Lately one of my favorite things about coming into the shop, is hearing about the people who have brought in blocks to show off, had their card stamped, and picked a cake pop, or people who have come in and seen our blocks and left excited to participate. Sometimes people aren’t sure about starting a new project so close to the holidays, but we like to tell them a) the blocks are small and quick and you can only do three a week because you HAVE to wait for the next three, and b) it’s also possible to simply download the blocks now and make them later – but that’s not quite as much fun, is it?
Maybe, at this busy time of year, it is actually a nicer idea to set aside one or two hours a week to work on these small blocks – you can’t work ahead, so when you’re done for the week, you’re really done for the week. Isn’t that kind of satisfying? I find, too, that cutting out the pieces for three blocks generally takes about 30-45 minutes, and sewing the blocks takes 1-2 hours. I break it up over the week, cutting one night, and sewing another time. In between, of course, I am really looking forward to my next chance to sew!
Now, let’s take a look at some sets of blocks 1-6 that have collected at the store!
On the left is Barb’s Christmas set, and on the right is Veronica’s set in beach glass colors.
Now, let’s look ahead to blocks 7, 8, and 9.
Block 7 is a classic, and always looks striking in two colors (but don’t let that keep you from using more than two if you want a different look). There are a lot of pieces here, and maybe the previous hints on scant seams are proving not quite enough to get the crisp corners and points you want. Consider your thread – it takes up space! When you see the weight of the thread, keep in mind that the higher the number, the finer the thread. Aurifil, for example, is 50 weight and two ply – it will take up less room in a seam than a 60 weight thread. There’s a reason Aurifil is used by many quilters! One more thing to mention: press without steam. Pressing with steam can lead to distortion in small pieces and blocks!
Block 8 combines simple squares and flying geese. If you haven’t been in to the shop to see the Lazy Girl Flying Geese No Math ruler and other similar tools, stop in and see our examples. (Note that while the pattern has you piecing four smaller squares together for the center, giving you the option of using different fabrics, Veronica has replaced that with one larger square, cut at 4″.)
Block 9 is a pinwheel-lover’s dream! The pattern shows it in two colors (background and print), but remember that this is YOUR sampler, and if you want each pinwheel to be a different color, then go for it! Again, with half square triangles (HSTs), the Bloc-Loc ruler is irreplaceable. Even quilters who don’t love gadgets swoon over the Bloc-Loc!
If you need an easy corner triangles refresher, or if Moda’s little assembly drawings are a little too skimpy on directions for you, check out this pdf for more information: Easy Corner Triangles.
Don’t forget to bring your blocks in to show us – and don’t forget that blocks 1-3 will disappear from the web site on 11/16 (at least, that what our fairy godmother said would happen).