Happy Accident

As I continue to clean and dig I keep coming across old projects.  Today it was this little tin of 1-1/2″ squares with a snowball block on top.  With a square in the middle.  I think it was leftovers from an old project of Daughter’s.

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But, the more I looked at it I thought, “That would make a really attractive scrappy block.”

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So, I tried one.  Somehow in my mind the scale was off (seam allowances) and I turned it the wrong way.  Whoops!  I don’t like this look nearly as much.

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Here is the second try.  Much more successful.

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Looking at it beside the inspiration piece, you can start to see how it will look.  I think I like it!  Let’s call it Happy Accident.

Small Step

The next step for the fairy panels was to move towards a setting idea.  One way to “grow” a quilt is to set the blocks on point, but I didn’t want those fairies to fall over.

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So, I added a triangle to each side to give the effect of being on point without tipping the fairies.

Hmm…what to do next???

Small And Sweet

Even tiny panels have potential.  I was given a little strip of fabric that had five mini-panels.   It wasn’t much to work with, but they were fairies and really sweet.

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So, I am experimenting and trying to see what can be done.  First, I am making them into five My Size Stars.  The blocks will finish at 6-1/2″ across.  We’ll see what happens next…

Quilt Block Tutorial: Quasar

A quasar is a spinning star. That seemed an appropriate name for this block, designed specially for the Desperate Housewife’s Quilt-as-you-wish-Along.

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Don’t be put off by the number of pieces. It goes together fairly easily (just watch seam allowance) and makes good use of scrap or that honeybun you bought because it was so cute and haven’t known what to do with it.

By the way, you can make 30 of these blocks out of a single honeybun plus background fabric.  That is enough for a nice size quilt, particularly if you use alternate setting blocks or an on-point setting.

Jane suggested we say a little about design inspiration.  Well, I love stars and pinwheels, too.  This block sort of brings them together.

My design software is usually the back of junk mail envelopes or 1/4-sheets of scrap paper I keep lying around the house.  Here is my first idea.

The problem with that block was that it really and truly had too many pieces and each section had to be assembled differently.

Then I realized that I could make one pattern four times and spin them.  Ah!  Happiness!

Yep, that is my beautiful sketch of a quarter-block with the basic measurements written in and checked after I made sure they were correct.

I am sure that real design software helps, but anyone with a pencil and a dream can design.  Don’t doubt yourself.  Give it a try.  You might be surprised at what you find in your head.

Anyway, after  way more than you wanted to know, here you have:

QUASAR QUILT BLOCK TUTORIAL

Finished size 8″ (rough size 8-1/2″)

Cut the following out of background fabric:

4 squares 2-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches

8 squares 1-1/2 x 1-1/2 inches

8 rectangles 1-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches

Cut the following from your scraps (or honeybun strips),  These can be completely scrappy or in sets of four:

8 squares 1-1/2 x 1-1/2 inches

4 rectangles 1-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches

4 rectangles 1-1/2 x 3-1/2 inches

4 rectangles 1-1/2 x 4-1/2 inches

ASSEMBLY

1. Sew a 1-1/2″ colored square to the corner of a 2-1/2″ background square.  Sew along the diagonal of the colored square.  Make four of these.

2. Sew a 1-1/2″ colored square to the end of a 1-1/2 x 2-1/2″ background rectangle.  Sew along the diagonal of the colored square.  Use picture to make sure you are sewing the correct direction. Make four of these.

3. Sew a 1-1/2 x 2-1/2″ background rectangle to the corner of a 1-1/2 x 2-1/2″ colored rectangle.  Line up so the colored rectangle is on the bottom and the background rectangle is pointed to the left.  Make a small mark if needed to see where to start your stitching.  Sew along the diagonal of the background rectangle. Make four of these.

4. Sew a 1-1/2″ background  square to the corner of a 1-1/2 x 3-1/2″ colored rectangle.  Sew along the diagonal of the background square.  Use picture to make sure you are sewing the right direction. Make four of these.

5. Sew a 1-1/2″ background  square to the corner of a 1-1/2 x 4-1/2″ colored rectangle.  Sew along the diagonal of the background square.  Use picture to make sure you are sewing the right direction. Make four of these.

6. Now you need to trim off all the little triangles, leaving seam allowance, to prepare for pressing and block assembly.

7. Press seam allowance open or towards the colored pieces.

8. Now you are ready to create your quarter blocks.  I did mine assembly line style, adding each new part four times, then pressing, then moving on to the next part .  Start with the 2-1/2″ square.  Keeping the colored piece in the upper left hand corner, add the 2-1/2″ background piece with the colored triangle in the upper right corner.  Press. Again, make four of these.

9. Add the 2-1/2″ colored and background rectangle to the right side of the 2-1/2″ square, colored section at the bottom.  Press. Again, make four of these.

10. Add the 3-1/2″ colored rectangle to the bottom of the existing shape, background triangle to the lower left.  Press. As you know by now, make four of these.

**SORRY:  No picture of this step**

11. Add the 4-1/2″ colored rectangle to the right of the existing shape, with the background triangle to the upper right. Now you should have a shape that looks like this. This is one quarter of the finished block.  And, you will have four of them.

12. Lay out your block so the 4-1/2″ rectangles are in the center and form a spinning star pattern.  Sew together and press seams.  TA-DAH!  You have a Quasar Block.

Or, two…or more.

These little blocks are fun and satisfying to make.  I plan to make an at least throw size quilt before I am done.

I look forward to seeing the blocks you make.  Thank you for visiting Wedding Dress Blue.  And, thank you to Jane for letting me be a part of her Quilt-as-you-wish-Along.

*****QUASAR BLOCK GALLERY*****

Susanne’s Version from make.share.give

Karen’s version from The House of Wilson

Well, darn it!

Revealing process isn’t a bad thing as long as the process goes well.  Here is a red-cheeked post about how the process sometimes REALLY goes.

Remember this blue scrap?

I had big ideas of making a whole quilt (size unknown) of these, my new favorite block.

So, I cut it, getting ready to sew.

And I started sewing….

and realized that I had…

I don’t even know what I had done.

But, the end result was that nearly ALL my lovely blue scrap was cut into 2 1/2″ squares.  NO 2 7/8″ squares to make Half Square Triangles with.  No, not any. 

Goodbye, All Hallows Blue Quilt.

But, what was I going to do with a LOT of 2 1/2″ squares.  So, I did a little fiddling around and came up with this.

I called my Daughter in (she is 10), handed her the pile and asked what she would make with them.

At least it’s an idea. 

So we are working on it together.  I think there is enough to make a lap quilt size.  We’ll see.

I have known “measure twice cut once” for a long time.  Now I need to add “read twice” to the list of wisdom.

BTW:  The quilt block comes from www.quilterscache.com  It is a terrific site with hundreds (I am not exaggerating) of quilt blocks with really good instructions (provided you read them).

House Block Tutorial, as promised

Now, Victoria is a wonderful person and designed a charming block, but I couldn’t make mine work.  I used to build houses for a living, and I am a little embarrassed to say I couldn’t build that block.

So, I designed my own. It is the right size for her quilts, which is 10″ finished, but there is a 12″ option shown.  It goes together very quickly;  in fact, you make four blocks at a time.  At that rate you will complete a house quilt before you know it.

10” House Block

 This method makes 4 10” finished size blocks at once.

All seams at ¼” quilters width.  WOF = Width of Fabric, assuming 42-45” fabric.

Materials Needed:

1 11-1/4” square, suitable for roof

4 5-7/8” squares, suitable for sky

2 1-1/2” strips at least 22” long, suitable for sky

4 2-1/2” strips at least 22” long, 3 similar and suitable for house, 1 suitable for door

Construction:

Using your 11/1/4” square and 4 5-7/8” squares, assemble roof and sky of houses, using “No waste flying geese method.”  I discovered this method while doing the Hazel’s Diary Quiltalong.  Shelly has a great tutorial here.

Assemble the six strips with a narrow sky piece on the outside and the door in fourth position, as shown in picture.

 Iron.

Cut into units 5 ½” high.

Attach to roof.  Your block should be 10-1/2” square.

Ta-dah!  You have completed 4 little houses.

Why don’t you make more and send a quilt to BASICS? PS–You could win a sewing machine if you do.

A FEW NOTES:  IF your fabric is 44” usable width, you can get eight houses out of a single strip.  By using 2 roof squares and 8 sky squares you can make eight blocks REALLY fast. If not, it is pretty easy to get 6 houses from a WOF strip, so with three roof units and two sets of strips you get 12 houses.

If you want to make a 12” finished block, it is easy to modify by adding 1 2-1/2” strip and cutting the house body 6-1/2” high.  Make the roof block 13-1/4” square and the sky blocks 6-7/8” square.  All other directions as given.

Here is a block made by Lori, my volunteer pattern tester, who claims it “works great.” I like the scrappy-happy look of her block.

IF you have made it this far, congratulations.  Also, if you would like a print friendly version of the tutorial/pattern, just leave a comment or e-mail me and I’ll send it to you.