Monday, March 17, 2014

Another Sunday of Puttering

After a successful presentation of my birding program on Friday evening, I collapsed into my studio for a weekend of puttering and re-orienting.  I seem to need 24 hours to re-orient my direction towards the next project and I've found that puttering is a good way to get there.  Saturday felt pretty aimless but I put away most of the bird books, cleared off my desk, and did a little tidy-up in the studio.

I was looking for a small project that would give me some quick gratification.  Early last week I read Little Bunny Quilts via a "link-up".  Alison has started a FAL that looked like fun!   She is hosting a  poll where quilters can vote on a block from a short list of choices.  The following week, her posts include a tutorial on how to piece the winning block.  Sister's Choice was the first winner!  I love that block!

I enjoyed Alison's explanation of the challenge of piecing a 12" five-patch grid block and her clever adaptation of the pattern to make it easier to rotary cut -- divide 5 into 12 and you'll quickly see this is necessary -- think UGLY number.

I cater to students and followers with lots of Marti Michell's templates.  She has created a set of templates (go see if you have Set M) that is just for five-patch 12" blocks.  So I voted on my block choice for this coming week and printed out Alison's guidelines for what to cut and her coloring ideas (3 variations!) and went to work.

This cute print with little coffee cups was on top of a fabric pile -- it's quite old so I'm not sure why it was on top.  Perhaps I had it out to audition for another project and never quite got it put away?  Since I have no idea where this collection of mystery blocks will lead, why not start with this as the background fabric. 
 I've been collecting polka dots rather randomly over the past year -- why not use those with it? Random not only defines the process of accumulation, it also describes the mode of "storage".
So it seemed sensible to sort them into color piles as I chose some to use with the coffee cups.  Don't you just feel so proud of yourself when you organize something?
First pull.
Thinned down a bit and ready to cut! 
Time to pull out the templates!  From Set M, I'll need #75, the square, and #76, the corresponding half-square triangle.
While sorting through my templates, I realized Marti also did Set S, a five-patch set for 6" blocks -- that would be fun to do some small blocks to mix in with the 12" blocks!  I haven't used that set yet so this is a perfect opportunity.  Looks like #99 and #100 will do the job.
To cut with these particular templates, it's easiest to use the template itself to measure the strip rather than trying to find the line on your ruler that is right!!  Remember the UGLY measurement!
There is a more detailed explanation of this process HERE.
And the beauty of the corner trimming is that you use the same size strip for the squares and corresponding half-square triangles!
There's no wasted fabric and that something I always appreciate.
Soon the block is finished -- it seem very bright but I've been working with soft colors all winter.
And the 6" version looks good, too -- I like the touch of green! 
Now I can't wait to see what the winning block for this week will be -- why don't you get out your templates and follow along, too.  Who knows what it will inspire?!?




  1. It's gonna be so bright and cute, I love polka dots!

    1. Thanks, Vicki! I think I'm going to pull back out the polka dots that I culled from the first pull for the second block to make the assortment more interesting.