Block swap with an international flair…

For the last few years, I have been subscribing, reading, and enjoying “Make Modern” magazine. It is a digital-only magazine that is based in Australia and, as the name suggests, it focuses on Modern Quilting.

Each year they sponsor some sort of QAL (quilt-a-long) and 2021 was the year for me to join!! We are doing a block swap based on the blocks in the “Smash That Stash” quilt….

….and my group is comprised of 4 Australians, one quilter from New Zealand and ME!!

Each month one member is featured…she selects which block she wants us to make, and we make two 10-inch blocks or one 20-inch block in that design. We will rotate thru the members twice, meaning that each of us should receive enough blocks to make (or at least be a good start) on a fun friendship quilt.

Our first “Monthly Queen Bee” is Gaye who is our New Zealander, and the block that she picked is called “Intersections….

It looks fairly innocuous until you realize that all SIXTY-ONE pieces fit into one 10-inch block!!!

Gaye requested bright colors with light backgrounds and a fussy-cut center block.

If you remember back to my “too-small block” post, I knew that I had to be super careful in my cutting and piecing or else the block would end up as incorrect in size.

I also added a few other tricks to help keep these blocks in shape. First of all, I used spray sizing on each fabric before I cut the 1.5 inch strips….

This gave the fabric a bit of crispness which made cutting and piecing easier!!

Since there were so many pieces to cut, I made myself a chart to follow……

For the “fussy-cut” center square, I made a paper “window” and used it to select the featured design…..

It was then easy to place the ruler over the top and cut the piece so that it fit perfectly…..

Once everything was cut…..

….it was time to start sewing.

The first step was to piece two 1.5 inch squares, and pray that they measured 2.5 when ironed…..

Whew….so far so good!!!

The pattern suggested that the block be pieced in rows, but I chose to start at the center and work out to the edge. This way I could stop after every addition and check that the block size was still correct (or at least CLOSE)…..

I had to do a bit of adjusting on the first block, but the second went together easily…..

In a relatively short time I had the two blocks finished and ready to ship off to New Zealand…..

In April, our queen bee has picked “Wings of a Butterfly”……

It will be fun to play with some triangles in this one!!!