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Great Granny QAL
Great Granny QAL
Hello all, and thank you for joining us in the Moda Bakeshop Summer Quiltalong! Time to get started making Family Reunion, my pattern from the book Rollin’ Along, available now from Martingale! If you haven’t picked up a copy, check out your local quilt store or your favorite spot to pick up quilt books. You’ll find the pattern in the book and many other fabulous designs using 2 ½” strips.
Great Granny. The matriarch. The center of the quilt.
Counterintuitively, I pick the strips for this block last. There are usually enough strips left to choose from to make a pleasing layout once I’ve selected the color palettes for the other rounds. The only trick to note is making sure you’ve set aside two identical jelly strips for the outer round of this big block. Most jelly rolls will have repeats, so this shouldn’t be an issue.
If you don’t have two matching strips for the outer round (maybe you’d like to use one of them for one of the other rounds), you have a few options. You can cut from yardage or pick up a fat quarter of one of the prints you’re using.
I like nice, nestled seams. I aim to press these blocks towards the dark fabrics. Sometimes that didn’t happen! I alternated the blocks and pressed every other one open. Because of the stair-step nature of the block, the seams will nestle so long as you keep your pressing the same for each round (that is, always press towards the blue, for example). Some prefer pressing open, and that’s fine, too! Here’s how the back of my block looks.
Pressing matters in this block. Remember the quilting standard of pressing and not ironing—it’s easy to skew the many squares and turn your square into a parallelogram. Lift your iron, and don’t drag it across the block. A light starch can be helpful, too!
You’ll notice I add triangles at the end of each row and at the four corners rather than squares of background fabric. These are cut in such a way that you won’t have bias edges at the sides of your block. When we work with larger blocks in the later rounds, dealing with straight edges makes for a more manageable project! The triangles also ensure that you have a nice amount of seam allowance when trimming without a lot of overages.
Now for trimming…this is a pretty big block! Most of us don’t have a ginormous ruler at our disposal. How do you go about squaring up such a big block? The easiest way I’ve found is combining two rulers. I have a larger square ruler and my trusty 6” by 24” ruler that work together well. Just be sure to double-check those measurements!
I can’t wait to see those beautiful big great granny blocks! Tag your blocks with #familyreunionqal and !
Here is the remaining schedule, mark your calendars!
August 8: Finishing and Wrap Up