Thursday, May 1, 2014

Hive 11 - May Block Tutorial

Who are you?
Hello, I'm Liz Chesebrough, currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. I'm from Massachusetts, and have also lived in upstate New York, Vermont, Rhode Island, and South Carolina. I like to get around. I recently started a blog (gotta find new ways to procrastinate!) and can be found on flickr here as LizCheese (I think).  

Tell us about your family
I live with my boyfriend and MY (his distinction) two cats and OUR dog (as of a month ago!). We've lived together for just about a year now, and have been dating for two years as of this past Valentine's day (cheesy anniversary, I know, but it's legit). Here's some picts of the pets (they're far more photogenic then the humans!)
Daegan and my Butterfly Quilt WiP

Picasso's glamour shot. 

Dino laying on my Quilt for Panda while it was a WiP. 

Tell us about how you got interested in quilting.
I'd been thinking about quilting for some time, and was debating renting studio space for ceramics or start a new hobby. I knit too, but it wasn't holding my attention much. I'd be bored by the time I got to the end of one glove. I decided to sign up for a hand quilting class at The City Quilter and loved it! Next I registered for a beginner machine quilting class, which I liked even more! I actually loved hand sewing, but hate hate hated using templates to cut out fabric. 

How do you organize your fabric stash?
I've got a pretty small stash. NYC apartment living and PhD student lifestyle don't allow for huge hoards of anything. I have a large plastic container that I organize by color (sort of), with quilting cottons along one side, and other weights (linens and home dec weight) stacked up on the other side (top in this photo). 
I don't think there's a single cut larger than 1 yd in here. 

Who is/are your favorite fabric designers?
I think my favorite of all time (for now anyway) is Anna Marie Horner. Especially her Hand Drawn Garden collection. I'm also a big fan of Carolyn Friedlander's collections. However, I generally only buy 'basics' for quilts, and what I actually stash are novelty prints or those that I think are unique or special. I figure tone on tones will come and go, but limited edition prints are forever (right?) 

What is one thing you have learned that you wish you knew when you first started quilting?
I took classes as I was learning, so there really isn't anything I wish I had learned as of yet. I like to remember that there are no quilt police, and that there are really no rules as long as you are making yourself happy. 

What is your favorite sewing/quilting tool and why should we all go out and buy it?
I just finished all the blocks to a trip around the world quilt, and it proved that my favorite tool is my seam ripper. I've got a surgical seam ripper ( I got it as a gift, but that link shows what it looks like), and it's super sharp and precise. I love it! Just gotta watch out or I'll go through the fabric too!

Who is your favorite fictional character and why? 
I'm not good at picking favorite characters. For some reason I immediately jumped to books, although I also watch plenty of movies and tv shows. Right now I'm reading Game of Thrones and am on book 5. It amazes me how it takes me a week to read a thirty-page academic article but I can read 300 pages of a novel in the same amount of time! My all time favorite book, though, is Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. I don't know why, but I can just keep coming back and reading it over and over. 

For my tutorial I decided to alter the dimensions of a block I've been seeing around for a little while and make it my own. I took a plus block and decided to change the proportions slightly, making it rectangular. Now in my head it looks like flag with a plus on it, hence the 'Flag Plus' name for my block.

This is what I'm aiming for when I get all the blocks from the hive:

Yes, I do all my sketching on graph paper with ball point pens. 

I think I'll make smaller crosses for the blank rectangles on the sides. Not sure yet though, I'll see what happens when I receive blocks from my bee mates.

This is what each of the larger blocks will look like. 
Flag Plus Block
My color scheme is black and white/lowish volume background with bright jewel color pluses. Below is a picture of possible background fabrics. Initially I was going to say any light colored low volume would be fine, but after looking at them more I decided I'd prefer black and white low volume fabrics. In the picture below the top row of fabrics are all examples of what I mean. In the bottom row are other light colored low volumes that I rejected because they had too much color (I love color, just not for this project!). I felt like the colored low volumes detracted a bit from the pluses. The two middle fabrics here are borderline. They read grey/white (which is fine), but the one on the left is actually kind of lavender, and the one on the right has yellow accents. If they were your only option than I'd be fine with it. Heck, I'll probably be fine with whatever you choose, just wanted to provide some examples!

Top fabrics: GOOD! Bottom fabrics: NOT GOOD!
For the pluses I'd like you to choose bright/bold/jewel toned fabrics. I'd like the pluses to please be in one fabric, and the background to be at least a little scrappy. I've used 4 or 5 fabrics for the background in my example blocks, but you can use as few as two prints or as many as you want. I'm just hoping for a little variety so the blocks kind of blend together when they're joined. 

Here goes the tutorial! Any questions, or if you need any clarity, please let me know!! 

Flag Plus Block

~Cutting guide~

Background (I chose 4 scrappy, lowish volume b&w fabrics for the tute):
[4] 5.75" by 7.5" rectangles
[2] 2" by 2.5" rectangles
[2] 2" by 3.5" rectangles

Plus color (I chose a yellow floral that I'm really into right now for the tute):
[1] 2" by 8.5" rectangle
[2] 2" by 4.5" rectangle

Cutting guide. 

First we'll sew together each side section of the Plus. You'll take the two 4.5" plus color rectangles and the two 3.5" background rectangles and sew one of each together along the short side. You should end up with two segments like this: 

Plus sides. Each is one 3.5" BG rectangle and one 4.5" plus rectangle. 

Next we'll sew each side of the block together. You want to sew one of the side sections of the plus you just made between two of the large background rectangles along the long sides. Sew one large background rectangle to the top of the side section, and one to the bottom and you'll end up with two larger segments that each look similar to this: 

You will end up with two of these side sections. 

Next you'll sew the middle portion of the block. It's the vertical, middle section of the Plus. Take the 8.5" Plus rectangle and sew a 2.5" background rectangle to each of the short sides. Yours should look something like this:

8.5" plus rectangle with both 2.5" background rectangles sewn to it. 

Finally we'll sew these three sections together to make the block! I've laid out each section the way I'm going to sew them together: Just make sure that each side segment is rotated so that the plus section is butted up next to that middle plus section, as depicted below.  

Final block layout. 

First sew the left side to the middle, then the right side to the middle. Press your seams towards the center, or open, whichever you prefer. Now you should have a completed Flag Plus block measuring 16" by 12.5"!

Final block, once again. 

I also made a second block that ended up being a little scrappier. Same principal, I just pieced one of the larger background rectangles. 

Another slightly scrappier Flag Plus block!

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial, and I'll be sure to share the finished quilt once I receive all the blocks and get all the details figured out! 

1 comment:

Sewgreen said...

I have your block done, but need to ship it off! sorry for the delay!