Block 16 - Minnesota

For the second paper piecing block I wanted to choose the easiest paper piecing block with the best instructions and the Minnesota Block by Lee at Freshly Pieced won hands down.  Lee posted the instructions in July as part of the Summer Sampler Series.


Edited (5/15):  The Skill Builder Sampler will is available for purchase in book form!  It has been renamed "You Can Quilt!  Building Skills for Beginners" but covers the same skills with the easy, medium and challenging blocks and is a million times better than the original quilt along.  It is perfect for the beginning quilter or the experienced quilter who wants to branch out and learn new skills.  Find more information and order a signed copy in my Etsy shop or order on Amazon.  

Even though it is probably the easiest paper piecing block out there and Lee's instructions leave nothing to be desired, I still had some problems.

Notice how my block is perfectly square and beautiful?  Nice, eh?  Only problem is that it is a perfect 11.75 inches square instead of 12.5 inches square.  Augh!!!  What went wrong?

The templates:  Make sure your templates are printing out at exactly the right size.  My 1 inch test square was a hair small and it added up.  I did download the templates and print from Adobe as instructed, but the template was still a bit small.  I probably did not un-check the "Fit to Size" option.

The pieces of fabric Lee has you cut out for the paper piecing units are more than large enough for anyone who has the most basic of paper piecing skills.  But...I found I had more wiggle room and fewer problems if I cut the pieces a generous 1/4 inch larger.  I hate it when my pieces don't cover the whole template when flipped open!!!  I would rather cut my fabric a bit too large than unpick bad seams.

My quarter square triangles were also a bit on the small side.  (I don't know what my problem was yesterday.)  If you want to trim your quarter square triangles to size, cut the initial squares a quarter inch larger than instructed and then trim the resulting quarter square triangles to perfect 5.5 inches square.

Last tip:  I am not a big pin-er, but I would recommend pinning when you piece the quarter square triangles and paper pieced units together.  The bulk from the paper pieced seams made stitching accurately without pins challenging.

But...YOU Can Do It!  And if you have problems along the way, that is ok too.  We are learning new skills and it might not always turn out right the first time.  Right?!?  :)

No fear!  Head on over and whip that bad boy into shape!  
Let me know how it goes.