Friday, September 27, 2013

Block Tutorial - Which Way Block Adaptation

These days, much of my quilt inspiration comes from Pinterest. Hardly a day goes by without me pinning some new and fabulous quilt to my "Pretty Quilts" board.

Quilt made by Steffi from just Quilts

I'm always looking for new quilt ideas for the Believe Circle of do.Good Stitches. My turn to choose the quilt always comes around faster than I expect it to, so it's good to have a little stash of ideas to pull from. I was immediately drawn to this one because I thought it could be perfectly interpreted for a boy. The charity we support, My Very Own Blanket, has shared with us that they could really use a boost in quilts for boys. The arrows in this one make me think of directions, cars, trucks, construction, signals, and all sorts of boyish ideas.

The original quilt and tutorial can be found over on Steffi's blog, Just Quilts. Steffi generously granted permission for me to adapt her design to a block format (the original quilt is sewn in rows rather than blocks) for our October Believe Circle project.

I haven't figured out what the final layout of the quilt will be. This is going to be one of those designs that evolves as we go. Here is the block that I have designed based on Steffi's quilt.

Fabric required to make one 12 1/2" block:

Four arrow fabrics - From each fabric, cut (1) 9 1/4" square and (1) 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangle
Background fabric - (4) 2 1/2" squares and (4) 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangles

From each 9 1/4" square of arrow fabric,

cut across each diagonal. You will only use one of these triangles for your block. You can always save the others for more blocks!

Take all of your cut pieces and lay them out as follows:

First, sew the triangles together. Here, I've sewn the red to the green and pressed to the red, then I sewed the blue to the neutral and pressed toward the neutral. The key is to press the sewn seams in opposite directions so they will nest together nicely when the two bigger triangles are sewn together.

After the triangles are all sewn together to form the center square, sew the background squares to the arrow rectangles on the left and right side of the block. Press seams toward the background fabric.

Sew the left and right sides to the center square. Press the seam toward the center.

Sew the background rectangles to either side of the arrow rectangle. Press toward the background.

Sew the top and bottom strips to the center. Press seams toward the outside of the block.

The other thing I like about this block is the way the arrows all point to each other. The finished quilt will go to a foster child, and I often think of children in that situation as having only themselves to depend on. This arrow design makes me think "strength from within" which says so much about these precious children.

Believe Circle members,
For our October quilt, choose bright colors for the arrows...think traffic signal, yellow, green, and also blue. Try to stay away from girlie fabric designs. Feel free to throw in one neutral fabric for an arrow in one of your blocks. I do like how that gives your eye a place to rest in an otherwise bright design. For the background, choose a dark, brown, blue, gray, or green....just make sure they are very dark. Each block should finish at 12 1/2" square. Please make two blocks.

Can't wait to receive all of your blocks throughout October. Look for a finished quilt before the end of the year!
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