In comments on Monday’s post where I shared the newest block I had made for someone in my Bee Biased group, one reader wanted clarification so I’ll give a little clarification then go on to tell you about my block I made yesterday.
The Great Granny block I shared yesterday is for Kathie, the September ‘Queen’ of our Bee Biased Group over at Threadbias. Each month for a year, the twelve of us have been making a block a month, each month for a different person. The ‘Queen” for that month dictates what she wants us to make her for a block. At the end of her month, she will have twelve of her desired blocks to do with what she wants. My month is the last one of the group, December. I already know what I want my group members to make for me and I can’t wait to see the results!
Besides the Bee Biased Group, I have just joined up with six other Threadies (members of Threadbias, my term not theirs!) to do an Improv-Robin. Each of us will begin with a starter block of our choice. Each month it moves person by person through the group of six and they add whatever they like. It’s improvisational, do what you think it needs. This is a step outside the comfort zone for me, but I really wanted to try it.
The starter block could be in the center when it returns to me, or it could be off to one side, or in the far corner. It’s a toss-up and totally up to the various members. Six months from now I’ll show you the result!
Today I made the starter block. I had a traditional applique block I was going to use but I decided that I wanted to try a new block, one I had been admiring for a while. The block I chose came from 627handworks.com She has been doing a Block Rock’n Free Block of the Week for a while and they are incredible blocks, all paper-pieced. I chose Week 10 “Mercury”. She named each block after one of her favorite rock bands.
Here are two examples of Mercury presented by 627 Handworks. See how different they look, all because of color choices.
Here are the two segments you reproduce four times. They are reverse pieces.
Here’s one segment.
I forgot to snap a photo of the first segment so I only have a two-segment piece to show you. I chose to do bright primary-type colors mainly. I chose a grey “low volume” print and my Kona white for the inner sections, alternating them. The outer edges I decided to use this Confucius text fabric I picked up a while ago.
I really wasn’t sure I was going to like the text fabric or the alternating grey, white areas but figured I could always make another block if it was too ugly.
Here’s four segments together. You stitch the two reverse segments together four times and then piece the four double segments together to make the whole.
There are the four main segments, pieced and laid out. At this point I can move the four segments around, choosing which colors sit beside which other colors.
Here’s what I ended up with. I’m pretty happy with it. As you can imagine, with eight segments joining in the center, it was rather thick. I opened a few stitches at the center back so I could spread the fabric and lessen the thickness as much as possible.
I have a friend who likes to see the back of projects and I don’t usually remember to show them. Here’s the back of my paper-pieced Mercury. It’s not as pretty as the front, but it actually looks fairly good. I have pressed the seams that join the segments all in the same direction so they “spin” around the block. The stitches in the center seam allowance have been picked open so I could spread the thickness around the block.
I think I’m going to keep this block as my starter block. It gives the other ladies plenty of color choices and hopefully will inspire them to add borders, other blocks or whatever they feel it needs.
Did you happen to see SewManyWays blog yesterday morning? Karen has great organizational ideas and here’s the one I liked from yesterday. Bobbins on a key ring!
Check out her blog for lots more great ideas, quilt related and otherwise.
Don’t get in the habit of seeing a new block everyday. It just has worked out that way for the last two days. I’m hoping to have time to play with my circle block pieces and see what kind of ideas I can get. If I get to that, I’ll be sure and take some photos for you.
Keep on stitching, quilters, and the rest of you, just keep reading! I’m so happy to have you ALL here!