Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Hive 4: February tutorial

Hey there, Hive 4!

I’m really glad to be back for another year of Stash Bee! This was the block I had planned to ask for last year, but I was queen later in the year and mere moments before my month came up I saw another block and fell hard. So what’s another year to wait to finish a quilt I’ve slowly been working on for nigh on four years, I ask? 

This one is an easy, improv log-cabin-y block that’s fun and easy to make and doesn’t take much measuring. You may recognize it from (one of my favourite books) Sunday Morning Quilts or from various block drives around the internets the last few years.

To make this monochrome block, you’ll need one white/cream scrap and a bunch of small scraps or strings in the colour you choose. Pick your favourite colour (*** or see optional note below) from one of the following: Purple, indigo, light blue, light green, yellow, orange, or red. In terms of fabric selection, I don't like solids, so do with that information what you like.

I’ve done some step outs to show you how to piece it together. My sample block is yellow with an off-white central piece. Note, however, that I refer to it as "central" in the vaguest of terms; it doesn't need to be dead centre of the block. It shouldn’t stray too far towards the edges, but if it’s off centre that’s actually great – it’ll be in keeping with the blocks I’ve already made.

Start with a white/cream scrap, around 2” x 3”. This is a suggestion; your centre piece can be an inch or two one way or the other, for example 3” x 4”, 2.5” x 4”, 3.5” x 4.5”. However, make sure it is either square or rectangle, not angled.

My yellow scrap bin after I tamed it. I'll be doing a post on my blog soon about how I manage my scraps.
Attach a coloured string/scrap to one side of the centre piece, and trim to maintain a square or rectangle. Press to one side, away from the centre.

Next, attach a scrap/string to another side of the centre scrap, trim, and press away from the centre. The strings shouldn't be more than 1.5-2" wide, so trim and straighten as you go. Can I use this opportunity to sing the praises of my Creative Grids rulers? They are the awesome.

Continue building the block with additional strings. You don't need to keep going around in a circle around the centre, you can add two strings on one side, go back in the direction you just came from, and so on. The block loses its log-cabin orientation fairly quickly.

The strings themselves can also be scrappy and may need to be if you don’t have long enough strings.

Keep building the block outwards, trimming as you go to keep things more or less straight. Please do not trim diagonally or add strips on the diagonal.

Once you’ve gone a little past 15.5”, you’re done! You can either trim the block down to 15.5” or leave it as is and I’ll trim it. If the outer edges of the trimmed block are pretty scrappy (not the case in the image below), please stay stitch an 1/8th of an inch from the outside edge all around the block to prevent it from unravelling.

Although my block looks like it's intentionally half dark, half light, it just turned out that way quite randomally, so go nuts and lose no sleep over attempting to match fabric tone or volume.

I know it’s expensive to ship to me in Germany, so absolutely review Diana’s post about international shipping. If you follow her advice it should cost you no more than $3 to send the block to me (no need for a padded envelope, a ziplock bag with the air released will suffice to protect it in a regular envelope).

I’m really looking forward to getting your blocks! Frankly, I’m really bored of my own fabrics and can’t wait to introduce a bit of variety into my existing blocks.
*** OPTIONAL: Hive mates, I've already made a bunch of blocks for this quilt, and I need a specific number of blocks in each colour to arrive at my desired layout. Once this is posted I'll go over to the Facebook group and link to the post, and then will post a reply for each colour, saying how many blocks I need, so that people can "claim" a block in that colour. This way I won't end up, for example, with 11 red blocks when really all I need is one more red block :). Of course, if you'd rather go with your favourite colour or whatever scrap bin is overflowing, go for it--I'll absolutely use the block in place of one of mine, and this is going to be a pretty huge quilt so I'll definitely need a few more blocks for the back.


Anonymous said...

This will be fun!

QQ38 said...

excited for this block- going to be pulling all the purple bits this weekend!! yahoo!!! <3 Helga

Pam Chamberlin said...

I've had Sunday Morning Quilts for long time but haven't tried this block yet. Thanks for the inspiration