Mile a minute block

I have mentioned the mile a minute block in other poste, but have never told how to make it.  Many quilters make this block and there are a lot of tutorials telling about it.  This is the way that I make it.

Separate scraps of fabric into two bags, one for scraps and one for strips.  The strips do not have to be straight.  The fabric does not have to be color coordinated, unless you want it to be a theme.  Use leftover thread and bobbins to do the sewing,  Color doesn’t matter.

a6Place the strips on one side of the sewing machine and the scraps on the other.  Pick up a strip and place it right side up under the pressure foot.  Without peeking, Pick up a scrap and place it on the strip right sides together.  Pick up another strip, butt it against the first and sew. You must use the scrap that you picked up without looking unless it is the same fabric as the strip. You do not have to have an accurate 1/4″ seam but it has to be straight.

Continue adding scraps to strips until you have a big pile behind the machine.  Press strips to one side.  It doesn’t matter which side.  Cut between strips. a5

Place another strip on the machine.  Add the two combined pieces to this strip right sides together.  It doesn’t matter  which way the combined piece is added.  Whichever looks best.  Again, press and cut between pieces. Pressing is very important.

a3      a4

Keep adding combined pieces to strips until the block is large enough to place a 6″ or 6 1/2″ rotary ruler on the diagonal.  When cutting the mile a minute block, always use the same ruler so the size will be the same on all blocks.  Move ruler around so that the corners don’t come at a seam,  Continue until you have enough blocks for a quilt.  a2    a1

a  Cut sashing strips the desired width and the length of one side of the block.  The strips could be cut 1 1/2″ or 2 1/2″wide.  Also cut square corner blocks the size of the sashing.  When sewing, place block under sashing,  There will be bias pieces. The feed dogs will take care of any difference in the size of the block if the bias stretches a bit.  Decide if you want a diagonal or straight set.  With a diagonal set, you will need setting triangles around the edges.

Add a 4″ to 6″ border or add a 1″ border, a 3″ mile a minute border and  4″ border for a total of 8″ on each side of the quilt.

You can use the mile a minute block in any quilt block that has a section the size of the block.  It could be the center of an Ohio Star block, monkey wrench block or any similar blocks. Sew a single piece of fabric to the mile a minute block.  Press toward the single fabric.

This is a great way to use all the cut off pieces that are left over after making a quilt.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

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