Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Needlework Tuesday - Layout for One Block Wonder Quilt

 I've been working fairly steadily on my One Block Wonder quilt.  All 91 blocks are pieced. One spare, you can see it to the right of the photo.  Ignore the gap at the bottom of the quilt, those blocks really do exist but have been pinned and are at the sewing machine.

I was asked in last week's comments for hints on going from blocks to a pleasing layout.  I'll be addressing that in this post.

Needlework Tuesday is a regular weekly post where I share the progress of my various needlework projects over the past week. I enjoy the encouragement that I receive from my readers and in return visit their blogs and cheer them on with theirs. You are welcome to grab the cute little mouse and create your own Needlework Tuesday post. Leave a comment with a link and I'll be sure to visit with you.

Close up of an area that looks like popcorn, the white circular areas with black back ground
 The most helpful hint I can give you is to study the photos in the book One-Block Wonder by Maxine Rosenthal. In my spare time, I would pick up the book and study the quilts within.  I didn't just look quickly, but would spend ten minutes or more carefully examining each quilt.  Looking at the colours, that the spot where the blocks abut their neighbours.  I noted how similar or different each was from it's neighbour. 

 Next, examine your blocks and the fabric; what colours are pre-dominate, what visual textures standout.  I noted four colours, light green, medium green , black and white.  The teal blue is the background and is pretty much every where.  There are two definite leaf shapes, long narrow and rounded. There is also the popcorn shape shown in the previous photo.  Sort the blocks according to colour and then further sort them by shapes. similar shapes sit better side by side than do radically different shapes.

 At some point, you have to place different colour blocks beside each other. That's were the shape and back ground filler help to cover the gap.  I feel that I handled this well in the areas surrounding the light green. ( Click on the photos and they should open in a new window at a larger size.)  Where I  couldn't match the pattern, I paired it with a block where the white/black/teal where of equal weighting.

Most important to remember, is that you are making the quilt for your own enjoyment.  For the majority of quilters, the quilts we make are for our family and friends and to be enjoyed and even loved.  They are not going to be hanging in the world's top art galleries and museums.  So relax and enjoy the process. Take your time, but do set a time limit on the re-arranging.  It took me less than the week time limit I had set. There are a block or two I might have wanted to change, but not major enough to make me stop and re-consider at this point.

 This final photo shows three blocks with their corner triangles, trimmed and then sewn together.  I can barely notice the seam between blocks two and three.

update: I forgot to talk about the initial arranging of the blocks.  As the book suggested, I started with the blocks that were my favourite colour.  First I arranged them in a block, but that was rather boring.  I looked at the book again and noticed that the centre colour blocks were often arranged in a more linear fashion.   I then arranged the light green blocks in a wiggly line. i was much happier with that.  Next I added the darker green blocks and then worked out in all directions from there.  One block at a time.  I took days to get all 90 blocks laid out.  

On to knitting.  I started one new project last week to help a lady in the knitting class where I am volunteering. She is making a sweater for her little boy.  In the effort to finish the outfit while it still fits, I offered to knit the pants. I am working both legs at the same time to ensure the increases/decreases are at the same places. working from the waist down, I have reached past the crotch and run out of yarn.  Unfortunately, that lady wasn't able to make the class this week, so I'll have to put that project aside till next week.

I have had the pattern and yarn sitting aside for this next project for ages.  The pattern is "Cosy Neck Warmer" leaflet #332 from Patons & Baldwins (Canada) Limited. It is made with beehive Astra, 2 balls.  The pattern suggests that an adult will need 22 points, though I am thinking that would be somewhat snug and that a few more will be required.  Each point works up pretty quickly, though does require much counting.  I have add a marker at the point where the neck band meets the ripply part.

This is an old pattern and is not currently available from Patons, though i am going to contact them and ask if they'll add it to the patterns they offer free online.

It's going to be hard to stay inside the next few days as true spring weather has finally arrived.  Today it's expected to reach 25C and sunny. Wow, makes me want to walk and walk and walk.  I like to listen to audio books while outside which works really well.  I can't imagine me walking and knitting.  too dangerous, I'd probably walk off the edge of the world that way.

Mister linky is waiting below for a link to your current needlework project, or a link to a photo of your One-Block Wonder quilt.


Roslyn said...

Well your may be the first OBW I have found attractive! I usually think they look like a mish -mash, I never completed one just didn't like what was happening!
Kudos to you Heather!

Cheryl Coville said...

I'm a little out of the loop on quilting topics, so your One Block Wonder is the first I've seen. It's gorgeous!!

Lin said...

Like Cheryl I too know nothing about these but it is stunning! xx

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

Wow--that One Block Wonder quilt is STUNNING! I'm so impressed at your eye to put it together.