Mercantile BOM Part 2 – Sewing with directional fabrics

By now most of you have been sewing up the second set of blocks for the Mercantile Block of the Month. (And some of you are already working on your third!) It has been so fun to see everyone’s progress!

This second installment has a diagonal stripe fabric that will be used in a few of the blocks. Some of you have had questions on how to work with directional fabrics, so I thought I would take you through step by step with what I do when I’m trying to make sure everything will go the direction I want.

I will demonstrate using the Apple Dumpling Block, which uses the stripe fabric for the flying geese blocks, as well as some corner triangles in the center portion (the C/D units). It really doesn’t matter if you choose to sew the stripes in all different directions, since the quilt block still looks great that way too. But since the sample quilt shows all the stripes going the same direction, I’ll show you how to accomplish that.

The first thing I do when using directional fabrics is cut out all the pieces that I will be using in the block, and then lay them out. For now I left the corner squares (F) out, since I didn’t really need them for this part. As you can see from the picture, I’ve placed all the diagonal stripes going the same direction, right sides together. That is THE most important step! I do this BEFORE I mark any diagonal lines as directed in the pattern.

Now that I have all the stripes going the same way, I take a picture on my phone as a reminder. I also finger press everything just to make sure it all looks good.

Finger pressing for good measure!

Finger pressing also helps because then I have a guide for marking all my diagonal lines for sewing. Now carefully add the marked lines accordingly. As you can see from the photo, some of the lines for the flying geese run parallel to the stripe, while others are perpendicular.

Then go ahead and sew the flying geese and the C/D units from the pattern as directed. If done correctly, they will look like this:

Now you are ready to sew the rest of the block as directed. Just lay everything out one more time before you begin pinning and sewing so you can make sure everything is still going the same direction. Easy peasy!

When it’s all said and done, you should end up with a pretty little block that looks like this:

Have fun, and Happy Quilting!

– Kristin


  1. Mabel Davis - September 24, 2019

    I missed out on BOM Mercantile. Missed the deadline by a few days. Now I cant get the same BOM. I love this pattern because you use different blocks to complete. To me the pattern just goes with the General Store fabric. Is there any way to get your pattern? I have tried to connect with you on facebook to see about Please let me know if there is anyway possible to obtain the pattern. Thank you for your help.

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