Thursday, September 1, 2016

Hive 6: September Tutorial: Checker Block

Hey, Hive 6ers! :) Judy here and I am SO excited about being the Queen Bee this month! Also more than a little happy that I was not on the front end of the list of Queens! This is my first bee experience and it has been awesome getting to make blocks for all of you. As I sewed I contemplated what the heck I was going to do when it was my month. . . maybe even stressed a little ;) I had decided on this block long ago but almost changed my mind this morning before I sat down to write this post. I talked myself right off that ledge, started pulling fabrics, taking pictures and making a couple of blocks :)

I've decided to go with Jess of the Eleven Garden's Checker Block. I fell hard for this block when I first saw her post. I fell especially hard for the very last quilt on Jess' post, the one Patti @retiredtoquilt made. My vision is to make a quilt something like Patti's. . . First, a picture of the blocks that I made:

Next, some pictures of the fabrics. I am not concerned with color except that I would like the 'background' fabric to be a solid medium gray. Here is a picture of various different colors of gray in the spectrum I am calling 'medium' gray:
Not sure why this picture flipped. . . but you get the idea. My stash is not 'neatly labeled' for the most part but three of the grays are labeled. Kona Graphite and Steel and Cotton Couture in Clay. I give you that information only to give you an idea of the hue. I do ask that whatever gray fabric you use, that it is consistent through the entire block.
OK, for the rectangles. Get funky with it! :) This is a prefect place to use those large prints. Floral, graphic, text, stripes, in whatever color. Here are some examples from my stash:

As you can see, no rhyme or reason in terms of color, just a LOT of it and big prints. This is the fabric from which you will be cutting two 4.5" x 7" rectangles. It is up to you as to whether or not you use the same fabric for both rectangles. I don't have a preference.
On to the HSTs! Again, I am not limiting these in terms of color. I am more interested in the type of print, smaller prints, read as solid, tone on tone, for example:
You'll need one 5" x 5" block and one 7.5" x 7.5" square. Again, your choice as to whether or not you want to use the same fabric for the 5" and 7.5" squares.

Dang, girl! Are you ever going to get to making the block?? :) Yes indeed, I am! :) Let's get started!

Cutting Instructions:

From the background (solid gray):
1 - 2" x 4.5" rectangle
1 - 2" x 7" rectangle
1 - 2" x 12.5" rectangle
1 - 5" x 5" square
1 - 7.5" x 7.5" square

From the large print fabric:
2 - 4.5" x 7" rectangles

From the small print fabric (for the HSTs)
1 - 5" x 5" square
1 - 7.5" x 7.5" square
Time to start sewing!
From the 7.5" squares and the 5" squares, make two HSTs (you'll have an extra HST of each since we are only using 1 of each size for the block). Use your favorite method. I have recently decided the fastest way for me is to cut the squares corner to corner and sew the triangles together. I spray my fabric with a LOT of starch prior to cutting. I haven't had an issue with the dreaded bias stretch yet.

Trim the small HST to 4.5" and the large HST to 7".

As you can see, not much to trim. If you want more to work with, cut your squares 5.5" and 8".

Arrange the pieces of the blocks as shown:
The gray part of the HST should attach to the sashing.
Sew the top row of 4.5" pieces together and the bottom row of 7" pieces together.
Sew the top row to the sashing.
Sew the bottom row to the sashing and you are finished! Your block should measure 12.5" x 12.5".

I can't wait to see what you talented women come up with! If you have any questions, let me know. I am not on IG (gasp!) but you can email me :)

In the caption of both pictures of the print fabrics, I mentioned that I did not care if you choose to use the same fabric for the small and large HSTs. Did I confuse you? . . . I might have confused only my "need to see it to visualize it" brain, in any case, here is another picture :)
This is four blocks. The top left and bottom right have the same fabric for the HSTs and the same fabric for the rectangles. The top right and the bottom left is a different fabric for the small and the large HST and a different fabric for the rectangles looks like. Both ways looks fabulous!
I have to admit, when I put the blocks up for this picture, I got really excited! This is going to be epic! :) I will continue to make blocks. I am going to donate this quilt to Covered in Love so I'll be doing 6 x 7 to bring the quilt up to a size that will cover a hospital bed nicely.

Have an awesome September (still cannot believe we are on the down hill roll to the end of the year!) and happy sewing!! :D

Judy @Quilt Paradigm


helenjean@midgetgemquilts said...

oh looking forward to sewing this for you Judy

Judy@Quilt Paradigm said...

Thank you, Helen! I can't wait to see what you create! These blocks are SO much fun to put together! I hope you have fun making it :)