Thursday, January 27, 2011

Block-a-Palooza - Block #2

Good thing this wasn't block #1. I'd have clicked away at lightning speed rather than get involved in an 81-piece block!. Just cutting all those 2" squares was a chore. I briefly considered strip-piecing this, but my brain wasn't up to calculating what that would entail for one block, so I didn't. My seams are just a bit wonky, but I love it anyway.

I had to tackle this one in four sessions:

1) Choosing and cutting fabric, and sewing into 27 3-square strips

2) Pressing the strips and sewing them up into the small 9-patch units, and pressing all the new seams

3) Trimming the 9-patch units to 4.5"

4) Assembling the block and pressing again

I came this close to forgetting to trim the 9-patch units to 4.5"! Good thing I remembered, because if I'd messed that up I'd have thrown in the towel on the sew-along rather than rip this block apart or start over.

This one turned out better than I'd hoped. I really like how the darks and lights in this rendition hint at a plaid. Trimming the 9-patch units seemed like so much extra work, but in the end that subtle difference in the width/height of some rows/columns is what makes this block sing.

As you can see with the blocks side by side, I deliberately emphasized the larger 9-patch element by keeping the blue and green prints together. I placed them in the "+" position of the block 9-patch this time, to contrast with their "X" position in Block 1:

Of course I have no idea yet whether or not these blocks will end up as neighbors. They'll look nice wherever in the finished quilt they are.

This is just about the last of that pale blue Amy Butler print. I have one 12"x1.25" strip and three much smaller pieces left, enough to toss into the "small scraps" drawer for future use, but probably not enough for a future appearance in this project. I am sorry to see it go.

And I am loving the brown and magenta Kaffe Fassett dots. They play so well with the green leaf print. I do have more of both dots, so expect to see them again in another 'palooza block or two.

In spite of initial misgivings, I am now hooked on this project. That said, I hope the rest of the blocks are faster and easier to construct than this one was.


  1. Ooooo, you are making me want to jump in on this! LOVE this block!

  2. Your blocks look so great! I think it's safe to say that block #2 will be the most complex of the project. Glad you stuck it out!

  3. @Shelley ~ It's not too late to join in (you can whip out a few blocks this weekend, right?). And I know you've got a stash to pull from...

    @John ~ Thanks! I'm surprised at how much I'm enjoying the intersection of my stash/taste with someone else's block pattern. I might turn into a quilt-along junkie by the time this is done.

  4. wow! your block makes my heart sing! I absolutely love the color combination and the transparent feeling created with the light cool green. yumm!

    your blog is fantastic and everytime i visit i covet your donut pincushion ... can you tell me more about it, i'd love to make one for myself.

  5. These are really pretty - now I want to make a quilt!

  6. @Jovita ~ the pincushion is from Anna Maria Horner's book, "Seams to Me." It's a very handy design!

    @LHC ~ go ahead, make a quilt! Warning: if you like fabric and like to sew, you'll be hooked.