This post is part of the Block of the Month series, sponsored by Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild.  See all the blocks right here.

It’s Block of the Month time, guys!  We’re going to start off with a bang with the film strip block.

Film Strip block by ircabbit via Flickr

This block is fun and funky with “film strips” of fussy cut squares arranged at a jaunty angle.  If you are making a medallion quilt, you can use the strip part of the block as a border instead of putting it onto a background square.  So let’s get going!

First, cut your materials to make a 12″ (finished) block:

  • Background square: (1) 13″ x 13″
  • Sashing strips: (6) 1″ wide by 18″
  • Fussy-cut squares: (10) 2 3/4″ x 2 3/4″

Note: Because there are a lot of seams in this block, I suggest pressing all of your seams open so that the block will lie flat. All seams are 1/4″.  The measurements given are generous.  You will trim your block to the final size at the end.

Make the first film strip:
1. Attach sashing to the side of each fussy-cut
Lay 5 fussy-cut squares, face up, end to end.  (Put the top of each square flush up against the bottom of the next one.)  Lay one strip of sashing face down on the squares, lining up the sashing with the right side of each fussy-cut. Pin in place.

Sew the fussy-cuts to the sashing strip.  Press the seams open.

Cut the fussy-cuts apart.  Now you have five fussy-cuts, each with a sashing strip sewn along its right side. 

2. Sew the fussy-cuts together into a strip
Lay out the fussy-cuts, face up, from left to right, in the order you want them in your film strip.  Since the block will be trimmed later, I suggest using your least favorite fussy-cuts on the ends.  Sew the fussy-cuts together so that there is sashing between each pair of squares.  Press seams open.  Now you have one fussy-cut strip.

3. Sew sashing to the top and bottom of your fussy-cut strip
Lay out your fussy-cut strip face up.  Place a strip of sashing face down on the strip and line up the edge of the sashing with the top edge of the strip.  Pin, sew, and press seam open.  Do the same with a second piece of sashing on the bottom edge of the fussy cut strip.  Now you have one film strip, ready to go.  One end of your film strip does not get sashing, but this is fine because both ends will eventually get trimmed off. 

Make the second film strip:
4.  Repeat steps 1 – 3 with the remaining (3) sashing strips and (5) fussy-cut squares.

Insert the first film strip into your block:
5.  Lay your background square face up on the table.  Lay your film strip face up on top of it.  Arrange the film strip across it at any wonky angle that pleases you.  (Make sure to leave room for both strips.)

Put one pin in each side of the the block to mark the location of the top edge of the film strip.  (Be sure that the pins follow the same wonky angle as the film strip.) Flip the film strip up and over so that is is face down on the block and still alligned with the two pins.  If you wish, scooch the film strip down the block about a half an inch from the pins.  This is where you will attach the film strip to the block.  This may sound a little bit complicated, but really, you can just eyeball it.

6.  Pin the film strip into place on the block. Sew along the edge of the film strip using a 1/4″ seam.

Using a ruler and rotary cutter, cut next to the seam allowance of the seam you just sewed.  Press the seam open.

7.  Now you have two pieces: 1) the top part of your block joined to one film strip, and 2) the bottom part of your block. Lay them together  on your table so that the right and left edges of your block line up.

Using your ruler and a pencil, mark a line across your film strip and sashing to show where the edges of the block are.

8.  Flip the bottom half of your block up over the film strip.  Line up the marks on the film strip with the sides of the block and pin.

Sew the seam and press open. There you have it!  One film strip is inserted into your block. 

9. Repeat steps 5-8 with the second film strip.

10. Trim the block to 12 1/2″ x 12 1/2 ”  Yay, you’re done!