Monday, June 8, 2020

Design Wall

 Auditioning purple for the inner border of my bee basket weave top:

It's a bluer purple than some of the other purples in the top, but it'll work fine. There are several purple fabrics not showing in this photo and the greater the variety, the better each one works. I like that there's good value contrast between this purple and the olive. 

However, sewing blocks into rows and rows into a top is boring. I'm still sewing blocks into rows for my bright strippy spiral, too. That project was a squirrel but now that I know what it's going to look like, it's just mindless sewing to get it there. I really needed something quilty to engage my mind. 

I found something. I looked through my Quilt Inspirations Pinterest board and found a Jen Kingwell block that looked challenging. You can see it here

But I wanted to change it so I could use my 6 x 3" chisel and 3" HST dies to cut some of the pieces. It took some drawing in EQ and on paper to figure out the changes to the proportions; my block does not have the same proportions as hers. 

I learned that chisel shapes have a left and a right. The die cuts two at a time, both in the same direction. If you cut a strip of fabric long enough for four chisel pieces and fold it wrong sides together, you get two left and two right chisels. My block needs four orange paisley lefts and four green rights. It took a bit of experimenting resulting in a few extra pieces going the wrong direction before I got it right and had what I needed. 

My block is huge, 18", and the corners with huge squares of white background looked empty, so I added the large HSTs, which introduced a third print into the mix. Not originally planned, and now very different from the JK inspiration block, but it works.

The fabrics are all remnants, scraps, and FQs from stash so there isn't enough of these fabrics left to do much with. But I do have a couple more FQs that will coordinate with what's here. Since this is such a large block, it could be the center of a round robin style baby quilt, and I could combine the additional FQs with the leftover scraps from this block. That'll give me something to think about and figure out.

This one block is the result of an afternoon with my mind engaged, which felt good. I'll get back to mindless piecing and get the basket weave top finished, but this was a nice change of pace. 


  1. Puzzling out a technical block like that sounds like a fun afternoon to me. The result is lovely and it will be fun to see what it grows to become for you.

  2. Your purple border is looking very good, nice contrast with green olive. Beautiful big block, looks tricky!

  3. I'm not sure I ever would have guessed you would choose purple. It works SEW well!!

  4. I love your version!!! May I "copy" it?

  5. I can definitely relate to needing to take a break and make a random, totally different block every once in awhile when your "main" project is really repetitive! I was doing that with Farmer's Wife sampler blocks off and on throughout the monotony of an enormous log cabin quilt. Your version of the block, and the block that inspired you, are both very interesting.

  6. That's a really neat block! It looks like it has Card Trick in its DNA :)

  7. I really like the idea of a purple inner border on that rail quilt - makes that one purple in the photo pop out! and that new block - ohh la la!!