Skill Builder Sampler Catch up: Wonky blocks

When quilting (or making quilt blocks), when the lines and pieces are intentionally not straight and/or symmetrical as a design element, that’s a “wonky” block.  I had so much fun with these!

First up was the wonky log cabin.   I chose to construct a quarter wonky log cabin, building the block outward from one corner.  I used a lot of my scraps in this block, but I think I could have been more intentional with where I placed the strips within the block.  It’s completely random and I think that makes the block seems a little erratic.  I’m going to go with it, though.  I learned something, and that’s the whole point of the Skill Builder Sampler.  Like a couple other blocks that haven’t been my favorite, in this case, I”m just going to let it go an have faith that they will look great with the other block on the “whole quilt” scale.

Next up, the wonky star.  I have seen this type of block quite a bit in the various online communities of which I am a part, and I’ve been wanting to try one for quite some time.  I LOVE how it turned out.  And it came together really easily, which is just a bonus.

The final wonky block was the wonky fan.  This one threw me off a little bit because of the curve of the fan.  I was having trouble estimating how wide I needed to make the top and bottom of the fan blades to end up with a fan that was the correct size for my block with the right amount of arch.  The fan blades are sewn together and then appliquéd to the background before then appliquéing the center piece.

Skill Builder Sampler Catch-up: Curves

Way back last summer, I started playing along with the Skill Builder Sampler, hosted by Leila at Sewn.

The point of this series is just as it sounds: building skills.  Quilting skills to be exact.  Every week, a new block is posted, and every forth week is a catch-up week.  The series was set up so that after a year, we will have a collection of 36 sampler blocks to make a large quilt or several small projects.

I was keeping up really well through the half way point, and even won a little fabric prize in a random drawing for completing all the blocks to that point.  Then, my Skill Builder Sampler had to take a back seat to other projects and other things.

Meanwhile, our host herself ended up taking a hiatus.  She mentioned she wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t stand the smell of her iron.  Yep, she’s expecting a baby, and has now made it through the 1st trimester yuckies and is back posting skill building blocks.  The timing of the break worked out for me because it allowed me catch back up.

Our skill building sewing curves included the flowering snowball block.  The block was not intended to have a border around it.  However, it used a template, and I guess mine printed smaller than it was supposed to and I didn’t check it, so my block ended up too small.  So I added a small border.  But I must have been tired and my “quilt math” got turned around in my head so my block was only 12-inches instead of 12.5.  Grrrr …  Instead of taking out all the seam, I just cut off the 1st set of borders, which made my block even smaller and the borders even bigger.  Phew!  Glad to have that done with!!

This is a drunkard’s path block.  I wonder why it is called “drunkard’s path”?  Because drunks can’t walk in a straight line?  Ha!  Anyway.  We practiced curves and making our own templates for quilt blocks.  It actually came together pretty easily.

And finally, the curved 9-patch.  This one (unlike the first block I mentioned in this post) actually was supposed to have a border.  This one also required a template, but we don’t currently  have a printer and I wanted to get started, so I just made my own template to the correct size rather than waiting until I could print the template.  Amazingly, the sizing actually worked out!  Really, I’m amazed.  (I did leave myself a little wiggle room for trimming) I like the block and how it turned out, but I’m less than satisfied with my color choices here.  I think that two prints are too busy next to each other, and were I to do it again, I would make the curved outer edges with a solid, or at least with a much lower contrast print.

I shall have to get a picture of these curve-y blocks all together to show you, but for now, the individual shots will have to suffice.

Skill Builder Sampler catch up: appliqué blocks

Since June, I’ve been sewing along with the We Can Do It!  Skill Builder Sampler at Sewn.  I managed to a great job keeping up through the half-way point, and even won the half way done giveaway!  Then, life happened other projects took priority and I just wasn’t making time to complete the block that Leila put up on her blog.

I missed two entire months of skill building: appliqué and curves.  Good news: I’m nearly caught up.  I have just one more curves block to complete.  Bad news: one of my curves blocks turned up short because the template didn’t print to scale, and I fixed it by adding a border, but miscalculated so the finished block is too small.  So really, I have two more to complete before I’m caught up because that one is going to have to be un-sewn (read: seam ripper!) and then re-sewn.

However!  My appliqué blocks are done, done, done!

First up, was orange windows, using raw edge appliqué.  I’m actually quite familiar with raw edge appliqué as I’ve used it a bit in several mei tais I’ve made, so completing this block was pretty straight forward to me and I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Next up: Circles.  The instructions were to complete the circles trying out the different methods of appliqué featured in the post.  Leila presented four methods; I tried out three (I wasn’t really interested in the “needle-turn appliqué” because it’s all hand sewing and I tend to avoid “all hand sewing” when I can.  You know, like rewriting an entire tutorial because there was too much hand sewing!).  So from smallest to largest, I used a piece of interfacing to back the circle, a freezer paper circle ironed on to the fabric, and the gathered circle method (which was my favorite and involved a teensy bit of hand sewing.  So, you see, I don’t avoid all hand sewing.  I just avoid “all hand sewing”.).  Then I repeated those methods again.  Larger circles are easier.

The third and final appliqué block was in-y and out-y.  We were to choose whatever block we wanted and whatever method of appliqué was wanted as long as the appliqué featured indentations and points.

I decided to design my own Window Box Block.  I started by piecing the window and the window box for the background and then appliquéd the tulips on top.  I chose raw edge appliqué because that’s what I’m most comfortable with and I really love how this turned out.

Here’s a close-up of a few of the tulip appliqués.

And the base of the flowers with the fabric I used as the dirt in the window box.  It’s pretty much perfect and I just happened to have it already in my fabric stash.  Why I ended up with (or purchased for some reason) a fat quarter of fabric that looks like dirt, I don’t know or can’t remember, but it seems it was just waiting for this project.

Appliqué blocks all together: