We aren't going to delve into applique in this series - we'll just stick with piecing, but there is one more piecing technique that will open up possibilities and make some of your piecing just a little easier. It's called the Stitch and Flip technique.
I am going to teach you this technique by making this versatile block called the Snowball Block. It ends up making about the closest thing to a "ball" that is possible with basic piecing techniques.
To begin, you will need the following fabric pieces:
Four 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" squares (they can be all the same, or not)
Sixteen 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" background squares
Mark the diagonal lines on the back of the sixteen 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares.
With right sides together (RST), place a 2 1/2" marked square in the corner of a 6 1/2" square. Stitch on the line. (Here is the 'Stitch' part of Stitch and Flip.)
Trim 1/4" from stitching to remove corner.
Flip the corner back and press. (Here is the 'Flip' part of Stitch and Flip.)
Repeat the steps to do a stitch and flip corner to all four corners.
Repeat to make 4 blocks.
Stitch the blocks together to make 2 rows.
Make sure the top row seam is pressed opposite of the bottom row seam.
Stitch rows together to make the block. *Notice that I did pin this. This will help your diagonal seams match up.
Finished block! This is actually four finished blocks put together to make one.
What I hope that you understand from this demonstration is that you can do this technique in many variations. Try varying the size of the corner that you stitch and flip, or try doing only some of the corners. Try doing different sizes in different corners or try doing it to a block that is already complete but needs a little 'something else.'
Here is a scrappy quilt made only from snowball blocks.
Here is a snowball block used as an alternating block with a nine-patch block. I might have to actually make this quilt, I love it!
Here is a snowball block being used in the sashing posts of a quilt. Lots of possibilities! Experiment!