Monday, May 28, 2012

Crazy Geese

I am in several Flickr based quilting groups.  One of my favorites is Add-A-Border (the link button is on my links list).  It’s a low key group with no timelines.  You start by sending in a 6.5 inch (or 12.5 inch) block – either made specifically for this group or an orphan you’ve been wondering what to do with.  That block gets sent out to others who add a border.  Meanwhile Dustin, who is the “Bee Daddy”, sends you one or more blocks.  The sizes go 6.5 to 12.5 to 18.5 to 24.5 inches.  If you REALLY like a block you get, you can keep it.  Otherwise, at 24.5, the initiator has right of first refusal, otherwise it goes up for adoption by anyone who has completed a full set (24.5 inch) borders.   There is no time line on any of this.  Very time crunch friendly, cheap and none of the drama that seems to go with more formal bees.  No one is relying on you, so you can take a break whenever.  You are sewing from your stash and pay only for the postage (you send a SASE when you send in a block).  You have no idea what you are going to get and some of them have proven to be a challenge. Sometimes I know right away what to add, other times my reaction is more like WTF?  But with no time line, I can let a project stew a while until I get it figured out.  These blocks also give you permission to explore and experiment, as they as not part of someone’s project.  Each is as individual as the people who make it.  It's been great fun to see what people make of the starters I have sent in!

So it was with a block named Leftover Log Cabin. Adding more of what had been added would have been boring.  The more I looked at it, the more I thought about adding geese.  Then while cruising the web for ideas, I saw several instances of more wonky geese.  Since I am a fan of freezer paper piecing, I ended up designing a 2”by 6” panel of crazy geese plus a corner piece.  The corner piece has proven to be the biggest challenge.  Overall, I think the border came out okay and it was fun to do.  I have posted the PDF file of the patterns for your use.  Make sure to turn the scaling off, when you print the PDF!  Feel free to use this any way you like, including changing the size.  If you are interested in joining the group, do so.  There is no limit on the number of members.  The more the merrier!  I have no clue how Dustin keeps up with this all, but he does.  He rocks!

Crazy Geese Border added to Left Over Log Cabin.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Spiderweb Block

So I saw this cool looking block that one of my Flickr friends had made and which she blogged about. She had gotten the tutorial for the block from another site.

What I did not like is the use of a 12.5 inch square of fabric to use as the foundation.  That’s wasting some nice fabric, and if your star fabric is bright, the color might burn through the strips.  SO, I designed a paper piecing pattern for this block.  The problem with that is, most printers are limited in size, so my pattern will only make a 10.5 inch trimmed, 10 inch finished block.  Please note – you still have to add the ¼ inch seam allowance to the pattern when making the final trim.  I suggest you draw the cut lines in, so you won’t forget! 

It’s a lot like the block I blogged about last.  You start with the middle piece and then piece either side of it. 
Starting the quarter block.

  Trim each triangle with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  After making four, sew the triangles together on the short sides.

Finished Block

A few things to note: 
  •  If you wanted the corners to have the same color way, then you would have to alternate on which side a particular color way goes on two of the blocks.  Realize, as you make more blocks and sew them together, it's those corner strip triangles that will form the spiderwebs!  See the mockup below (I only have made one block so far).

  • You can make this go faster if you sew the strips to each side at a time, before pressing and getting the next strips ready.
  • There’s nothing sacred about the lines for the strips – you can make as many or as few, as straight or as wonky as you want.  The only piece that has to be correct is the central one, labeled BG.
  • As usual I used freezer paper, but any style of foundation piecing will work.
BTW, I recently discovered that there are wide format printers that will print on 13 inch wide and up to 44”long paper.  They cost no more than a regular printer.  I have already decided I am buying one.  Many are WiFi, so I can set it up in my studio, but print from any computer in the house.