Welcome back to the 2nd month in the Everything And The Kitchen Sink sew along.  This month we’re adding a mug rack to the collection, and for those of you who are also designing along, this month I’m using Microsoft Word as my design tool (although feel free to use any other means you wish!)

For the sew along-ers, here is the link to this month’s block.  Assemble the pieces in letter and number order.  Sections A-H make up one overall section, as do sections I-O.  Those two sections can be joined together before joining to section P.  Again, if you have any problems with how to assemble a block, please check out my Foundation Paper Piecing For The Terrified series from last year.

For the designers, here’s how to tackle your block in Word.  Please note that I’m using Word 2007, 2010 onwards are similar.  For those with older versions the same functions are there, just in different places, sorry!

1. Open up Word with a new, blank document:

2. Go to Page Layout and change your orientation to Landscape, since this is a block that’s wider than it is tall:

3. Remember that there are print boundaries within Word, so anything that ends up in that area won’t be printed, therefore we want to check that we stay in bounds.  Firstly go to the View tab and check the ‘Gridlines’ and ‘Ruler’ tick boxes:

4. With the standard template, you can see that there are quite large margins, so go back to the Page Layout tab and click on the Margins menu, then select Narrow.  If you absolutely knew your printer’s margins you could choose the Custom option, but for the purposes of this, Narrow will suffice:

5. We want to delineate the block boundaries easily, and those gridlines are a bit cumbersom, so go to the Insert Tab and click on the Shapes menu to bring up your shape options (note that in older versions of Word, there’s a specific drawing menu that when opened has all these things in it in a variety of drop downs)

6. Select a basic rectangle shape to start with and lining the cursor up with the top left hand corner of the gridlines, click and drag so that you cover the gridlines entirely, but don’t go beyond the edges:

7. Go back to the View menu and deselect the gridlines tick box (you’ll thank me for this later!)  Now we have our block boundaries, we can start with the shelf, which is another rectangle shape.  Position this where you want on the background, just remember to leave space for the mugs to hang down:

8. For the mugs we’re going to use the trapezoid shape, and this will get drawn straight, then rotated:

9. To rotate the ‘mug’, click on the green circle above the top of the trapezoid while it’s selected and drag it round to the left to the angle then release when it’s at the angle you want:

10. Next is the handle, and for that you will start with the line tool, which you will use to outline your handle:

11. And now repeat for the inner handle line:

12. Now we need to add the ‘hook’ to hold it to the shelf, again using the line tool:

13. This hook cuts through the original outer handle line, but we don’t really need it to split up the handle, so we’ll change the outer line so that it just meets the hook lines.  I do this by drawing 2 shorter lines over the sections of the long line I need to cover, to ensure it’s following the same line, and then selecting the part of the original line in between the hook lines and deleting it:

14.  Now we’ve got the first one worked out, it’s time to create the second.  There are two options for this, either you can create a new mug of a different shape following the same guidelines as for the first one, or you can copy the existing one and paste it.  I went for the second option – the easiest way to do this is to click on each of the mug shapes/lines, then right click and select group before copying and pasting it:

15.  Having got the basic shapes in, we can start breaking down the pattern for paper piecing.  You need to start by ‘ungrouping’ the 2 mugs so that the lines are individual again, then working on the handle, extending the long inner line to the outer edges of the handle:

16. Next we need to take the shorter handle edges up to the shelf to create the next section:

17. Our final 2 divisions are at the top and bottom of each mug, using a line to extend the top and bottom to the shelf and the bottom of the page:

18. That’s the hard part done, now for the labelling!  There are quite a few sections, but it’s not hard to put together, so using the text box shape, start adding in your lettered/numbered sections.  As a tip, I set the background colour and the line colour on my text boxes to ‘no colour’:

Don’t forget to share any blocks you’ve made in the Flickr group!