Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hive 6 October Tutorial

Hello Hive Mates!

My name is Kate, and I am very excited to be queen bee this month. I have been wanting to make a quilt for my Dad for a while now, and I'm planning on using these blocks to do it. My dad loves quilts--his mom, my grandma, is a traditional quilter, and he already has a few quilts from her. I want to make him something bright and improv pieced.

I am using my friend Allison's tutorial for Wildly Liberated Stars. Because these are improv pieced, I don't have a size in mind (or specific cutting instructions). I made some of mine small (around 6 x 6) and others larger (around 18x18). You can make any size you want. They also don't need to be square, rectangular and wonky is great, too!

The background fabric should be dark, and a smaller scaled print, or solid (no batiks please).

My Background Fabrics
The fabric used for the center, and the star points, should be brighter. I used pink, orange, gold, yellow and low volume prints. Again, these were all smaller scaled, tone on tone prints or solids (no batiks):

You'll notice that Allison's tutorial doesn't have specific cutting instructions. I cut my blocks with scissors, and no ruler. If this makes you nervous, please give it a try, it's actually a lot of fun (and quite liberating). There is no wrong way to make these blocks.

I started my first block by cutting 8 pieces of the background fabric, and one piece of the center fabric. They were all around the same size, but not exact. In the picture below, my pieces were around 3 or 4 inches long. The center doesn't have to be solid, I made some of mine with scrappy centers, it's up to you.

Then, I started using scraps of my star fabric to make the points. If you don't have scraps, make them--I cut my center fabric pieces up into different sized triangles to make the points. Don't worry it your points are blunt, or will be cut off, this is totally fine! I trimmed by pieces with scissors, and didn't use a ruler and rotary cutter. You can use a ruler if you want to get the edge straight, but don't worry about making each piece a specific size.

Once you have a center piece, 4 corner pieces, and 4 pieces with points, you'll arrange them like a star, and start sewing them into rows.

At this point, you may want to do a little trimming with your scissors (or rotary cutter) to make your edges straighter, so they can be sewn together. When you sew these rows together, your seams will not line up, and that's a good thing, it's meant to be extra wonky.

Press with a lot of steam (or just spray water on the block)! This will help flatten the block out. I pressed most of my seams towards the dark.
A finished block!
Please do not square up your finished block to any specific size, I will piece them together with improv piecing. They can be any size/shape.

Here are 3 of my finished blocks. This is a really quick and easy block to make. I made these 3 in an hour.

I hope you all enjoy making this block as much as I do! I love improv piecing, so these are right up my ally. The important thing to remember when making these is to let go, they won't be perfect, and that's okay. There is no such thing as too wonky.

My question to you all this month is what are your most and least favorite piecing or quilting techniques? I love improv piecing and hand quilting, but foundation paper piecing makes me nervous (it's so precise!). What about you?


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