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Kyoto Gardens Help

I received the following email from Barbara:

I purchased your Stellar Quilts book and also a quilt kit to make Kyoto Gardens. I am stumped as to how to stitch the T block together. I have cut out practice fabric to make a sample T block. I purchased a queen size quilt kit and don't want to waste the money I paid for both. Can you help me out? Thank you very much. I am new to your work and am blown away with the beauty of the quilts! I want to make them!! 

PS  Your video for the template was awesome.

This is Judy again.
I spent some time trying to explain in a way that might make it more clear for her. Having done that, I thought I ought to put it up on the web site in case it might help someone else. Here's what I wrote to Barbara:

I am sorry you are stumped about the Kyoto Gardens block. I'll try to help you. First, note that the left T diagram shows patch letters. The right diagram shows the sewing sequence in numerical order. The little black v-shaped arrows indicate which direction to press each seam allowance.

It is helpful to trim the points of the B triangles using the "C" trim of my Point Trimmer or using the full-size template on page 64. Also trim the two corners of A precisely as shown in the full-size patch on page 63.

Start assembly by making the preliminary units shown to the right of the block diagrams. Press seam allowances toward the dark or black patches.

Then join black and dark A patches in pairs, with the black on the left of each pair. Press seam allowances toward the black. Join two A-A units. Press seams counter-clockwise. Repeat to make a second A-A-A-A unit. Join these two units to complete the octagonal block center.

Pin the first black preliminary unit to the block center, with black A touching black B at the end. You can align the ends of the patches if you have trimmed their points precisely where I indicate on the templates. If you have not trimmed points, you should align the ends of the SEAM LINES, not the ends of the patches. The light end of the B-B patch will extend way beyond the center unit at this stage. Stitch with a partial seam, just an inch or so at the black end of the seam. (On your first block, you should baste this with a long machine stitch and check alignment before stitching with a regular stitch length.) Next, pin and attach a B-D preliminary unit, with the light D aligned with the black B of the neighboring unit. Again, align the ends of the seam lines if you have not trimmed points.Stitch the full length of the seam. Continue adding black and dark preliminary units alternately in counter-clockwise direction. After adding the last dark unit, complete the 1" partial seam joining the first B-B unit to the block.

If your sewn points are not 1/4" from the raw edge of the block, you are not aligning the units properly. The key to alignment is aligning the ends of the seam lines. You can trace the templates onto tracing paper, and align them to see how the points will stick out when the units are in the right position.

With proper alignment, this block goes together very nicely. I hope this helps.

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