Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Philadelphia Block Tutorial

Several people emailed me for the pattern for Philadelphia.

Philadelphia block

Here's a sketch of the block. It's a nine-patch on a six by six grid which simply means the block evenly divides into three segments on each side and those segments might be divided in half (into units.)

Sketch of Philadelphia block

Just like a block, a "unit" can be any measurement. You may choose the length of a single unit or decide the finished block size first and subdivide. My blocks finished 9". That means the major segments are 3" each (9"/3) and the subdivided units are 1.5" (3"/2).

Here are the parts I cut (with seam allowances included.)

Unit A (center):           1 muslin square 3.5" by 3.5"
Unit B (small squares): 8 muslin squares 2" by 2"
Unit C (inner):             4 print rectangles 3.5" by 2"
Unit D (outer):             4 print rectangles 6.5" by 2"

I sew most traditional blocks with this method because it helps keep the parts in order.

Cut pieces of Philadelphia
block laid out

Take A and sew two C to opposite sides. On the remaining Cs and sew two B to opposite sides. Press seams towards prints.

Center strips of Philadelphia
block sewed together

Butt seams and sew these three sections together with A in the middle.

Center portion of Philadelphia
block sewed together.

Sew two D to opposite sides of the pieced center. Sew remaining B to opposite sides of the final two D. Press seams towards prints.

These three sections of the
Philadelphia block will be sewed
together as the final step.

Butt seams and sew these sections together with A again in the middle.

The block should measure 9.5" unfinished.

By happenstance one stripe in the border was three-inches wide. I cut the sashing 3.5" by 9.5" and cut the posts 3.5" square (the same size as the center muslin.) But any width sashing would work.

Enjoy the day, Ann


Lara B. said...

Great instructions Ann!
One of my faults when making quilt block patterns is failing to take into account how tiny some of the piecing will end up. I like the size of this block - it's perfect!
You just gave me a good laugh over your comment over at Kaja's Sew Slowly.

Ann said...

Thanks, Lara. I think you could easily make this a 6" block, too. The smallest squares would be 1". Some people might go smaller but I'm not sure I would.
It was so late when I commented on Kaja's post; I was thinking, "Monkey see, monkey do," because my reaction was exactly like the previous ones. Is that a copycat or consensus? :-)