Rosie block tutorial


Rosie is a 12" finished block with an on point, open center.  She's ideal for showcasing a large scale print as the background fabric.  The center of the block is pieced traditionally, including the square frame.  The ribbon corners are machine paper pieced. 

For each block, print two copies of Rosie Paper Piecing Pattern, which you can download via the form above.  Be sure to print "actual size," with no scaling.  This tutorial assumes some familiarity with machine paper piecing. 

Then, follow this tutorial:


Step 1:  Cutting

From background fabric, cut a 6" square for the block's center.  If your fabric is directional, cut this square on point from a 9" square of fabric.  I used a 6.5" ruler to easily cut on point squares.  If you don't have a square ruler, use the 45 degree angle mark on your regular quilting ruler to establish the first edge of your on point square. 


From background fabric, also cut (2) 7" squares and (4) 3.5" squares.  Quarter the 7" squares by cutting them on diagonal from corner to corner both directions.  This will yield 8 large triangles total.


From frame fabric, cut (2) 2 x 6" strips and (2) 2 x 9" strips.

From ribbon fabric, cut a 7" square and a 5" square. 


Quarter the ribbon squares as with the background squares, yielding 4 large and 4 small triangles.

Step 2:  Sew Center

Sew the 6" long frame pieces to opposite sides of the 6" center square.  Press seams.  Sew 9" long frame pieces to remaining sides.  Press.  If your fabrics are directional, you may wish to arrange the remaining fabrics around the center of the square with appropriate orientations.  Then you can preserve those orientations as you sew the corner segments.


Step 3:  Sew Ribbon Corners

Remember to sew with a short stitch length when machine paper piecing.  Sometimes I rotary cut through paper in this tutorial.  Keep a dull blade on hand for paper slicing, as paper will quickly dull your nice blade.

Machine paper piece the corners using prepared ribbon and background fabrics.  Start with piece #1, which is the small ribbon triangle.  Piece #2 is a large background triangle.  Piece #3 uses a 3.5" background square.  Piece #4 is the large ribbon triangle.  Piece #5 is another large background triangle. 

After machine paper piecing each corner segment, trim the long inside edge of each corner at the indicated 1/4" seam allowance line. 

Please ignore the number placement on this prototype paper pattern.

Please ignore the number placement on this prototype paper pattern.

Trim the long inside edge of the corner segment only at this stage.  Leave excess fabric at the outside of the block.

Step 4:  Assemble

To finish the block, sew corners to opposite sides of the center segment.  Be sure to center each corner on the block.  I referenced the stitch lines on the paper and the seam lines on the center segment to visually center each corner.  A small ruler is helpful to double check placement.


Sew along the seam allowance line and into the seam allowances to attach corner segments.  Press seams. 

Trim the excess corner dogears.  To do so, align a long ruler with the raw edge of the frame fabric and cut exposed corner dogears.  Repeat on opposite side of the block.


Sew remaining corner segments to the block, centering each segment as before.  Press seams.  Trim block to 12.5" square.


If you don't have a 12.5" ruler, use the seam allowance lines on the paper side of the block to help you establish two sides of the block.  Then, trim remaining sides measuring at 12.5" each.


I'm not sure how I'm going to set my Rosie blocks.  I'm considering a 3" wide sashing or even floating them in negative space something like the Gypsy Wife quilt.  I'm using large, floral backgrounds for my blocks, so the quilt is already fairly busy.  That's why I'm leaning towards some kind of block-setting plan that will break things up a bit. 

What do you think?