Making Kansas Dugout Blocks
Check out the project links and the quilt block links on the home page for ways to use these "blocks"
A swatch is a piece of fabric that is cut without measuring. I sometimes refer to it as rough cutting because you can just hack off a piece of the approximate size. Any leftover pieces can be recycled into the next block. So don't spend any time cutting a perfect piece because you are going to be cutting it later.
You can cut a straight edge on one side of each swatch so you can use that to line up your seam allowance.
If you are doing a larger project or a quilt block you may want to make the center strip a little larger to accommodate a larger template.
I use a 1 1/2" acrylic template for most of what I make but you can use whatever size you need for what you are making. I like to glue a small strip of sandpaper to the back of my templates so they won't slide around. If you can't find the size template you need you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what size template you would like.
Be sure to center the corners of your template in the center strip.
This is the one place that it pays to be accurate as much as possible. However no matter how careful I am my blocks are not always quite square. Noone is perfect!
Make sure you set this on a mini cutting mat and as you cut -firmly hold the template so it won't move as you rotate the mat while you cut with the rotary cutter. If you find you have a square that is not so square very gently trim the corners. Be careful as you trim or your blocks won't be the same size.
You can make these with the colors reversed. Put the dark swatch in the middle and the light swatches on the outer edges. Or make them scrappy. You could use a dark red swatch on one side- a light green in the center- and a dark blue on the other outer edge. It's a great way to use up scraps!
Make as many of these as you want to in lots of colors and then lay them out and play with them to see what designs you can make. We do the steps in assembly line style to make hundreds of them at a time. Then I get to play!! Hope you have fun trying them for yourself!!
God Bless! Rhonda
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