Surrounded QAL-Week 4- Center Blocks



I sew any chance I get. I quite often get up early so I can sew a little before work or stay up late to work on any project I am obsessed by. To be able to work on items in short little burst of time, I have a few processes to help keep me on task. Today I am going to share how I pieced the center section of the block together. The is somewhat a mindless, therapeutic method that lets me stop and start without loosing my place.

I shared with you that the main focus fabrics for this quilt were from Hustle and BustIe by Basic Grey and that I also added some of Christmas Morning by Lella Boutique. The fabrics above are from Christmas Morning and Red Barn Christmas by Sweetwater. Those of you that follow me often know that I am obsessed by dots. Everything I make has some dot fabric in it. I would buy an entire bolt of the red and green dot shown above. It is just that good!

I stack all my pieces on one design board and chain sew  working vertically down each section.  This helps me keep all my pieces in order. (shown above is just 1 layer, normally I would have layers for all the blocks needed for my quilt.) 

Shown above – all my center 9 patches chain pieced and ready to join into blocks.

I do not clip the threads so this keeps the sections in order and eliminates pinning. it is hard to see in the picture but there is a few stitches from chain sewing that hold these sections together. As I sew, I flip the seam allowance towards the dark and they nest together beautifully.  If you like to press your seams open, not cutting the threads can be problematic. You will need to trim the threads once you have sewn the pieces together to press open.  I press my seams to the dark side so don’t have to worry about that. (remember mindless, therapeutic sewing!)


Here you can see how one side of the block is sewn together and the other side is just “hanging on by a thread” waiting to be joined.

Last week I shared how I make some of my own design boards, so if you missed that post, click here.

Week 3 of this QAL is a perfect time to include a GIVEAWAY for one of my other books, SCRAP SCHOOL.  This book has a fantastic line up of designers like Kim Diehl,
Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts, Connie and Mary of Country Threads, Lisa Bongean, Susan Ache, Amy Smart, Sarah Huechteman, Gudrun Erla and Sherri L. McConnell.

Leave a comment and check back here next Wednesday to see who is the winner of their own copy of Scrap School. Also giving away a copy on my instagram so , visit @modalissa for another chance to win.

Join me back here, Wednesday Nov. 3rd  to make side bar section of the block. We are almost done with the sections!

Each  post will go live at 6:00 pm central.

Wednesday, Nov. 10th – Assemble Blocks
Break for Thanksgiving
-Wednesday, Dec. 1st – Sashing
-Wednesday Dec. 8th – Assemble Quilt top

I hope each of you have a fun Halloween and enjoy something sweet. What is your favorite Halloween candy?






  1. Name *Clara says:

    I’m loving the blocks we’ve made so far and the pace seems just right for me. My favorite candy has to be Kit Kat. Thank you, Lissa.

  2. Shawn says:

    Thanks for the chance to win. I have never made a scrap quilt but would love to try. I always use fabric from the same line in one quilt

  3. Linda Garcia says:

    I chain piece blocks together like that too. I am currently working on some scrap blocks that are a 64 patch and finish at 20 inches. Chaining is the only way to keep all those pieces in their right places! LOL!
    I love scrap quilts and have been eying the Scrap School book so would love to win a copy. Thanks for having a give-away!

  4. Debbie Brugman says:

    CANDY CORN of course
    I started following you after reading one of Sherri’s post about joining you in your Surrounded sew a long. I fell in love when I saw the photo she posted of the quilt. I immediately purchased Oh’ Scrap! and when I received it had it spiral bound. I will be making my Surrounded in all Fall colors. My favorite season. There are at least three other quilts I plan on making from Oh Scraps including an orange (my favorite color) quilt.
    I would be over the harvest moon to win a copy of Scrap School.

  5. Karen C says:

    I love tips like these- so very helpful for a beginning quilter! I love scrappy quilts- I have so many fun scraps from sewing my girls and now granddaughters clothing over the years.

  6. Kaye Mattson says:

    Scrap quilts are my favorite type of quilt to make–the more fabrics the better! Snicker bars are my favorite candy!

  7. Nancy B says:

    O Scrap! is one of my very favorite quilt books, and I’m sure this one would be right up there with it. Love scrappy quilts, especially the ones you’ve designed. Thanks fir a chance to win!

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