This week is going to be fun. We’re taking the Blocks from last week’s Sampler and doing a color challenge. Sometimes when drawing these blocks, I look at the uncolored diagrams, and without color, a completely different block appears in my mind. That happened with last week’s blocks when I was creating them and thus, we got this week’s blocks from that. It was so much fun that I almost couldn’t keep it a secret. But here they are. I hope you love them as much as I do. You will find instructions here.
New blocks have been posted on the QAL page. This block is called Vortex because, again, it rotates around a Square on Point or Economy Block subunit. There are three versions – one for the Mix & Match Qube, one for the Angles Companion Qube, and one for the Corners Companion Qube.
This has been an interesting week. I thought that when school was out last Tuesday that it would be smooth sailing, but one of the days was spent getting Ezri’s covid vaccination. It took over half an hour on the phone to register her for the vaccination and then when we got there, they had no record of it. However, we had been given a registration number over the phone and also via text message so there was no problem with her getting the shot. Except that we were the only ones there and they wanted to wait to open a vial until more people came. After waiting quite a while and no one else came, they opened the vial and gave her the shot. Everyone was very pleasant and when Ezri came over the next day she seemed to suffer no side effects from the vaccination.
Ezri also came over every day last week because she wanted to sew. It is wonderful to see her stitching away and finally using the iron and pressing her own piecing. She still lets that right arm hang at her side instead of using two hands for things, but she’s getting the job done.
Block 4 is here. For this design I started with a simple friendship star for the Mix & Match Qube and worked into some additional stars for the Angles and Corners Companion Qubes. While the friendship star design is fairly traditional, the piecing of it is not. Usually one sees this done with all half square triangles. This block presents a challenge because some of the seams can be eliminated to give a smoother, more cohesive block using shapes like the quarter square triangle and the parallelogram.
In the Angles Companion block, the trapezoid is repeated for a double trapezoid block. Color placement will dictate unique designs in this block. And in the Corners Companion, a simpler design is used that looks similar to a variable star, but because it is a six-patch, one gets more points and accents of the center points of the star with the bowtie units.
In other news, we went to my nephew’s wedding this weekend. It was so much fun and fairly non-traditional. They wanted simple and chose to have the wedding venue as a tent in a pasture on the bride’s grandfather’s farm. The bride has her own animals there, so it was truly “home” for her. It was delightful and we feasted on BBQ prepared by the groom with beverages served from a bar made of stacked hay bales while cattle and a few donkeys and horses grazed nearby. Here’s a picture of the bride and groom.
I am so excited to post the new blocks tomorrow for the new QAL. And even more so, it’s exciting to tell you that the blocks will be completely different from the AccuQuilt block sets. For me, this week has been one of much thought and deliberation into the design of this quilt. I loved the last QAL because of the beautiful quilts every one made and am excited for a new QAL. However, I want it to be something unique and exciting and for each of you to have a quilt like no other. It’s the same idea as that I never buy a dress off the rack because I always want to wear something no one else has.
The original sketch I posted was for 24 blocks of the usual AccuQuilt block sets, and no matter how I tried, it just didn’t make me happy. In addition, 24 weeks is a long time to do a QAL and I wondered how many would drop out along the way.
So I thought and thought about all the quilts I’ve seen and made over the last 40 years. And I decided to go back and look at some antique blocks and redesign them to fit the AccuQuilt GO! Mix & Match and Companion dies. And the blocks are wonderful! They are different! They are six-patch, not four-patch! And every quilter will have a unique set of blocks that she can call her own! I am so sew very excited that I want to make all of these blocks in many different colors and ways. It will be such fun to do this vicariously through all the participants in the QAL.
This quilt will be twelve blocks and will last about 12-15 weeks including making the blocks and adding the sashing and borders. The yardage will be the same as what has been posted. The quilt dimensions will vary slightly because the block sizes are different due to the change from four patch to six patch. An updated chart that includes the original yardage and with additional information about block sizes and sashing and border widths can be found here.
The Facebook AccuQuilt Qube group has asked to do a block of the week Sampler quilt. Sampler quilts are a lot of fun because each block is different. They’re also nice as a teaching tool because there are many different shapes and practice in joining those shapes can be used. However, sometimes a Sampler quilt can begin to look like jumbled up blocks – or at least in my way of thinking. I like clean lines and clear colors in quilts. So that is what goes into my thinking in designing a Sampler Quilt.
One way of doing this is simply to use the background fabric for the sashing and to make the sashing wide enough to give the blocks a background so that each block stands out on its own. Another way of doing this is to use background fabric strips to frame the block – I call this a floating frame. The result of this is a larger block than the original block design. In this case, I use a light or medium fabric sashing between blocks and often make it narrower or the same width as the floating frame. The floating frame makes either a larger quilt or a quilt with fewer blocks. For the same number of blocks, this requires a lot more background fabric.
These are just my thoughts about it all. Below are EQ examples of a Floating Frame block as well as a layout with a color sashing and a layout with a background sashing.
Today is the first day of the new QAL requested by members of the Facebook AccuQuilt GO! Qube group. This will be a sampler quilt. The goal for me of this QAL is to provide some skills challenges and to use every shape in the Mix & Match Qubes as well as every shape in the Corners and Angles Qubes. There are 24 blocks and each week will bring three blocks, one from each of the Qubes (Mix & Match, Angles, Corners). Look in the top menu on this b-quilts.com/blog page and you will find the QAL and a link to the yardage instructions.
But I have to say that the finishes we have seen from the Broken Dishes QAL have been spectacular. Here are some of the first finishes or near finishes. Some do not have the final border – will change the photos as the final border pics come in.
The new block is posted and ready to go. This block will finish the second border around the four center Broken Dishes blocks. It is the connector block for the stars that we made last week. Can’t wait to see what you do with this.
The block this week goes in Border 2. There are 8 star blocks and 8 connector blocks in Border 2. This week we are making the star blocks. There is a choice of two different stars. One is a Broken Dishes Star and the second is a Diamond Star. They are very similar in appearance, but different in the way they are pieced. The Broken Dishes Star is made up of all triangles and the Diamond Star includes flying geese units and a square on point unit.
One of the instructions for the Trapezoid and Kite shapes for the AccuQuilt Companion Qube dies is to use the Shift and Cut Method. AccuQuilt has some videos for this, but I actually did this and made some still photos which I will post here.
Notice that I use Painter’s tape on my die. to mark about 1/8-1/4″ from the blade. This shows me exactly where to place the cut fabric when I shift for the next shape. I also use the Painter’s tape on other dies for the same purpose. I could mark it with a Sharpie, but Painter’s tape gives me the flexibility for times when I need different markings. Then I can move the tape whereas Sharpie marks are permanent.
It’s Monday and time for a new block. This week’s block is very simple. It is either a half square triangle, a Signature block, or a trapezoid block. Make 20 blocks and arrange them around the four Broken Dishes center blocks that were done last week. I am making two quilts. One of the quilts is with the 8″ Qube and is scrappy and the new block added is the Signature block. The second quilt is with the 12″ Qube and I am using a deep burgundy/wine with some medium color fabric that was in my stash from a project that I worked on with my Mom many years ago. The new block added is a half square triangle. The pictures are below. I love how bright the scrappy quilt is and I love how the pieced blocks frame the stars.