid out.]

Refer to your copy of the pattern for which templates to use for each piece.

  1. Attach Piece G to Piece A. Press.
  2. Attached Piece G to Piece AG. Press.
  3. Attach Piece G to Piece AGG. Press.
  4. Attached Piece G to Piece AGGG. Press.

FYI: I pressed my pieces towards the Piece G.

4: Complete the Block

Use the From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates to cut all the block pieces. [Please see tutorial picture “Step One” for the pieces laid out.]

Refer to your copy of the pattern for which templates to use for each piece.

  1. Join units to make rows. Press.
  2. Join rows to complete the block. Press.

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Got a Question?

If there’s something you’d like further details about the information covered in this blog post simply drop me an email via my contact page and we’ll get it sorted together.

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