Here we are again – another month has passed and summer is upon us. And yet again, my inspiration has come from an unexpected source.
Early last month I had a young lady call me inquiring about a quilt. She wanted one made for her Marine friend coming home after summer, in reds, white and blues. Since I was already up at the quilt shop at the time, I looked around to see what I could find. There was a great fabric with overlapping flags, so I bought some as well as reds and blues that matched. I had already wanted to build my stash a bit in those colors, so I purchased all that, knowing there was a chance the quilt would never come to fruition.
Which I think is the case. No harm done though – I got some fabric that I ended up using much sooner than anticipated. And if I do ultimately create that special quilt, I can buy new fabric :). Yay me!!!
After I had purchased it, I left it all out on my file cabinet, sort of as a set, in case I needed to use it all together. So when I looked at the drawing for this month’s version (like I said last month, I wanted to set this month’s block on point), I realized this fabric set was perfect!
I kept it simple by choosing one blue, one red and one cream to compliment the flag fabric, although I could have used multiples of each and had a scrappier look. I used red and blue pens on my drawing to test out different settings, meaning, where each color should go and which color should make up the arrow. Once I colored a few different blocks, I made my decision (you can see on my drawing where I circled THE choice).
I did have a bit of a setback… because of the way I chose to lay this out, there were two blue triangles per ‘triangle block’, which needed to be opposite from each other for the pattern to work. So I sewed together the white/blue half, and then put the red/blue triangles next to them to ensure I sewed them together correctly. Once I thought I had it right, I sewed and ironed them all. And I did it wrong.
Needless to say, I had to rip the seams on all the red/blue blocks and iron them flat and then SEW THEM PROPERLY and then IRON THEM AGAIN. I HATE ironing. Oh well, had to be done. Just know you aren’t alone when you make silly mistakes!
Here’s what the blocks looked like once assembled:
When making a quilt top, you can choose to straight set the blocks or set them on point. In this month’s case the blocks are on point. In either setting, you can have every block be the same pattern, or alternating blocks can be solid, or a different block.
I chose to alternate the blocks in this quilt, mostly because I didn’t want to have half blocks along the edges of the top. But because of that choice, you can see that the pinwheels are gone.
I could have had every block be of the same pattern, with the edge triangles surrounding them (but inside the border) solid. Maybe next time.
The real beauty of this quilt was that I only had to construct NINE blocks, versus the 25 or 30 in the other quilt tops. This made for a VERY fast assembly, and a smaller top, but I decided to do a multiple border to grow it a bit, and I liked the way it framed the quilt in all the colors within.
You can also see from my drawing that I had planned on using the flag fabric (represented by red and blue squiggles on my paper) between the red and blue borders. When I laid it out to see how it looked, the flag fabric was too busy and just made all the flag fabric pop out instead of being the background for the blocks. So I changed the middle (narrow) border to the cream.
So let’s compare again:
“The” block –
January result – all scraps in turquoise, bright pink and green (and white)
February result – scrap white and purple dyed, sashing matches center blocks (focal fabric)
March result – different center, but magenta and purple and white match it. I placed the white and purple triangles specifically to ensure the pinwheel came out
April result – crayon box threw up. center squares were inspiration, all brights were scraps that matched lines in center squares. totally random placement
May’s version – I think this should be called sunburst
Here is the quilt WITH the border –
And here’s June –
I think this might be my new favorite!
See how many different quilts can be made with just one block and a little imagination? Don’t be put off by a quilt pattern photo in colors you don’t like – give the pattern a good, hearty look, and consider how YOU could make it with fabric you DO like! It might end up becoming your favorite quilt!