Here is my finished H-8 block, but since some of my quilting friends asked how to go about this block, I've added some pictures of the steps I took below.
You also can find instructions for this block on http://dearbabyjane.blogspot.com/ in a slightly different approach from mine. She's doing a fantastic job at breaking the blocks down into manageable bits and pieces. :o)
First off I always start out by printing out the block I'm about to work on and then start doodling notes on the paper on how to tackle it, as seen above (you should be able to enlarge the picture by clicking on it).
So, first I started out by piecing the center.
I cut out all of the other pieces and lay them out. BTW, the corner triangles are pretty much cut to size, so if you want to follow my approach and build in a bit of a security, you might want to cut the squares for those 2 1/2" instead of the 2" I used. There really wasn't much to trim for me from the corners, when I squared up the finished block.
Next I took my Olfa circle cutter and adjusted the cutting distance to 1 1/4". The measurement was taken directly from the block without seam allowance, because of the method I use, which should start making more sense in a second.
So I cut the circle out of freezer paper and ironed the shiny side of the freezer paper to the backside of the fabric I'm planing on appliqueing to the center.
With the freezer paper "sticking to the fabric I cut out the center, leaving about 1/4" seam allowance. In order to be able to turn the seam allowance back, I make little snips into the fabric, then I use a water soluble glue stick to apply glue just on the seam allowance and start turning it back onto the freezer paper, smoothing the edge with my finger as I go along.
The result is this perfectly smooth circle that's ready for the applique.
I place the circle exactly into position and baste it with the largest stitch by machine. Then I choose the applique thread that most closely matches the fabric that you applique (in this case a light blue).
Here's a picture with the finished hand applique and the machine basting stitches still in place.
And this is how the applique looks from the back side with the freezer paper and basting stitches still in place and the applique fabric not trimmed down to the 1/4" seam allowance yet.
I then go ahead and remove the basting stitches, trim the seam allowance and to remove the freezer paper I spritz the backside with water and let it sit for a moment, so the glue has time to dissolve. The freezer paper will pull off very easy.
This is a close-up of how I trimmed the QST's.
I hope the pictures are helpful, but don't hesitate to ask if you want me to clarify one of the steps.