Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hive 5 July block tutorial from Robin

Hi, I am Robin Tilsworth, a native of California but long term resident of Arlington, Virginia (right over the Key and Roosevelt Bridges from Washington, DC).   Three months ago I retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Over my 33-year career I served as a foreign service officer with postings in Washington as well as China, Pakistan, Indonesia, Canada and Afghanistan.  My focus was agricultural trade.  Our postings were enjoyed by my husband of thirty years, and our son and daughter, now 26 and 23. 


I started sewing, trained by my mother, in junior high (age 11-12).  She was so wise to let me wear those first, wobbly creations!  I sewed my first quilt as a bedspread before college/university.  It still serves as a picnic blanket.  I dabbled with a few baby quilts until my quilting really took off during our tour in Indonesia.  There I was inspired by all the batiks, both “Bali batiks” and the traditional sarongs.  A friend and I designed and cut out block pieces and then hired Indonesian women to piece, create the top, and then quilt.  This benefitted all concerned and resulted in many beautiful quilts.  I was able to expand my quilting while living in Ottawa, Canada, for four years since my children were off to university by then.  I was quite active in the guild, took some inspiring classes, and created some wonderful quilts.  Most recently, in our final posting, I quilted in the small amount of time off and took an online course (Jean Wells of Sisters, Oregon) while in Kabul, Afghanistan.  My other major passion is fitness.  I have completed three marathons and most recently completed a 50 kilometer/31 mile one-day hike along the Potomac River this spring. 


Here is the main part of my stash….. but I do have additional bins of batiks and solids.  It is a never-ending goal to reduce the stash.

 I don’t really have favorite designers as I buy what I like.  My purchases do tend to concentrate in Michael Miller, Moda and Windham.  As many have already mentioned, I am much more aware of the importance of precision when cutting and sewing.  Attention to that detail would have been beneficial in the early quilts. My current favorite tool is a pair of scissors from Karen Kay Buckley, and it is not just because of the purple handles.  I would also say that audio books are a great companion when the quilting tasks are repetitive--- doesn’t work when creativity is required.   


At any point in time, my current favorite characters tracks closely to the fictional books I have completed, e.g. Bernadette Fox in Where’d You Go, Bernadette.  I did recently name our new puppy after Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series.  Luna, the dog, is pure black, but otherwise quite similar in loopiness to Ms. Lovegood.  My favorite comic book character is Calvin of Calvin and Hobbs.  He reminds me of both of my children. 


BLOCK TUTORIAL --  Black/White/Blue Bento Boxes


Please use any combination of black-on-white and white-on-black fabrics.  I used two of each to assure there is contrast between each section of the block.  Any blue fabrics will do, but prints in the royal blue family are preferred. The resulting quilt will be a gift to a teenage boy.  Please use ¼ inch seams. 


Block size:  finished 12” so the block you mail to me will measure 12.5” square. 

Fabrics:  4 blues, 2 black-on-white, 2 white-on-black


Please create one of these two options: (A) blue inside, or (B) bordered in blue.


A.     Blue inside:

From each of four blues (2 pieces):

One 2.5” square.  One 2.5” by 4.5” rectangle

From each of 2 black-on-white (3 pieces):

      One 2.5” square. One 2.5” by 4.5” rectangle. One 2.5” by 6.5”  rectangle.

From each of 2 white-on-black (3 pieces):

      One 2.5” square.  One 2.5” by 4.5” rectangle. One 2.5” by 6.5” rectangle.




B.     Bordered in blue:

From each of 4 blue fabrics (3 pieces): 

      One 2.5” square.  One 2.5” by 4.5” rectangle. One 2.5” by 6.5” rectangle.

From each of 2 black-on-white (2 pieces): 

      One 2.5” square. One 2.5” by 4.5” rectangle

From each of 2 white-on-black (2 pieces):

      One 2.5” square.  One 2.5” by 4.5” square




Piecing directions.


I found it most helpful to lay the pieces like the finished block to assure I was sewing the latest piece to the correct edge.  The following instructions are for blue inside block but can be reversed for the blue border block:


1.      Sew the one blue square to one black/white square.    



2.      Sew the blue rectangle to the side of the rectangle created in Step 1.  This is where it is really helpful to have the pieces laid out like the block since the blue rectangle is sewed to the right or left side, depending on where it is in the final block.   The result is a 4.5” square.


3.      Sew the 4.5” black/white rectangle to the piece created in Step 2.  The result is a rectangle measuring 4.5” by 6.5”.



4.      Sew the 6.5” black/white rectangle to the piece created in Step 3. The result is a 6.5” square.



5.      Sew the four pieces together.  The result is a 12.5” square.  You do not need to square up the block, I will do that upon receipt. 



Thank you!





Anna said...

Funny to find you in this bee as well. That makes three from our guild so far. Great block too.

Darlene Barnes Rosner said...

Oh I love bento boxes! can't wait to pick out some nice fabrics for this one.