Updated: Feb 5
Hi friends! Are you feeling the love? I hope so!
This is Refuge; block #2 in the Nothing but Love Quilt Along. I named it Refuge because the hearts encircled the center of the block just like being wrapped in a bear hug or a circle of love. (Think Martina McBride - "Wrapped in the Arms of Love.") In my opinion love provides you shelter: a safe place to be emotional and true to yourself and gives you the strength to persevere when life is tough.
Refuge combines the traditional piecing of a nine-patch with an easy turned applique technique* using fusible interfacing.
**If turned applique is not your thing, you can also do regular fusible applique.
For this block you need a 16" square piece of lightweight fusible interfacing (NOT fusible web - it's too stretchy). I like to use one that is fusible on one side. You will probably also want a turning tool, if you have one, or a pencil. My turning tool is a shrimp de-veiner from the local "everything" store.
A Loved-up Nine Patch
As you can see at the top in my red version, I used two reds, two prints, and two whites which gives that scrappy sparkle I told you I love, but you can use one of each like the mock-block or a different color/pattern for each heart. Stretch your creative wings my friends!
Normally I prefer strip-piecing for nine patches, but we are only making one and we are adding the applique before putting it together. So you have a great opportunity for scrappy piecing if you like plus the pieces are nice and big which makes for easy construction.
This is my current version using spring pastels (mostly from Riley Blake's "Adel in Spring" by Sandy Gervais) you will see a more traditional use of color and background to create each block, however I will switch it up sometimes and make the color be the background. You can also see that I used purple variegated thread and 4 fun stitches to do the applique. These are the things that make quilting such a creative adventure!!
So without further ado, here is the downloadable pattern for Block 2 -Refuge and the applique heart templates (UPDATED 2/5):
Since the templates are part of the PDF they should print at 100%. If you are concerned, check your printer properties before printing.
If you have any questions or issues with downloading please ask here or on the contact page.
Making the Refuge Block
This block is super simple to put together: Cut Pieces, Applique Hearts, Sew Rows, Make Block, and Sandwich with Batting & Backing.
More about Applique
Applique is the addition of shapes on top your quilt block instead of within the piecing. There are a variety of ways to do this and we are going to touch upon most of them during the quilt along.
Today we are focusing on turned-edge applique which simply means we are folding the raw fabric edge under before sewing the shape onto the fabric square. This is the "original" method used and many people just turn 1/4 inch of the shape under while they hand-stitch it onto the quilt block. However, I do not do much hand-stitching and I do not prefer this method...so I cheat!
With the fusible method of turned applique, the interfacing does most of the work by sewing the fabric to the fusible interfacing and then turning it inside out. YAY!
Here is a little video showing me making the turned edge applique heart and I did write the pattern very detailed for this process.
In addition, there are some fun things you can do with this block when stitching the hearts onto the fabric squares:
Use a fun thread color! You can choose a color to match the hearts, the background, a fabric detail, or try a variegated.
Use a heavier weight thread (like 30W-40W) or even a specialty thread like rayon or metallic.
Use a fun stitch design! There are so many options (although you can use a straight stitch because the edges are turned) - blanket stitch, zigzag stitch, cross stitch, snowflake stitch, branching stitch. These may not be their actual names just how they look - they are actually named things like hemstitch, decorative stitch, or fagoting stitch.
(**If you prefer the raw-edge fusible applique method you can make this block that way also - I promise you won't hurt my feelings!)
Quilt Along Details
Don't forget that is so much more fun when you share your progress on the blog, Instagram, or Facebook. Don't forget to use the hashtags #nothingbutloveQAL #refugeblock or tag me @polkadotpeepquiltsetc
There are link buttons to my Instagram and Facebook on my website.
You can also sign up and join my community here on Wix (or the Wix Spaces app). I am currently working to fix that up for you guys!
**Next week the quilting design I will be discussing and demonstrating is OUTLINING (also echoing and stitch-in-the-ditch).
Here is the quilt along schedule (with links for you to catch up anytime):
Nothing but Love Schedule
December 20, 2021 - Quilt Along Intro & Details
January 10, 2022 – Get Ready: Prep the Fabrics & Batting
January 17 – Affection
January 31 – Refuge
February 14 – Joyful
February 28 – Adoration
March 14 – Devotion
March 28 – Inspiration
April 11 – Besotted
April 25 – Admiration
May 9 – Infatuation
May 23 – Faithful
June 6 – Smitten
June 20 – Cherish
July 4 – Patience
July 18 – Comfort
August 1 – Grateful
August 15 –Hopeful
August 29 – Enamored
September 12 - Sashing It All Together & Finishing Details
**Each “between block” Monday there will be a post for quilting the blocks:
January 24, February 7 & 21, March 7 & 21, April 4 & 18, May 2 & 16 & 30, June 13 & 27, July 11 & 25, August 8 & 22, September 5
Have fun making your blocks - I can't wait to see!
Sending out a big hug, be blessed my friends,