Friday, August 1, 2014

Hive 11 - August Block Tutorial

What is your name?  I'm Laura West Kong. 

@laurawestkong on Instagram, Pinterest, and Flickr. (How original, right?) 

I also have a blog, Adventures of a Quilting Diva, and two other quilty websites, Laura West Kong, info about my quilt teaching, and 2 Cute Quilts, my {relatively} new pattern company.

Where do you live? Tell us about your family (Spouse, kids, grandkids, pets, etc.)  I live in sunny Southern California with my husband, daughter, and cat. 

None of them appreciate having their picture taken, but Mocha (the cat) doesn't complain as loudly as the other two. As you can see, Mocha is a pretty decent quilt assistant.

Tell us about how you got interested in quilting. I've always loved the graphic, artistic nature of quilts. All quilts, from free-form Gee's Bend quilts to geometric Amish quilts, and everything in between, intrigue me. Once I got over my fear of moving needles, I never looked back.

How do you organize your fabric stash? (Picture appreciated)  Lucky you! You get to see my stash in "Honest Craft Room" mode. I keep larger cuts here in my fabric wall, fat quarters fit nicely in a re-purposed CD storage unit, scraps in plastic bins, and that lovely stack on my sewing table in the front of the picture is fabric I've recently used that is waiting to be put away. 

It's on my to-do list to make 12" x 12" mini quilt "curtains" to hang in front of all the fabric cubbies to prevent fading and decorate my studio.

Who is/are your favorite fabric designers?  First and foremost I love bright color! But Japanese quilters have taught me to appreciate the beautiful subtleties of taupe, and modern quilters have taught me to appreciate gray's unique charms.

Some of my favorites include Kaffe Fassett, Phillip Jacobs, Echino, Daiwabo, Souleiado (they make French Provencal prints. My one and only Souleiado pictured at left. Unfortunately Souleiado no longer sells fabric by the yard.), batiks and hand-dyeds, crisp, graphic tone-on-tone prints, polka dots, black and white, especially text prints. 

Fabric is my paint, so I need a wide variety to bring the quilts from my imagination to life! I'm not afraid to mix fabrics that traditionally "don't go" with each other.

What is one thing you have learned that you wish you knew when you first started quilting?  What a blast quilting is! If I knew how much fun it was to make quilts, I would have started a lot earlier.

What is your favorite sewing/quilting tool and why should we all go out and buy it?  My fiberglass non-stick ironing sheet. It's great for assembling multi-piece fusible applique projects, pressing fabrics with glitter or foil, protecting your ironing board, and all the messy things just peel or wash right off, 

Who is your favorite fictional character and why? (Could be from a book, movie, TV show, etc.)  That would have to be Captain Jean-Luc Picard, because he knows how to "make it sew". Jean-Luc and other Star Trek characters make the best company for hand sewing bindings and English paper piecing.

I couldn't decide which block to choose (they're all so wonderful!), so I designed my own, a fun scrappy arrow block, perfect for modern fabrics! I also designed a few Scrappy Arrow variations to make the final layout more interesting. Stay tuned in to my blog, Scrappy Arrow variations coming soon to a computer or tablet screen near you...

Block Tutorial
Scrappy Arrow

unfinished 6-1/2" x 18-1/2" (finished 6" x 12")
All seam allowances are a scant 1/4".

Cut the following from a scrappy assortment of bright colors (graphic tone-on-tone prints, a few multi-color prints to mix things up, and solids) and whites (solids, white-on-whites, black & white or gray & white prints that are mostly white, and a few very low volume prints).

4″ x 4″ squares
One each from 2 different color fabrics
One each from 2 different white fabrics

3″ x 3″ squares
One each from 2 different color fabrics
One each from 2 different white fabrics

2-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ rectangles
Two each from the same white fabrics as the 3″ x 3″ squares

1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ rectangles
One each from 8 different color fabrics

2-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ rectangles
One each from 4 different white fabrics

1) Draw a 45° diagonal line from corner to corner on the wrong side of each of the white 4″ x 4″ and 3″ x 3″ squares as shown above left.

2) Place a 4″ x 4″ color square and a 4″ x 4″ white square right sides together. Sew a scant 1/4″ away from each side of the drawn diagonal line as shown above left. Repeat for the remaining pairs of 4″ x 4″ and 3″ x 3″ color and white squares.

3) Cut along the drawn line on all four sewn fabric pairs. Press seam allowances open or towards color triangles as desired. You’ll end up with 4 large (about 3-5/8″ x 3-5/8″) and 4 small (about 2-5/8″ x 2-5/8″) half square triangles (HSTs).

4) Trim large HSTs to 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ and small HSTs to 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ as shown above right.

5) Arrange and sew a matching 2-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ white rectangle to each of the 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ HSTs as shown above left. The 2-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ units should be mirror images of each other. Press seam allowances open.

6) Arrange and sew a color 1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ rectangle to each of the four Step 5 units as shown above right. The units should now be 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ and each will have a different configuration. The top two will become part of the arrow point and the bottom two will become part of the arrow tail. Press the arrow point units (top two) open and the arrow tails (bottom two) towards the color rectangle. (Less bulk this way. I often press seam allowances whichever way they want to go, rather than rigidly sticking to one method.)

7) Arrange and sew one of the remaining four 1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ color rectangles to one of the 2-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ white rectangles to make a 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ unit as shown above, top left. Press seam allowances open. Repeat with the remaining three color and white rectangles.

8) Arrange all 12 units into an arrow and sew the left and right units together as shown above, top right to make six rows, 6-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ each. Press seam allowances open or to alternating sides as desired.

9) Sew rows one and two together, three and four together, and five and six together to make three 6-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ units as shown above, bottom left. Press seam allowances open or to one side as you or the blocks desire.

10) Sew the top, middle, and bottom units together as shown above, bottom right to complete the Scrappy Arrow block. Press seam allowances open. It should now be 6-1/2″ x 18-1/2″.

Thanks so much! Can't wait to see the blocks you make!

No comments: