This week’s Around the Block Round Robin block is The Granny Square from Elizabeth at Simple Simon and Company! I love the classic look of it. Granny squares bring to mind thoughts of simpler times, don’t they? And, the unusual way that this block is assembled is pretty cool.
One of the reasons that I really like this block is that I’m actually in the process of teaching myself how to crochet granny squares! I’ve always wanted a big granny square afghan, and I love having a project that I can pick up for a few minutes here and there without having to figure out where I am. I’m starting with a toss pillow for now to see how it goes. Here’s a little peek at the pile that I have done so far. More on that later, when I’ve actually finished the pillow. My Granny Square Block has a little baby brother because I was one of the first to sew it up, and there was a mistake in the sizing. (It’s all fixed now, so everyone else should be good to go!) I thought it a bit ironic that Becky shared this link on the Patchwork Posse Facebook Page yesterday: 52+ Projects for Orphan Quilt Blocks. I’ll be scrolling through to see if any ideas jump out at me … I’ve developed quite the collection of orphan blocks! Anyone have a favorite project to share?
Whee! I finished this week’s Around the Block Round Robin block the same day as the post! I’m thankful that it was a quick one since I have three more pairs of PJs to finish and share before Friday. This week’s Ohio Star Block tutorial was shared by Tessa from The Sewing Chick. I so appreciate her simple instructions for sewing the four quarter-triangle blocks! They were a breeze!
Back to work on jammies now . . . and a little bit of a surprise for next week.
So, I took a little bit of creative liberty with this week’s Around the Block Round Robin block. This week’s “Flower Applique” block was designed by Kim from Kimberbell Designs. It’s a great one to try out if you’ve never done fusible applique! I used her flower applique design, but rather than add the yo-yo to the center when the quilt is done later, I made up a smaller circle applique. Once I had those two pieces cut out, though, I realized that there was plenty of room for a second flower, and I loved the idea of layering them to add a little dimension, especially since I skipped the yo-yo. I just ironed and stitched the bottom flower first, followed by its circle and then the second flower and circle.
This whole block went together in less than an hour! Woo-hoo for quick and pretty!
Man, I am learning so much already. For instance, today’s lesson was, “Read the directions”. This was probably payback for every time someone has emailed me with a pattern question, and I momentarily considered responding, “Read the directions!” (Of course, you know I’d never actually do that! I understand that we all learn in different ways, and I enjoy answering your questions.) When reading through the block instructions, I totally missed that when the half square triangles are placed on top of each other to cut them, they are supposed to be right sides together. I spent well over an hour trying to figure out how in the world these strips — the ones that I had cut incorrectly — were supposed to be pieced to form the mountain. It made my brain hurt. Not only that, but I totally emailed Becky to say that I was sure there must be a mistake in the tutorial. Oops! Finally, I searched Pinterest, found a video tutorial for a similar block and saw that the blocks were supposed to be right sides together when they were cut. Problem solved. Apology email sent. Block started all over again!
This is one that I’m really glad to have finished! My 16-year-old kept walking into the room while I was sewing and telling me that it did not look like a mountain. When I was finished and showed it to her, though, she said, “Cool! It looks like a mountain and its reflection!”
One of my goals this year is to improve my quilting skills … and to actually finish a quilt-along! I’m excited about the new round robin quilt-along that started yesterday at Patchwork Posse, not only because some amazing quilter/bloggers are offering tutorials of their favorite blocks, but also because I get to do my first quilt block tutorial as part of it! (My block is scheduled for next month.) “Pop Rox”, the first block in the Around the Block Round Robin, was designed by my friend, Caroline, from Sew Can She. It’s a fun one that has just enough complexity that there’s a little bit of a challenge in it, but I was able to finish it easily after dinner last night. I struggled a little with getting my points to line up, but I found that increasing my seam allowance to right at 1/4″, rather than the suggested scant 1/4″, when attaching the triangles solved that problem for me. I think that may have been a cutting issue, rather than a problem with the pattern, though. Quilting requires much more exact cutting than sewing clothing!
A new block tutorial will be posted at Patchwork Posse every Wednesday through April. Once all 12 blocks are finished, Becky will walk everyone through adding borders, machine quilting and binding. Oh, and there are prizes! Every week, a great new prize will be given away to one of the participants who posts their quilt block pictures to Becky’s Flickr group. If you’re ready to give quilting a try or looking to build your quilting skills, come join in the fun!