Sunday, April 1, 2018

Hive 7 Tutorial - Real Piano Keys

Real Piano Keys
I am a piano teacher and the piano key border has always bothered me because it looks nothing like piano keys.  This is one of the first concepts we teach beginning piano students, the layout of the black and white keys in groups of twos and threes. 

I saw a modern pattern for a "shutter" quilt and it seemed to me that that concept would translate well to my vision for Real Piano Keys.

 My block is a modern version of real piano keys, but we are not doing black and white.  I would like bright and strong and colorful.  You can’t get too bright for me.  Choose two colors that are a sharp contrast to each other.  However, be sure that they are two contrasting colors, not a dark and light of the same color.  Solids are okay as well as tone- on-tone, or something that reads as a solid with a small geometric.  Deep, dark colors can pair with a strong color easily,  No pastels, or lights.   Choose your favorite bright and pair it with another bright that sings well together.


These are both good colors, but there's not enough contrast.But they could pair up with other colors and be just wonderful.

 You don’t need much fabric.  6” inches across a fat quarter width would do fine.

 Pair up the fabrics and cut both colors at once.   Let’s assume you are using a fat quarter and we have 20” width to cut from.   You will cut::

A.  a 4.5 inch x 20 inch strip from each color.  Sub cut that strip into 4.5 x 12.5.  then cut at least 3 of 4.5 x 1.5 rectangles from the remainder of the strip. You will have some of these left over, You actually only need one pair and 2 extra of the light fabric.  Or if you  have been using more than a fat quarter, just cut 1 4.5x 1 pair and 2 of the lighter color.  If you want, send the left over pairs to me and I'll use them somehow.  

Two  4.5 x 20 and 2 1.5 x 20
 B.  One 1.5 x 20 from each color.  Sew together along the long edge and then subcut into 4.5 inch pairs.
(I got 4 pairs, and we need five.  Sew one of the extra pairs of strips from A, together)

Sew together the long strips and then sub-cut into 4.5 inches
 Choose one of your colors to be the strongest of the two colors.  Consider this the “Black” keys. 
I chose wrong on one of the prototypes and had to re-sew.  It should be obvious that one of the colors is more dominant.   Lay out the 4.5 inch pairs sewn together with the “Black ” part on top.  3 pairs of  "Black" and Light, one more light, 2 pairs of  "Black" and Light and one extra light.  Twelve stripes in all.    Join and press in one direction.  It doesn’t matter which way.    

Sew the middle strip in this order:   B W B W B W W  B W B W W

Keep the "Black" key  on the top and join the "Black"  Rectangle (4.5 x 12.5) to the right of the strip.  Double check the layout here.    Add the Light to the left of the pieced stripes.  It should measure 12.5 x 12.5 or close to that. This is the trickiest part of the block, and I thought I knew what I was doing.  

Should be easy, no seams to match, not too many options and I hope you have fun.  I can see this as a huge colorful grid of piano keys.  This quilt may come together like those large foam play mats for small children.  Anyway, thank you so much for helping me create this quilt.  




Pam Chamberlin said...

This is a great idea. I love it that you came up with a block that reflects something important from your life.

Kathy S. said...

I love the piano key border on scrappy quilts. It has also always bothered me that it didn't look more like a piano. YOU have definitely tweaked it to make it right. Happy sewing. LOVE the brights!