Jack Attack III - the B blocks, troubleshooting and a linky party

So this is the third instalment of the Jack Attack quiltalong and I am going to take you through step two of the process; making the B blocks, dealing with a bit of trouble shooting and I've added a linky at the end of this post.  If you have blogged about joining this quiltalong, about choosing fabrics, about making your first block, add a link to the blogpost so I can come and take a look and so can anyone else who's interested.   The starter post for this quilt a long can be found here.

Having made your practice A block, you can go ahead and make the remaining A and B blocks for your first union jack.  Here is a reminder of A and B block layouts.

And a reminder of how the final flag goes together.  

Cutting fabrics for the remaining A and B blocks

1.  In addition to the WOF strips you cut for your first A block, cut two further 1.5" white WOF strips, two further 3.5" white WOF strips and two further 2.5" pink WOF strips (yours probably won't be pink but I'm referring to the pink stripes in the diagram) - i.e. you will need a total of 3 WOF strips in total per flag of each of these.

2.   Cut the remaining triangles you need for one further A block and two B blocks.  For your A blocks you cut top left to bottom right and for your B blocks, you need to cut top right to bottom left.  If you are using directional prints, make sure you cut so that all the triangles will finish with the print going in the right direction.

3.   A more confident quilter could cut all the A and B blocks in one cut by playing two rectangles right side up and two right side down.   With directional fabrics, rotate the direction of one of each of the A and B block rectangles so one of each was the right way up and one upside down.

Making the remaining A and B blocks

1.   Sew together the sets of WOF strips end to end to make one longer strip of each. You should also attach the pieces you had left over from your first A block.

2.   Make the remaining A block in the same way you made your first A block.

3.   The process for making the B blocks is the same as for the A blocks except that this time you attach the wider white strip to the smaller triangle and the narrower white strip to the larger triangle as you can see if you look at the diagrams of the B block.

4.   If you are making a triple union jack quilt, make the remaining A and B blocks.  Don't worry if you fall behind in the Jack Attack quiltalong.  Please feel free to make the quilt at your own pace.

Trouble shooting

The emails, blog comments and Flickr photos I have been sent indicate that some of you are having problems aligning the final seam and making the blocks fit the freezer paper template.  Here are a few suggestions for anyone struggling with these issues:

1.   One option is to make all your blocks for the whole quilt and then trim the whole lot to a slightly smaller size.  Even if you lose 1/2" all round each block, the union jacks will still be enormous and you will get a good sized quilt / wall hanging.

2.   Another option is to reduce the size of the strip you cut out of the triangle fabric.  If you reduce this to 1" or even 1/2", the smaller triangle will be that bit larger and give you more trimming room and more room for slight misalignment on the final seam.

3.   Rather than pinning the final seam from end to end, try marking the point where the larger triangle will meet the smaller triangle, pinning the two sections together at that point.  Then start sewing from that middle point of the seam out to one end.  Flip the whole thing and sew from the same point out to the other end.

4.   When you are sewing the white strips to the triangles, which includes the final joining seam, you are sewing a bias edge (the triangle) to a straight edge (the white strip).  Make sure you hold the triangle gently and do not pull on it as you sew that seam.  Starching the triangles with spray starch may also held avoid stretched bias seams.

5.   If, when your final seam is sewn, you have a little gap in one of the fabrics, unpick the seam a bit and add in a bit of spare fabric.  You can see I did just that in the picture below.

As always, I'd love it if you show me your A and B blocks in the Flickr group and let me know if you encounter any problems or the instructions are not clear.  I've had a few blog comments with issues in from no-reply-comment-bloggers.  If I haven't replied to your comment, that will be why.  If you're not sure if you're a no-reply-comment-blogger, leave me your email address in the comment in ANTISPAM form (e.g. lilysquilts @ gmail . com) and I will let you know. 


  1. All of your Jacks are gorgeous. I've not started yet - just trying to finish off a couple of other things first.

  2. I can't wait to see yours, Lynne! Those colors are great.

  3. I'm really looking forward to seeing how you've quilted your version but I know it's going to be stunning!


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