|Kansas Dugout Quilt Block|
To assist in cutting the fabric pieces for the Kansas Dugout Block I have made templates available as a FREE download (pdf file) from my Pattern Store:
Please print ACTUAL SIZE. Do not reduce or scale to fit.
Included in the download are templates for three different block sizes: 6 inch, 9 inch or 12 inch finished block. I have used the 6 inch block templates for my quilt project and for this tutorial. The sewing process is the same for all sizes, however if this is your first project with inset seams I suggest that a larger block size is easier and less fiddly when it comes to sewing the quilt top together.
Download, print and carefully cut out your templates. Choose the block size that suits your needs: 6 inch, 9 inch or 12 inch.
Fabric requirements for one Kansas Dugout Block (6 inch x 6 inch finished block)
- 1 center square measuring 2.5 inches x 2.5 inches (you really don't need the square template for this).
- 4 rectangles 5 inches x 2.5 inches
*see below for fabric requirements for other block sizes.
Mark (on the wrong side of the fabric) a 1/4 inch seam allowance along the long sides of all four rectangles. (I use a 2B pencil with a 7mm lead as it is soft enough to lightly mark the fabric without breaking the lead).
Place the paper B template on the rectangle fabric piece.Trim off the excess fabric by placing the 90 degree edge of your ruler on the paper template. Match the 1/4 inch line on your ruler with the 1/4 inch line on the paper template. Ensure that your ruler is at the correct angle by also matching the line on the ruler at the opposite point (see the red dots).
Trim with your rotary cutter.
Slide your ruler across to the opposite end and repeat step 5. A rotating cutting mat is handy for this step but is not a requirement.
Trim all of the rectangle pieces the same way.
With a pencil finish marking a 1/4 inch seam allowance around all of the four fabric pieces. All of the sewing will be done between the points were the lines intersect ~ ensure that they are clear/accurate intersections.
Ready for sewing.
Align and center the fabric to be sewn onto the center square. There is no need to mark the center square as you can easily see if you have correctly centered the fabric by the matching the size of the opposite corners.
With a short length stitch start sewing where the lines intersect and stop at the next intersecting point. Back-stitch at the start and end of the stitching line to lock the stitches in place.
Finger press the seam away from the center (white) fabric.
Repeat steps 9, 10 and 11 for the piece on the opposite side of the center square.
The third fabric piece is going to fit right in between the first two pieces.
At this point you will appreciate the lines on your stitch plate a little more so.
Notice how I have lined the folded edge of the green polka dot fabric with the horizontal line on the stitch plate (above). This is the starting point for your stitching - stitch one or two stitches, back stitch - and continue on till the next intersecting point.
Stop stitching right at the point where the lines intersect again. Do not stitch into the seam allowance of the next fabric (the blue floral fabric). Stop at or before the line as indicated with the red arrow. Don't stitch past the marked line. If you have accidentally stitched too far use a seam ripper to undo those stitches.
Repeat STEP 13 for the last piece of fabric. Your block will now look like this with the four side seams yet to be sewn.
Sewing the side seams.
With the right side of the block facing your fold over the center square diagonally in half (wrong sides together). The side seams that need to be sewn will lie flat together ready for sewing. Start stitching at the intersecting point.
Here (below) is a closer look at what that looks like - with the center (white) fabric neatly folded, line up and start stitching where the marked lines intersect. Stitch to the next intersecting point. You may prefer to stitch right to the end of these side seams but it will affect the way your press your final seams.
Work your way around the block by re-folding the center square and sewing all four of the side seams. Your block will then look like this:
Press your block.
Press two opposing center seams in towards the center square and the other two seams away from the center squares. The points where the fabrics come together will simply twist open. Gently press.
Arrange your blocks and sew together. It is easier to work in sections of four blocks at a time. Join the four blocks together with a center block first, THEN sew the side seams. This will make more sense when you get to this point. There is nothing different about piecing the blocks together, all seams are sewn in exactly the same way.
POINTS TO REMEMBER:
- Reducing your stitch length will help you to stop on or before the point where lines intersect.
- Back stitch at the start and end of all seam lines to lock stitches.
- If you have puckers on the front of your block it is usually because your have stitched too far and into the seam allowance. It is not too late to fix this. Simply turn your block over and unpick those extra stitches.
- Press all blocks the same way to ensure that all seams will nest together when sewing your quilt top.
9 Inch Finished Block: 3.5 inch center square and four rectangles 3.5 inches x 7.5 inches
12 Inch Finished Block: 4.5 inch center square and four rectangles 4.5 inches x 9.5 inches
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask by leaving a comment, and I will explain/clarify as required.
Kansas Dugout Quilt Block Templates - available as an instant download $4.00