The last time I did that my son said "ha-ha, Mom, I'm 43..."
So when my aunts and cousins went to a retreat and the pattern was called "39 and Counting", I had to buy it.
|Step one, sew four patches.|
|Step 2, trim them down to 3.5 inches.|
Next step is to take the bigger rectangles and sew them into pairs.
Then you take your feature color and cut strips. How big? Don't know... doesn't say, but when you've got all four sides sewn it should be trimmed to five inches.
Math. There should be math!! Here's the math: 5 inches minus 3 inches (finished size of four patch) is 2 inches. Add a half inch for seam allowance (1/4 on each piece). That's 2.5 inches. Half of that is 1.25 inches.
Answer: Cut the colored strips 1.25 inches wide.
To test this I took a strip from my 2.5 inch bin, cut it in half (very accurately!) and applied it.
Yep, measures 5 inches.
A word about stripes...If you think about it when you do your four patch, you might be able to get the stripes to all line up the same way. My main concern was getting the dark in the right corner, so that didn't occur to me until I sewed this block. But I don't really care that much since they're all sort of wonky that way!
After applying the shorter of the borders, you -- wait for it! TRIM AGAIN! Add the longer pieces, and square the whole block up to 8 inches. You have now trimmed 1/4 inch off EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF THIS BLOCK.
I filled my small trash can with shavings. If I were a paper maker I'd have had an awesome start on some black and white stationery.
(No! No! I AM NOT starting up on another craft!)
I edited my own copy of the pattern to adjust for the cutting of right sized strips. The pattern says to start with 2 1/4 inch strips, which I had to cut because I don't have those in my bins... but I could have used 2 inch strips (which I DO have precut) and saved myself a blade. However if you think your seams are going to end up bigger than 1/4 inch, and you want to fudge something, you can just fudge the bright colors and save yourself some messing around. Not to mention all those shreds left over!
This is going to be a lovely quilt when it's done.