After re-introducing you to my on-again, off-again Liberty 'Nearly Insane' block project last week. I kept working on it this past week. . . .
I finished up block number 17.
I'm pretty happy with it!
The whole block finishes to 6" square, so those pieces are really little!
Then I turned the page. Block 18 really is over-the top insane.
Since I'm working them in order, I started in. . .
Block 18 is probably the most detailed in the entire book. Over 200 pieces in this one 6" block.
I started with the center, easy enough Ohio star block. It presented me with a few challenges.
I chose one of the Liberty prints for the background in the center. I think I mentioned last week, that choosing coordinates with the Liberty prints can be tricky. If you don't choose wisely, the piecing won't stand out and all the tiny work is for naught.
From the photo on the right you can see my first fabric selection on the right and my second attempt on the left.
I needed a bit more intensity of color for my solid fabric choices. I'm pretty pleased with the second set of fabrics. The first set, not so much.
If you look closely at the block parts - you'll see some stitching holes from reverse sewing. . . It took several sewing, unsewing, and re-sewing attempts to get the pieces to a point there they won't/shouldn't get cut off as I sew the next step of the block.
Working this small can be a BIG challenge. If I rush (and I confess, I did get a bit excited), then I'm not pleased with the results. Slow and steady does it.
Once I finish the center, I have a whole mess of half-square triangles that each finish to 1/2" square to deal with.
The patterns in the book are only black and white outlines, leaving color interpretation to the maker. There are several photos of the finished quilt and blocks in the book that can be used as reference.
This one, block number 18, is supposed to be half-square triangles arranged in all kinds of sawtooth borders around the star center. Honestly, I think the B&W drawing is off somewhere, and my brain was starting to hurt trying to figure out what goes where and what got fouled up, if at all.
Since I didn't really like the look of the harsh sawtooth, I decided to change things up entirely and sketched and shaded with my pencil right on the drawing. I haven't finalized my decision, but I will stay true to the original pattern in that I'll still have a mess of half-square triangles, but they'll be arranged differently than the original. This one is gonna take a while, but I'm determined to get 'er done.
Who, in their right mind, would ever conceive of whole blocks using 1" squares that finish to 1/2' square?
Yeah, that's 99 Bottles from ScrapTherapy, Scraps Plus One. Lotta squares, little ones. 1/2".
By the way, someone recently requested that I consider doing an online class for this quilt. Good idea! It's on the to-do list and I'll keep you posted! Interested in the how-to?
Thanks everyone, for your input last week on my little survey about the Moody Bird idea. I continued to make a few more blocks, and I'll be working on the pattern soon based on your feedback.
A couple questions and comments came up a few times in the responses that I thought I'd address below.
Several folks mentioned that they'd have to learn paper-piecing skills to make the blocks. . .This isn't a paper-pieced technique. I am not a paper-piecing designer. Not that there's anything wrong with paper-piecing; it's just not my jam. There are a few ways to make this block but in the interest to minimize fabric waste, the technique I would recommend for this block uses freezer paper and templates. It's actually quite fun, quite accurate, and very easy if a bit fussy. No need to 'run to the hills' *wink*!
Some asked if the smaller 6" block format would be available for different birds, much like The FLOCK. . . My concept for this project is just the one block. It's relatively easy to construct, the pattern lends to whimsical interpretation, only five fabrics are needed for the block. One block, one bird, one pose, lots of different fabric combinations with an alternating border technique to add interest. Completely separate from The FLOCK kits.
More soon. . . I've got a pattern to write, and possibly an online class to assemble.
Thanks, again, for your time and for your thoughtful input!
Number 12 in the Puffy Pin Cushion project landed on top of the stack this week. This project may be losing some steam as surface embroidery is simply not my favorite thing! However, even with 12 complete, I don't feel that I've made much of a dent in the stack of sewn-but-not-embellished-yet pin cushions. Maybe I'll move to one a month. Or one every once in a while. Or maybe just leave them in their container on the shelf for a while. You know the drill.
12 features Palestrina knots (I still need more practice on these), chain stitch, and something for which I don't know the name - it's kinda like a lazy daisy, but with an open bottom point.
For the step-by-step tutorial, jump over to the blog and scroll down to the first Puffy Fours post from March 5 to begin at the beginning of the four-part how-to series.