Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Trying Out New Blocks

Day Three:

Today started with work and a family get together so when I got home I didn't think I'd spend too much time working on quilting. Let's just say I was wrong--- I realized once I start something I enjoy I do not want to stop. I got home about 8pm and ended up working on a few blocks until 2am. 

To start the evening I knew I needed to work on my rotary cutting skills as I had a few pieces of fabric I've had to set aside for later already because for one reason or another I didn't cut it to the proper size. To practice I cut small squares some 2.5" by 2.5" and others 2" by 2" and then made this 9 Square block. I think it turned out pretty well. I'm certainly getting better at watching my 1/4 inch seam allowance. And that maybe because I did get my new 1/4 inch quilting foot for the sewing machine and have been using it as my guide. 

Quick and Easy Xmas Nine-Square Block
Once I had this block down and felt better about cutting I decided to make another panel of fabric that I could use to make a 9-Square block later on. I chose the pastel fabric I got from Goodwill as the base, and then the White Fabric Fat Square from Joann's as the middle strip. I did 2" strips. Which is why the white looks like 1.5" in comparison to both pastels (that lovely 1/4 inch seam allowance!). Once I got the fabric cut this was very quick to put together.

Loving the colors just need to find something to use for opposites on block.

The first real block for the evening that I attempted was from a website called Craftsy which has great quilting patterns and tutorials. I subscribed to the Block of the Month class, which teaches you two new blocks that you can do each month of the year and then at the end of the year you'll have created a full quilt. I had watched the January block video over the weekend, and thought it seemed easy enough. So I choose two fabrics, one red Christmas fabric from Savers, and the the white Fat Quarter from Joann's. The block I was being taught to make as a Slash and Strip, where you start with a large red square of fabric, and then cut it in half on the diagonal, then sew in a white strip. After that is complete you slash the square again in the opposite direction and add in another stripping, doing this two more times down the diagonals. In the end you should have a 12.5" by 12.5" square. Because my white fabric strips weren't long enough I ended up squaring up my fabric and making the block a 9.5" by 9.5" so if in the future I decided to use it I could. While this block didn't come out the size I was planning it was fun to make and present a bit of a challenge which was nice. 

Slash and Strip Block Completed
After creating all of those I wanted to find a pattern to follow. I figured out the McCall's has an amazing list of FREE Quilt Block Patterns  from there I used the Bridle Path Block Pattern. I didn't have enough types of fabric that would work together to create the center the way the pattern showed so I decided to just use my variety of Christmas patterns and then adjust the middle of the block to match the outside squares. When I was finishing up this block it was 2am, so as I was determining the layout of the final two blue/white blocks in the last row (see below) you'll see that I chose to have the 1/2 snow men facing upward.. when I showed this block as the completed project to my husband he pointed out it looked a little wonky with the blocks being placed that way instead of matching the other three blue/white blocks. I told him he was being picky and it was fine and decided to go to bed. (Flash forward to 9 a.m. on Day 4--- I look at the photo I took of the block and realize I need to go downstairs and use my seam ripper to fix the last row). 

I am not going for perfect, just practice!

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