I can finally show you the fabrics I am going to use for this quilt. Pat Bravo's new line, Rock n Romance, coming out in October. The picture has the backing and binding fabrics, the neutral fabric and then six main fabrics for the flags.
We won't be cutting everything ahead of time because, when you make a Union Jack block, it's a good idea to make a practice block before you cut up all your fabrics and find you did something wrong. So today we are going to make one practice A block. In the union jack, there are A blocks and B blocks.
This is an A block:
There are two A blocks in each flag; one orientated as shown above and one rotated through 180 degrees. One goes top left and one goes bottom right. The diagonal is from top left to bottom right.
And this is a B block:
There are two B blocks in each flag; one orientated as shown above and one rotated through 180 degrees. One goes top right on the flag and one goes bottom left. The diagonal is from top right to bottom left.
Take a look at the finished flag and you can see the two A blocks and the two B blocks. Take careful note of the fact that each block has a larger and a smaller triangle and each block has a wider and a narrower white stripe. I would suggest you keep referring back to these three diagrams as you make your A and B blocks.
Making the practice A block
NB: consider making this first block from unwanted fabrics before cutting into precious fabrics.
1. If you are using directional fabrics, decide which of your A blocks you are making first so you make sure you orientate your fabrics in the right direction as you cut and piece.
2. To cut the triangles for the A block, cut one piece of fabric 21" x 9". Cut in half along the top left to bottom right diagonal.
3. Then align the 1.5" line of your ruler along the diagonal you have just cut and make a second cut. NB: some people are struggling to make the A block align on the final seam. If you are having this problem, try reducing the width of this cut to 1.25" or even 1". Make the whole block in the same way then fuse the final finished block to the freezer paper aligning the larger triangle with the edges of the paper so that the smaller triangle overhangs. Then trim the smaller triangle to size where it overhangs the edge of the freezer paper.
4. This will yield one larger and one smaller triangle as well as a spare strip which you can discard.
5. Next you need a piece of freezer paper (if you have no freezer paper, you can use any paper but freezer paper makes the process easier) 27.5" x 10.5".
6. Cut two WOF (width of fabric; cut from one selvedge to the other) strips from your white fabric - one 1.5" wide and one 3.5" wide. NB your fabric may not be white but I mean the fabric I have marked as white in my diagrams.
7. Cut one WOF strip from your coloured stripes fabric (pink in my diagrams) 2.5" wide.
8. Sew the wide white stripe to the large white triangle as follows. Do not cut the white fabric to length before sewing. Align the white fabric an inch or two beyond the end of the blunt end of the triangle and sew the seam.
9. Flip, press and trim at each end of the triangle along the dotted lines in the diagram. Retain the longer piece you trim off as it will be joined end to end with others to make further blocks.
10. To finish with a triangle like this:
11. Repeat using the small triangle and the 1.5" white strip and you will end up with a larger and a smaller triangle like this. NB: also retain the longer white strip you trim off here to be joined end to end with others to make further blocks.
12. Press the triangles to the freezer paper taking care to align the edges of the fabric with the edges of the freezer paper. Trim any fabric hanging off the edges of the freezer paper. Peel the larger triangle off the paper.
13. Sew the coloured strip (pink in my diagrams) to the larger triangle as follows: again do not pre-trim the WOF strip. Align the end with the blunt end of the triangle (no need for the 1" - 2" overhang this time) and sew the seam.
14. Flip, press and trim along the dotted lines in the diagram. Again retain the piece you trim off to be joined end to end with other pieces to be used to make further blocks.
15. Once again, press the larger triangle back onto the freezer paper and trim the pink fabric to the edges of the paper. Then mark or pint a point somewhere along the edge of the white strip. Mark or pin the same point on the pink strip.
16. Peel the triangles off the freezer paper, place right sides together with the two marks or pins together. Pin and sew the whole seam then press. NB: if your seam ends don't align perfectly at this step, don't worry and think the whole thing has gone horribly wrong. Just trim it down slightly and then trim all the remaining blocks to the same size. And here is my trial Rock n Romance A block photographed kind o fancy on a slant.
BINGO, you have your practice A block. Please show me your A blocks in the Flickr group and let me know if you encounter any problems or the instructions are not clear.