I really struggled with the instructions for this block. The handle is different, and that’s what gave me fits. A traditional pattern would have you cut the pink and red half square triangles then sew them together, lining them up juuuuust so, with points extending past straight edges. My mom did a pattern with a similar piece and it took her days to get it to work properly. I just couldn’t do that. I played with one method where I sewed squares together, then trimmed the edges to form the triangles. The measurements were off, so I tried a second time, coming up with something that was good enough, but not great. Mom managed to make a test block with those instructions, but I still wasn’t confident that it would go together easily without me hovering to provide help.
Yesterday I received an email from Pat at All Decked Out. She had some questions about freezer paper piecing, and after I replied, I realized that paper piecing (or foundation piecing) was the answer to my handle problem. If you’ve never tried it, please give it a chance. It’s a great way to make odd things work, and it can allow you to work in much smaller scale that you might normally try. Only the handles are foundation pieced, so it shouldn’t be too overwhelming.
I prefer freezer paper foundation piecing, but you can use regular paper piecing if you like. I did not go into detail about paper piecing in the Block 12 pattern itself, so if you’ve never paper pieced (or would like to try the freezer paper method), please download the Freezer Paper Piecing Tutorial. If you have any questions, please either comment or send me an email, and I’ll answer as soon as possible.
Okay, with all of that to lead up to it, here’s the final block!
You can download the pattern by clicking on the image of block, and you can also find it in the list of basket blocks to the right.
I plan to finish the instructions for the two most popular settings before our sewing day on Saturday, so watch for those this week.
Whoops – forgot one thing! There’s a note in the instructions about printing the paper foundations to the right size. You may want to print the first two pages (the instructions) with the Page Scaling set to Fit to Printable Area, then print the last two pages (the foundations) with the Page Scaling set to None. This will ensure that the instructions don’t run off the page, and the foundation is the correct size. (The Page Scaling is a setting that you can change in the Print window for PDFs.)
One more edit – the original instructions were missing one tiny pink square in the cutting instructions. I’ve updated the pattern and all links, but if you want to just make a note, under Cutting – Basket, Handles and Base, add “Cut (1) 1 1/2″ pink square.”