Tuesday, April 22, 2014

QCQAL Block #4 -- Jacob's Ladder with Marti's templates!

Good morning, quilters!!  Thanks for the lovely feedback about my blog last week!!  A Nudge was the lucky winner of my little pattern collection, Quilters Just Wanna' Have Fun!  It's 9 simple patterns I selected to help my students and customers use beautiful fabric!  So on to today's topic!
It's an easy block to make and I used Marti Michell's Template Set B (#9 and #12) to make the 12" version.  For the 6" version, I used #13 from Set B and #79 from Set N.  I love that I can mix and match these templates!  Do you understand how I decided which templates to use?  If not, leave me a comment and I'll explain it.  Or check out this post that goes along with the QCQAL.
 Since I have a limited amount of this funky polka dot fabric and the fussy cutting I've done is leaving some odd size pieces, I decided to just cut the large triangles from this odd piece so there are arms and legs going every which way. 
I decided to make the diagonal stream of squares the same color -- green -- and then make the rest scrappy dots in warm colors for the contrast since green is a cool color.  Using warm and cool colors gives you another way to create contrast.  I laid it out randomly to begin but as you'll see in the  photo of the finished block I felt it looked too disorganized. 
Alison's directions call for a strip set for these 4-patches, but going scrappy as I did made the templates a good choice.  Once I organized the colors to suit myself, I chain pieced the beginning pairs together.  If you go to the ironing board with the chain intact, you don't have to sort the pairs for the next step. 
And if you flip every other one up before pressing, it simplifies keeping the seams going in the correct direction. 
Now I can just flip the top square up or down and press the seams in opposing directions -- saves time and thinking energy! 
Now I clip the thread chain between each set leaving the chain intact between the pairs that will be stitched together for the final seam of the 4-patches. 
Flip one pair on top of the other. 
And then stack them up for the short trip to the sewing machine.   
Notice that the top seam is pointing towards the presser foot -- that is so when I mesh the seams together, as I push the 4-patch through the sewing machine, the top seam will get "stuck" against the bottom seam and the intersection of the seams won't shift!  Can't do it every time, but do as often as I can! 
So here's the 12" block with the organized 4-patches -- like the balance! 
And here's the 6" block -- completely scrappy 4-patches but the warm colors follow one diagonal and the cool colors the other.  Very random is easier with small pieces I think.
Time to vote for Block #5!!  I have a favorite that I hope will win, but I won't campaign here!!
Linking up over at Freshly Pieced -- love all the links that happen there every Wednesday!
Mary Huey