Monday, 19 August 2013

HST Value Quilt Block Tutorial

My turn is coming up in the Simply Solids Bee and I have been trying out the Threadbias online Design Tool so I can show people better pictures than photographing my sketchbook (which is really a bit shonky)! Again there has been a bit of learning curve; but probably it's not too hard, and I'm sure has tons of potential as I become a more fluid user of the tool!

I would like the people in my Australasian circle of the bee (Fallow) to help me make a sofa quilt in pinks, reds, oranges and yellows to go with my favourite cushions

 I've had this design saved for ages, which I thought might work well in solids, as well as potentially for a scrap quilt some day. My rather tatty graph paper tells me it originally came from a library book called How to Design and Make Your Own Quilts by Katharine Guerrier 

Just ignore the top row of two blocks that somehow ended up along the top. 

Even though the design tool allows you to choose (some) fabrics that was just too steep a learning curve for me, I decided that since this quilt is really a value quilt, it would be better if I showed it to you in greyscale, so you get the fun of deciding which fabric to put where in your block

As you can see each block is made up of four x nine half square triangle blocks, rotated to form the design.

So if you're making this for me as part of the Fallow group in Simply Solids Bee, I have sent you, or will shortly be sending you, a variety of strips 4" wide. There should be enough to cut at least 20 dark 4" squares, 14 light squares and 8 medium squares. But you only need 6 medium, 12 light and 18 dark, so you have room for mistakes choice. 

I'd be grateful if you could send any unused squares or HST squares or scraps back to me with your finished block, so I can make a few more blocks or use them on the back please.

So first finish the cutting into 4" squares then order your fabrics into light medium and dark values.  If you find this a bit tricky you can either view the fabric through a red filter, or take a photograph in black and white to help you decide on the relative value of each fabric.

Some of them are very close ( I love that kind of interplay)!

A fabric's value is relative to a degree; so in some cases the same fabric could be light, medium or dark depending on the fabrics next to it.

The "relative value" means that the same fabric can act as a dark or a medium or a light value depending on what it is near.

So to make the block, take 12 dark squares and put them together with 12 light squares.

Rule a diagonal line in pencil corner to corner.

Sew a 1/4" seam either side of the line and

Follow the same method combining six medium and six dark squares.

I chain pieced all these (light/dark and medium/dark) together in one long line down each side

Then cut them apart

And cut along the pencil line to form two HSTs. 

Press open carefully without stretching the bias. And trim the dog ears...such a fun part :-{- Not!

Note that I didn't trim the block size at all, only the dog ears. I just used scissors as I pressed them open. But use your rotary cutter, or whatever works for you but don't trim the sides of the HST blocks at all to keep the blocks the same size.

Arrange your squares for each nine patch according to value as above.
Sew together the squares  using a 1/4" seam using your preferred method. (I like pressing the seams alternate ways and nesting them, but do it whichever way you prefer).

Finally, combine the four nine patches to complete the block.

In this trial one I made I've decided there's a bit too much yellow, so I'll probably redo a couple of the squares substituting another light triangle in due course...

Thanks so much lovely Fallow people for making these for me and if you make this following this tutorial for any other reason, do put a link in the comment box, so I can see what you've made.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

It's Already August!

So here's a July round up for the Fresh Sewing Day/ Small Blog Meet

L-R Top- Bottom

Some squares in preparation for my month in the Simply Solids Bee next month
Amira's blocks requested -for August, (yes I did them in July- but they were delightfully simple) in Simply Solids Bee
A Gift Block to be explained later
Progress in my Wonky Crosses Quilt
More preparation of Sample Block for my month in Simply Solids (as above!)
Quilting finished on a quilt I'm less than sure about!
Said quilt...
July's Simply Solids Block for Kate
Conquering Curves for do. Good Stitches Cherish bee in July

What did you get up to on the creative front last month?

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