Teeny, Tiny Piecing

The task for Saturday was to complete two blocks that need to be sent to Jacqui as part of our “Smash That Stash” block swap sponsored by Make Modern Magazine.

Jacqui selected the block named “Pivot”, a very intricate block featuring SIXTY pieces!!!

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I used my new Accuquilt machine to cut most of the pieces and was thankful that it was fast and SO accurate. I think that the accuracy is what made these blocks fairly easy to piece!!

I started out by making half-square triangles, using the pressing technique that I learned from Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs. Check it out HERE.

Don’t they look cute….like little butterflies ready for takeoff….

After they were pressed, I used the Bloc-Loc ruler to trim them down to a PERFECT 1.5 inches ( click HERE for notes about using the Bloc-Loc)

With the first block, I was nervous about the seam allowances so didn’t lay out the entire thing before I started piecing. I started piecing in the center and was so excited to find out that the middle section did measure 10.5 inches…..

And I was ecstatic when the top and bottom sections also matched…..

One block down…..

…and one to go!!

For the second block, I got smart and laid the entire thing out before I started piecing….

This made it SO much easier and faster and this second block went together smoothly…..

It is a good feeling to have these two blocks finished and also to know that working to perfect my 1/4-inch seam allowance is actually showing some benefit!!!

The next two months are my turn to receive blocks and I am looking forward to see what these girls do!!

Scraps with an international flair

As I have mentioned previously in this blog, I am participating in a block swap with several quilters from Australia and New Zealand, using patterns in Make Modern magazine. It is a great online magazine and I would encourage you to check it out!!!

This week I finished the second set of blocks for Debbie from Australia. We have already made one set of Butterfly blocks for her and here is the second set of bright and wonderful butterflies…..

They are fun to make and I am definitely getting better at seam allowances so they are coming out REALLY close to the needed size!!

I am up for the months of August and September and have been thinking about what I want to do with my blocks. At the moment I am thinking about something like this….

… although the light blue needs to be a LOT lighter than in this picture.

OR maybe I want to do it in bright colors!!! I REALLY need to decide!!!

The group would provide twenty, 10-inch blocks and I would need to make an additional 16 blocks!!!

I think that I will wait to see what they send and then go from there!!!

International Block Swap….

Several weeks ago I posted about an International block swap that I have been enjoying for the past few months.

The next two participants chose the same pattern…..”Wings of a Butterfly” by Angie Wilson of @gnomeangel..

It is a fairly simple block and I think that the interest comes from the 1-inch border around the center 1/4-square triangle block…..

The first recipient (Debbie) requested a teal/aqua center, bright fabric butterflies around the block and low-volume prints for the background pieces……

While Janet asked for dark and light blue fabrics and white/grey backgrounds…..

They are each so different and I can’t wait to see how the two quilts are going to turn out.My months are coming up in August and September and I am still trying to decide which pattern I want to use.

I have actually had the thought of putting the block designs into Electric Quilt and seeing if two different ones can be combined to form a new pattern.

I have a LITTLE time to make up my mind!!

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!!!