ARLS: Block A

“All Roads Lead Somewhere” (ARLS) is a series of appliqué blocks inspired by a board game. The appliqués look like roads running through the blocks. Join the blocks together, and the roads take you on an interesting journey. I invite you to join me.

Download and print ARLS: Block A here. You’ll need it to follow along.

All ARLS blocks are 7 inches square. The blocks contain four shapes that connect at the same locations along the sides.

Since alignment is critical, it helps to make an Alignment Guide out of Block A:

Print Block A on cardstock, add seam allowances to all sides, and extend internal lines.

Seam allowance added, all lines extended
Seam allowance added, all lines extended

Glue the printed template to the back of a sheet of sandpaper. The sandpaper gives the template more support and keeps it from sliding around on fabric. Cut along the seam lines, removing the window inside.

Window cut out INSIDE seam allowances
Window cut out INSIDE seam allowances

Cut out additional windows outside the seam allowances. These help position the guide on background fabric.

Windows cut out OUTSIDE seam allowances
Windows cut out OUTSIDE seam allowances

I do raw-edge fusible appliqué; you are free to use the methods and techniques you’re comfortable with.

Prepare four four of Shape A (they are identical). I suggest extending the ends of the shapes a little beyond the seam allowances.

Position the Alignment Guide on background fabric.

Alignment guide positioned on background fabric
Alignment guide positioned on background fabric

Lay the Shape A pieces on the background fabric in counterclockwise order, starting with the left vertical Shape A. Fold back the upper half of the left vertical Shape A to lay on top of the upper horizontal Shape A. This maintains a consistent over-and-under throughout the blocks.

Block A pieces in position
Block A pieces in position

I fuse the center of the block, move the alignment guide out of the way, then fuse the rest of the block. After I stitch down the shapes, I trim the blocks.

The block has fourfold rotation: it looks the same no matter how you rotate it. Four blocks joined together aren’t very exciting:

Four Block A, joined
Four Block A, joined

Don’t worry: there’s more to come . . .

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