". . . . though I get no more tired now than I did when I was younger, I take much longer to get un-tired afterwards." C.S. Lewis
So it goes this week for me as I putter along at catching up with myself and get back into a home/studio routine. Although it looked like I was here in my studio plugging along last week, I was actually on a family camping trip with my adult children and my grandchildren!
I had a backlog of four blocks for Barbara Brackman's Morris Hexathon
by the time I returned and spent my first afternoon back in the studio working through those. Oxford Rose, #13 was easy! I was able to use the kite template from Marti Michell's 3" Kite and Crown set to cut the pieces and although it is a bit large, it will be easy enough to trim the block at the end of the project.
I need more dark blocks and favored these two directional reproduction prints for a contrast of print.
Canterbury, #14 was fun to make once I determined a piecing strategy. I used templates #46 and #48 from Marti's Set G plus some strip piecing and cutting tricks.
Rather than cut individual diamonds with template #48, I pieced a strip set of the red and green prints using the template to determine the width of each strip.
Once they were pieced together and pressed, I struggled to determine the correct angle to start cutting the diamond pairs until I laid the pattern sheet directly above the strip set and lined up my ruler in the direction that matched the diagram! Once that was done, I aligned the ruler's 60 degree line with the edge of the green strip and cut the angle.
I proceeded to cut six diamond pairs using the template to measure the width of each one.
I used the same strategy to get the starter angle for the background parallelograms.
Again, I was stumped for a minute on how to measure the length of the background units, but realized I could just lay a pieced diamond unit right side down on the strip and use that for a "pattern" to cut the parallelograms. Notice that I used the diamond template and dutifully trimmed the points of the units and marked the "dots" to guide me with the y-seams.
Here is the block laid out and ready to assemble. There are 18 seams in this block -- interestingly, the seams around the center hexagon are not y-seams but all the rest are. Because I always want to chain piece, I organized everything for the next block in the series and worked back and forth between the two blocks to maintain my set-in piecing simplified strategy!! That is why there are stacks of something else at the bottom of this picture.
These are the beginning units for #15, Kelmscott Tile. It's made up of twelve 4-piece diamond units though the option was presented to use single larger diamonds for the outer "background" diamonds which is what I did.
Again, I chose to take a short cut and made two strip sets for my 4-piece diamond units.
I cut six units from each strip set and assembled them into the main diamond units.
My first attempt at this block was a bit too small so I remade the diamond units using 1 1/4" strips and trimmed them to the correct size with Template H53 -- the block is the right size now!
Now for the piecing process! Adding the diamond units to the hexagon center of the Canterbury block is not a y-seam at both ends! It's a blend of a "partial seam" around the hexagon and a y-seam at the outer edge. So the first pair is added to one side of the hexagon but I stopped about 2/3 of the way across and left the seam unfinished. The second pair will be added to the right side of this section and stitching from hexagon end to a dot at the end of the diamond unit.
Press the seams away from the hexagon!
At the end of each of those seams, I stitched together a pair of the strip units for the other block to assemble the 4-piece diamond units for the other block.
Back and forth, back and forth.
The right end of this seam is open for the y-seam needed to insert the background parallelograms.
(I need a tutorial on how to "draw" arrows on my pictures!!)
Here it is before inserting the background pieces -- these will all be y-seams.
The 4-piece diamonds were finished and ready to begin assembling the second star. This photo shows the pressing of the "tumbling" units which is the first step of assembling a six-pointed star.
(See a complete explanation of how I piece six-pointed stars HERE
All the units are pressed identically.
To keep the points of the first block flat and crisp, I inserted every other background piece, then pressed it before inserting the final three pieces.
And here are final pictures of Canterbury, front
and back. I like this block and plan to make a larger version of it -- maybe slip one into my Smitten quilt top!?!
And this is Kelmscott Tile front
and back. It took a month, but I convinced myself to remake this block so it fits together with the rest!!
Now to catch up with the #smorgasblocks project. I'm three blocks behind on that -- but it was totally worth it to spend 5 days puttering around with my clan. Here are the grown-ups headed out for a morning paddle while my grands and I indulged in some butterfly chasing and other silliness!!
Have a good week!!