Monday 18 March 2013

Craftsy Block of the Month 2012 part 1

So it's a year on and a new 2013 block of the month is underway at Craftsy and I'm writing today about the 2012 block of the month.  What gives you say?  This is one of those UFO's (Unfinished objects) I carried over from last year.  That and a Halloween quilt which I hope to blog about next!  I'm hoping to spur myself on and complete these .

For anyone that hasn't tried Craftsy please do so - I am completely addicted and have to thank Jenny Doan and Craftsy for their instruction on my first ever quilt made of charm squares.    They have a lot of quilting courses amongst other crafts like knitting and crochet.  They even have some free ones - yes free!    They have recently uploaded presentations from Quiltcon featuring speakers like Amy Butler, Heather Jones and Mary Fons.  They are great - check them out!

There is a new 2013 block of the month but Craftsy have kept available the 2012 block of the month led by Amy Gibson who blogs at Stichery Dickory Dock.  Amy is a brilliant instructor and very easy to follow.  Her blocks are lovely and would make great quilts on their own but in this class she has put together tutorials on 2 blocks a month centered around a different skill.  January was slashed blocks, very easy, quick and great fun.

February: HST (half square triangles).  This one was way more tricky.  I ran into an issue with material selection in addition to scant 1/4" seam issues and ended up with an ugly block 1/2" too small.  So I made it again and got a better result!

This brings me onto the point about material selection.  The 2012 BOTM was one of the first things I tried in terms of quilting.  It was brilliant for a beginner but I made the mistake of not spending the money and buying a FQB (fat quarter bundle) that I really liked.  As this project needed 25-35 fat quarters plus background fabric for the whole quilt I should just have bought as I went along.  Instead me being me, I bought everything up front and looked at the cost as a whole.  Trying to minimise this expense I bought the best value FQB I could find on Ebay and ended up with some lovely fabrics in the bundle and some not so lovely, flowery things, that I would never choose on their own.    This made the material selection for the individual blocks a tad tricky!  

I didn't realise this of course until I made a really ugly block as my first attempt at February's HST.  This was very much a "do I really want to do this?" moment for me and made every colour decision and material selection for this project thereafter that bit harder.  I second guessed myself and eventually enlisted some help.  I asked my mum to help me figure out what went with what.  My mum doesn't sew but worked for over 40 years in a speciality food shop in the city center and every year did the window displays.  She knows colour and colour co-ordination like no other.  It just comes naturally to her.  So she helped a lot in this project - thanks Mum!

March: Foundation piecing - string blocks and broken spider web.  This was the best fun.  Everything I said about the difficulty of colour choice in the HST blocks was non-existent here.  Loved these blocks and I love how different they look depending on complimentary and contrasting colour.  Really scrappy and really pretty.  I have got to make more of these.  The technique isn't that hard.  Amy's instruction is really easy to follow.  I learned on Pepper Cory's class that in the past instead of a fabric foundation, a lot of string quilts were made with paper from telephone books to give support to the scraps while sewing and then removed afterwards.  April May and June next!

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