Sew Lets QAL: Block 10 Buttons

Hi! Welcome to Block 10 of the Sew Let’s Quilt Along!

You’ll find the details of the quilt along on the Sew Lets QAL tab above. Here’s the short version: we’re presenting the blocks for this quilt along in segments. To win a prize, make all the blocks from that segment, then upload a photo of them at the end of that segment.

This is Block 10 in the quilt along and the first block in Segment 3. There will be four blocks in this segment, released every two weeks. To enter for the Segment 3 prize, you must finish all four Segment 3 blocks and post a photo of them at the end of Segment 3. The prize winner for Segment 3 will be announced on September 10th. Click here to view the QAL schedule and to learn more about it.

To enter for the Grand Prize at the end of the quilt along, you’ll need to either make a quilt using all 13 blocks in the quilt along, or make one or more projects that together include all the blocks. The quilt along doesn’t end until September 10th, and you’ll have until September 23rd to finish your quilt top and projects. If you are making projects and want to get a head start on them here’s a link to my project suggestions for the Segment 1 blocks and the Segment 2 blocks. I’ll have more project suggestions at the end of Segment 3.

Block 10: Buttons

This week’s block is a bunch of cute buttons. The designer of Block 10 is Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts and you can download the pattern there.

Here’s my version of Laura’s block.

I am going to use my Buttons block in a project where it needs to be smaller, so I made the block half-size.

For my fabric pull, I started with this adorable thread spools fabric then chose colors to match. Laura used three fabrics for her buttons (one for each one) and simply used the back side of her fabrics for the lighter colored button rings. I chose to use two different fabrics for each button.

Regardless of which way you go, just make sure that you end up with enough contrast between the two colors on a button to be able to see the ring.

For my background I chose a tone-on-tone white fabric. Love the circles! They reminded me of buttons. No, I didn’t use the thread spools fabric as my background—it’ll be the supporting fabric for the project I’m making. (Curious? Stay tuned to the end of this Segment in the quilt along where I’ll share my projects for this segment.)

My Tips and Tutorials for Making This Block

Here are my tips for making the Buttons block.

print out the templates

Start by printing out the templates on page 3. Use the 1” square to ensure that the templates are the correct size. Print at 100% and DO NOT scale the pattern to fit.

I’m going to use the Buttons block in a project where it needed to be smaller, so I reduced the templates so the block would finish at 6-1/2”. To do that, I simply printed the template page at 50% size. Notice that the size of my test square was 1/2”. Yikes! <grin>

Cut out the fusible

Laura tells you to cut a 10” square of fusible for cutting the buttons out, but I’d recommend that you cut your fusible just a hair bigger than that (at 10-1/8”) to make it a little easier to get the templates to fit.

I cut the template on the bottom and right sides right on the line, and cut around the dot, leaving it there to help with placement on the fusible.

I folded the fusible as instructed and clipped it in place. Again, my Clover Clips are a life-saver!

I cut out the fusbile from the dot out, labeling the pieces as I went. This may seem strange that you are cutting out a ring of fusible for the back of a circular button, but by following Laura’s directions you’ll end up with less fusible on the backs of your buttons and as a result your block will be less stiff. Very clever, Laura!

As I cut I moved the clips as needed to keep everything together. I labeled as I cut, and discarded the pieces marked Discard. Eventually I had the fusible cut out for Buttons 1, 2, and 3 and the Button 1 Ring.

I again used a slightly larger square for the second fusible (4-1/8” square instead of 4”). I clipped the template to the fusible square and cut it out. This one was a little harder to cut out so I used a lot of clips to hold everything in place while I cut.

Finally, I traced out the button holes onto fusible. I used a scrap of fusible for this rather than the 4” square listed in the instructions because I like to use up my scraps. Make sure you trace out 4 large and 6 small button holes. I traced out only 4 of each and had to go back and trace out 2 more small ones after I realized my mistake. <wink>

Cut out the shapes

After cutting out the fusibles, I fused them onto my button and ring fabrics as instructed. As you can see here on my dotted button fabric there is only a small ring of fusible, leaving the button itself soft and flexible in the block.

Be sure to fuse your button hole fusible on your background fabric and not some third color fabric. The button holes should show the background through the holes. (Yeah at this point I hadn’t yet noticed I didn’t trace out enough small button holes.)

cutting out the Buttons

I decided to fuse my buttons together on my Teflon pressing sheet, and move them to the background for fusing after that was done. If you don’t have a pressing sheet you can use a piece of parchment paper.

I started with the large button, fusing first the ring then the button holes. To help me place the button holes, I lightly folded the button fabric in quarters.

I repeated the process, fusing the other two buttons into a single unit I could place on my background.

fusing the shapes

Be sure to cut your background square larger than needed, as instructed in the pattern. For a 12” finished block, cut your background 13” square.

I used a ruler as suggested to place the big button in the lower right corner. My measurements were half of Laura’s since my block was half as big.

As you place the button, make sure that your button holes are at least 1/2” from either edge so they won’t get caught in the seam allowances once the block is sewn into a project.

Once you’re satisfied, fuse the big button in place.

Trim the back of the block as instructed.

Measure again to place the second and third buttons. Before you fuse them, I highly recommend measuring out your 12-1/2” final square area (for me, 6-1/2”) so you’re sure that your buttons are outside that seam allowance.

Edge-stitching the shapes

After fusing the buttons onto your background fabric, edge stitch around the shapes to hold them in place and to finish the edge. If you’ve never machine appliqued before, click here for a step by step photo tutorial.

I edge-stitched my buttons using Wonderfil Konfetti 50 wt. #KT607 Teal, Aurifil 50 wt. #5006 Light Turquoise, Aurifil 50 wt. #1147 Light Leaf Green, Sulky #60 wt. #1104 Pastel Yellow Green, Aurifil 50 wt. #2250 Red, Wonderfil Invisifil 100 wt. #605 Christmas Red.

Trim your block

After edge-stitching, press your block well. Trim your block to 12-1/2” square. I trimmed only two sides, measuring out from the lower right corner of the block. This protected the placement of the large button.

stabilizing the lower right corner

Because you used a tiny ring of fusible to hold the large button down (leaving the button nice and supple) and then placed that button halfway off the block, the edges of the button in the lower right corner will be a little loose. You can slip a bit of fusible along the bottom and right edge of the block to stabilize the button, or you can staystitch (stitch with a slightly shorter stitch length within the seam allowance) to stabilize that edge.

With my tiny block, I didn’t feel that was needed to I skipped that step.

Thanks for the Tips! Where do I get the pattern?

Drop by Laura’s blog to download your free Buttons block pattern. Hurry! The pattern is only available for free until September 21st.

Here are the hosts for Segment 3. Drop by their blogs to view their versions of this block and to read their tips for making it.

Abbie @ Sparkle On
April @ JANDA Bend Quilts
Bobbi @ Snowy Days Quilting
Jennifer @ Inquiring Quilter (that’s me!)
Kathleen @ Kathleen McMusing
Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels and Eats
Sherry @ Powered by Quilting
Becca @ Pretty Piney Quilts
Sandy @ SandyStar Designs

How Do I Enter the Giveaway?

First, you must be 18 years old to enter.

Unlike previous quilt alongs, you only need to make the blocks to enter the segment giveaways. Here’s how it works: First, make all the blocks in Segment 3 (there will be four blocks—this one is the first block in Segment 3). Then at the end of Segment 3, post a photo of all blocks in that Segment to enter the giveaway. If you want to see the schedule for the quilt along and the list of block designers, click here.

When it’s time, you’ll post a single photo of all the blocks in Segment 3 to one of the following places to enter the Segment giveaway:

  • On Instagram, with the hashtag #sewletsqal

  • In our private Facebook group

  • To the linky on any of the host’s blogs

Remember, you don’t have to get the blocks done until it’s time to post a photo of all the blocks in Segment 3 and enter our Segment Prize giveaway. Personally though I’d make the blocks when they come out so you don’t fall behind.

Here’s what you might win by making all the Segment 3 blocks:

Plus you’ll receive a free PDF pattern of your choice for each of these Partners in Design:

Plus this free PDF pattern from April!

Again to enter for the Segment 3 Prize Giveaway, you need only make the four blocks in the segment. Later, to enter our Grand Prize Giveaway at the end of the quilt along you’ll need to use all 13 blocks to make a quilt or a series of projects. For ideas on projects you might make with your blocks visit my Segment 1 Projects post and my Segment 2 Projects post.

Thanks for stopping by! The next block will be released July 30th. We’ll also be presenting more project suggestions for those of you not making a quilt with our blocks. Don’t miss it!

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Tell me…what are you planning to do with your buttons block?

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