I woke up to big white flakes falling from the sky this morning. ARGH! I have to tell you, I'm really, really, really tired of winter!
Did I mention to you that we formed a new modern quilt guild here in Southwest Michigan? I can't remember. Anyway, we did. It's called the Great Lakes Modern Quilt Guild. I somehow got myself elected President. Eek. But we are having fun.
We decided we'll be meeting every other month "in real life" (or IRL). On the off months, we will be doing something together online. April is an off month. We decided for our online activity we'd do a challenge and each make a block (or some blocks) using a tutorial for a courthouse steps block posted by Film in the Fridge. You can see the tutorial here. You can see a finished quilt with these blocks there, too.
If a member makes a block and posts it to our Flickr group or on our Facebook page or sends a copy of the photo to our photojournalist by April 27, he/she can be in a drawing to win all the blocks. Each block submitted gets an entry to the drawing. Sounds like fun, huh? To see all the rules for the game, go to the Great Lakes Modern Quilt Guild blog post about it.
I further challenged myself to ONLY work out of my scrap drawers. I've been organizing scraps for a while, and it's time I started using them.
I like how I made the pink round narrower than the corresponding blue round in the opposite corner. That was fun. I also liked using two oranges that didn't quite match. I think the pink is too light, and maybe I should have used something else. But I liked the stripes.
I started with at 3.5" center and worked out. I only ended up with two rounds of "converging corners" before I ended up at 12.5", which is our block size. That's okay. The tutorial says to shoot for 2 to 3 rounds. This should work. I used some of my favorite fabrics in it. It makes me happy to see those! But I wanted to try again....
This time, I started with a 2.5" square, and I got three rounds in to get to 12.5" block size. I really like how this one turned out. Again, I used some of my favorite fabrics. I almost want to keep this one! haha! I just love all the fabrics in this one, and I like the two unmatched yellow fabrics. This should give a nice scrappy look.
This block is not hard to make. It's kind of fun. But as I started working on this, I realized that it is just like a block I have been making (lots of them, for a LONG time now) for a Kaffe Fasset quilt. It's like this in the sense that you have to have "planned randomness." That is, your strip widths can really be anything you want as you go around. But you have to achieve a 12.5" block. If you want a certain number of rounds, you sort of have to plan your strip widths a little. For my first block, I had all the rounds on and realized my block size was 11.75". I could add another round, but it would be so skinny it would look really weird. (I really like the look of skinny strips in the inner rounds. Wish I would have tried that. But if the last round would be only .25" after sewing everything, that wouldn't look good.) So, I ended up taking off that entire round and making a new round that was wider.
Randomness is hard enough for me. Planned randomness is extremely difficult for me.
If I was going to do this again, I'd work up a bunch of blocks on paper, with my widths (varying across blocks) planned out. It would help me work through it more easily.
Also, I suggest making your last round a little bigger than you need and trimming the block down to exactly 12.5" with a nice big 12.5" square ruler. That's what I did on the last one, and I really like how that came out.
My humble opinion!
I will be interested to see everyone else's blocks and especially interested to see how they all play together when they are assembled into a quilt. Okay, I'm off to go get these posted on Flickr now so I can be in the drawing to win them back!
Until next time,