Thursday 21 March 2013

Craftsy Block of the Month 2012 part 2

Yesterday I wrote about taking part in the online BOTM series held by Craftsy in 2012.  They have another one this year too but here's how I got on making 2 blocks on a different technique per month.  Led by Amy Gibson who blogs at Stichery Dickory Dock, the series is brilliant, great fun and very informative.  Plus it's free!  Yesterday's post was on January to March: slashed blocks, Half Square Triangles and String blocks.  Today I'm looking at April to July.

April: English Paper Piecing.  I learned this as patchwork piecing in school and have tried a few times since to use scraps of material and cardboard templates to make cushion covers but I must admit didn't get very far with it.  I wasn't too keen on this month's block but once you get going this really it isn't all that bad.  And yes it used up a lot of scrap fabric!

The first block was hexagons whip-stitched together in a chain and appliqued onto the background.  Amy's video takes you through every step easily with great explanations.  It is well worth a watch.  I think I must have watched it 3 or 4 times over.  The second block is called "Sunny with a chance of Hex!" Amy threw out a challenge to be creative with our hexies.  I made her original block and a variation with bumble bees below. 

Check out Craftsy for some really inspirational things people have done with hexies!  At some point I would like to make this as a block for a quilt.  I think this would be great in a baby quilt.   Really there is so much you can do with hexagons.

May: Wonky Log cabin.  This was fun!  Maybe I'm just suited to sewing with strips but I enjoyed this as much as the foundation string blocks in yesterdays post.  Again it gave me an opportunity to play with complimentary and contrasting colours in each of the blocks.  I love the offset squares in the first block and the wonkiness of the second block gives the impression of a house.  Really easy, colourful and just fun!

 June:  Modern 9 Patch.  The  Greek Cross and Octagon.  Looking at my blocks made so far they are heavily pink and purple.  I had lots of the flowery stuff to use as well so thought I might as well go green for the Greek cross to give a bit of variety in colour to the finished quilt.  The pattern itself is easy enough and with the right fabric this could make a really lovely quilt on its own.  I'm thinking of solids maybe?  They are 9 patches made up of 3x3 squares with  HST, squares and some rectangles.   I think the octagon is a really cool block.  Again really easy and this would look the business in a giant block on its own in a quilt. 

July:  Dresden Plates.  These look so hard and skilful but they are really not that hard to make.  You either use a template or a wedge shaped ruler to cut out the wedges.  I was able to use a lot of scraps on the first multi-coloured block.  You sew the top of the wedges right sides together with wrong side facing and then turn them out.  I used a knitting needle to push out the point.  A quick press and sew the wedges together aligning them at the top.  This leaves a nice big hole which is covered over by a circular piece of fabric and stitched down.  Ok so I didn't do the best job in the world at the center circle on the right hand one but practice makes perfect!  The video really helps explain the process and really stunning effect for very little effort!

The material here wasn't a problem either.  All the colours co-ordinate well and I love the scrappy look of the traditional Dresden.  I'm thinking of a rainbow effect on the more modern smooth edged Dresden would be nice and I also think this would make the perfect block  for a picnic quilt with laminate backing fabric. 

Up Next August to October!

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