Saturday, August 1, 2015

Hive 3 August Tutorial

If it's August, it must be my turn to be Queen!  Wow - that came up quickly.  This year is zipping along at a crazy fast pace.  I am Debbie and I live in Houston with my lovely husband of 31 years and my 2 dogs - my old Sheltie, Maggie and my medium old Yorkie-that-thinks-he's-a-Rottweiler, Harley.  I also have my daughter's dog this summer - a 7 month old Lab Shephard tri-pawed mix named Hank. His nickname is DestructoDog.  No toy is safe.  Hank and I are currently attending puppy school but I am afraid we may need more than one set of classes!

Until last year, I was a science specialist for our school district.  I currently administer diagnostics on a VERY part time basis.  I am the President Elect of the Houston Modern Quilt Guild and I also belong to a traditional guild in Houston - though my taste is definitely traditional-modern.

My list of quilts to make is so long and it was really hard to chose a block!  I love scrappy and my goal for this Bee was making something from the scrap pile!  I thought I was going with a Granny Square, then toyed with the idea of the Union Jack (too complicated for this bee I decided) but I finally decided on the Winged Square.  It is a traditional block but the application of it makes it modern!  I think it is just about my favorite traditional block.

This block is traditionally done in single colors.  We are going to be different!  To begin, chose a 4.5 inch center block that is predominantly 2 major colors.  A focal block.  It can be a floral, some sweet little animal, something like I used.  But it has to have limited colors.  The more modern the better.  Then you chose the 2 colors that stand out for the wings.  I chose a goldish yellowish orange and a deep pink.  The background is low volume.  This can be white, white on white, text, light grays, low volume.  Please do NOT use creams, beige, brown, black.  Also, please don't use fabric that is very realistic, like a photo of a dog, a sports team.  Try to think modern fabrics.  AND, try to use your scraps.  Some batiks are fine for this!  SATURATED and bright.

Supply list:
1 - 4.5 inch square focal fabric
6 - 3 inch squares of color A
6 - 3 inch squares of color B
2 - 4.5 inch squares low volume background
12 - 3 inch squares low volume background

On the wrong side of your 3 inch low volume background squares, mark a diagonal line, 
corner to corner.

Matching your low volume 3 inch squares with the 3 inch squares of color A and color B, right sides together (RST), stitch 1/4 inch on each side of the line you have drawn.  I like to chain piece this all the way down one side, clip them apart and chain piece all the way down the other side.

Cut your squares apart on the drawn line.  Open the half-square triangles (HST) and press the seam to the dark side of the fabrics.  You should now have 12 HST of color A and 12 HST of color B.

You need to now trim your HSTs to 2.5 inches.  Here is my shameless plug for BlocLoc - I absolutely LOVE my BlocLoc!  It makes trimming these a snap!  

Time to create your layout.  You will have 12 of each color but only 6 different fabrics (since you made 2 HST's from each square) so take care to move them around so the pairs aren't adjacent to each other.  Place one color in the top left area and the other color in the bottom right area.  In both areas, notice that the color points in toward the focal block.  At this point, I took a picture on my phone and kept referring to it as I put the block together - with this many pieces, it is easy to get them out of order!

Begin putting your block together.  I create subblocks of 4 HSTs, then I join the subblocks into a bottom row, a middle row, and a top row.  Then join the 3 rows together and VOILA!  Done!  Please don't trim it up, I will do that to make sure they are all the same size.  

Here are some more examples that I made so you could see my idea of focal blocks, modern fabrics, the 2 colors of each corner, examples of low volume.  I hope this helps!

As for my question - who or what first inspired you to begin sewing?  Did you sew before you took up quilting or did you learn to quilt first?  I can't remember ever not being able to sew.  I wanted a pink Barbie sewing machine so badly but my grandma and my mom told me no, that I would learn to sew on the big machine.  I was about 7.  I made clothes for my dolls.  My grandma could make beauty from rags - she was such an inspiration to me!

Have fun with the block and thank you for creating something fun!

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