Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Insert and Improvise

It has been awhile since my last post, but I have been busy. I went to two quilt weekends in a row. The first was with the Herring Run Quilt Guild at the Sea Crest  in Falmouth. This past weekend I was with friends at a regularly scheduled quilt weekend in Stoughton. So what have I been working on? Well, it's a shades of brown and turquoise, improvised blocks quilt. I had clipped and tucked away a small photo of a quilt that caught my eye from a quilting magazine a few years back. It featured batik blocks with contrasting color insertions. The blocks had either one or two inserted pieces. Since I had some lovely turquoise and brown fat quarters, I started playing around. No pattern was involved, just an idea and a tiny smidge of creativity. :-)

This block looked nice especially with the striped fabric, so what would happen if I inserted more strips?

 Then, I tried all sorts of things. Here are a few of  of my favorite blocks.

I should note that all of these blocks still need to be pressed and trued up to size. The entire process was  great fun. In case you would like to give it a try, here is what I did. I began with a 8.5 square and inserted various stips which were one inch wide. That was the key for these blocks. When you use a quarter inch foot, you lose a quarter inch on each side making your inserted strip one half inch wide. Conversely, when the strip is inserted you lose a quarter inch on each side of the block, so the block remains 8.5 inches. I shared this with you because someone who was watching as I improvised the blocks, couldn't quite grasp how the block stayed the same size until I explained it in that manner. You could, of course, insert strips of various widths, but you would have to start with a larger original block and then trim it down to the desired final size. One more thing, to make the stips appear to be woven, insert one strip vertically, then horizontally, then vertically, etc.  I also was consistent with my cuts. By that I mean, if for example my first vertical cut was one and a half inched in, then my horizontal cut would also be one and a half inches from the bottom. I varied these cuts for each block.
     I have four more blocks to make and then I will be able to assemble the top. Yeah!
Happy spring!

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