Sunday, May 6, 2012

A block is born

This block started with an inspiration image that I saw on flickr.
purple fire
purple fire by pery∼going with the flo-viz
I sketched...

I like this one, but I decided it was too rainbow-y for the look I wanted

I still like this one too

And revised... 
But I decided to go with this one

I wanted all of my corners to meet just right, so I decided that it would be easiest to paper piece this block.  I have heard that after you give birth, you sort of forget how bad it was (otherwise nobody would do it more than once).  I think paper piecing is like that.  I never fully remember how much work there is in prepping the paper pattern, cutting pieces, and then arranging everything just right before you sew.   So pause on the story for a bit while I write a few notes to myself:

  1. You don't enjoy paper piecing as much as you think.
  2. It takes a long time to get everything ready.
  3. Don't forget to reverse your pattern.  Also make sure directional pieces are cut in the right orientation.
  4. Cut the pieces bigger, for goodness sake.  1/2" extra all around, not 1/4".  
  5. Baste the first piece onto the paper before you try to add the second one.  It's easier.
  6. The fast way is:  Fold over the paper at the seam you are going to sew and trim the seam allowance to 3/8".  Put the piece you are going to add face up on the table.  Match the folded over pattern piece with the piece on the table, grab it all and sew.  Check coverage, trim seam allowance to 1/4", press..  Go again with the next piece.  You even made pictures of this last time and still you forget:

Ok back to the story.  If you read my notes to myself, you won't be surprised to learn that my finished block is backwards:
And the elephants and the Echo fabric were both upside down, so I just turned the block that direction.  It actually matches the inspiration image a little better this way. 
I'm calling it "Elephant Crossing."


  1. Paper piecing is really hard for me to wrap my head around, but once I figure out where things go, I like it. You just have to sew on a straight line! It looks so pretty when you're done! Anyway, yours looks great, and at least your elephants and echo are going the wrong direction together, so you can pretend you did it on purpose!

  2. I like how scrappy it is with so many great fabrics and yet it reads very uniform. Nicely done.

  3. Hey Ruth, I love your "mistake". This is a great block! Perhaps for QuiltCon or BAM block competition?

  4. Fabulous block. Love it....and paper piecing..yes it is an adventure!

  5. Awesome!!! I like the other version you had in your mock up too. Maybe you need to make more than one. ; )

  6. I love this block! What an awesome quilt it would make.

  7. gorgeous! Do you know what that gray print with the leaves is? (on the bottom between the dragonflies and the echo fabric)

    Julia @ Stars&Sunshine
    starsandsunshineblog at gmail dot com

  8. I'm really starting to love paper piecing but have yet to try making my own pattern. I really love what you did, it's so pleasing to the eye. I love your process as well!