Hidden Gems - May 2017 Block Lottery


I’m Jill and I’m leading this month’s block lottery!

I chose a visually stunning paper pieced block from Diane Bohn of From Blank Pages. Diane's been blogging for more than seven years, began quilting while pregnant with her first child, (because you know, a baby needed a quilt), and designed her first pattern in 2011. To say I love her patterns is an understatement! 

Diane originally wrote Hidden Gems for The Bee Hive. It's a modern geometric block with killer points that are hard to come by with any method other than the precision paper piecing allows. What I love most, is the secondary design once all of the blocks are assembled.
Hidden Gems is available on Diane’s pattern page, here. She provides two options for printing - either legal sized or letter sized. I recommend choosing the larger legal sized paper in order to avoid taping pieces together.
Diane's step-by-step instructions are a great resource, as are the included coloring pages (for visualizing that secondary design) and cutting templates (especially good if you are fussy cutting or are using lovingly hoarded fabric).

For our version, please use yellow, blue-green, and navy.  The Background fabric is a low volume that reads white (can include some grey or black, but no tan or browns).

Note: The pattern pieces are lettered (A & B) and numbered (1 - 12) because they are mirror images. I made a little cheat sheet to help with color organization.

Low volume: 1, 4, 9, 12
Yellow: 2, 5, 8, 13
Navy: 3, 6, 11
Blue-green: 7, 10

Finally, before you start, here are my top paper piecing tips:

1 - Print accurately. Do not use the "print to fit" option. Templates should be actual size! Double check that the 1” line on the pattern really does measure 1 inch. Believe me, there is nothing worse than realizing after you’ve done a significant amount of sewing, that your block is the wrong size!
2 - Label your paper with the colors before starting. It’s so easy to mix up which color goes where and end up with a mess. Once you've printed the templates, take a few seconds to look at the cheat sheet and label each shape with the corresponding fabric color.
3 - Shorten your stitch length; it is much easier to rip out the papers later. If you want to be extra careful to make sure your fabric will line up right, use a normal stitch length or even slightly longer, to sew the fabric once. Then, after verifying that points match, seams match, etc., sew back over the line with a much shorter stitch length.

Now, you’re ready to sew!

Be sure to tag your social media pictures with #ecmqg #ecmqgblocklottery #fbppatterns #fbphiddengems.

Thanks for sewing with us. See you in May!


PS. You know I really want to win these blocks!

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