|Picture courtesy of Blossom Heart Quilts|
My friend Alyce has just published an e-book called DIY Block Design which is full of tips for creating your own quilt blocks. She covers all the basics of design, particularly the dreaded mathematics that go into quilting. You'll find charts in here that are absolutely priceless, giving you all the math for common shapes like half square triangles and flying geese in a wide range of sizes. If you're a beginning quilter or if you struggle with the numbers, I highly recommend getting a copy of this little e-book.
Alyce asked if I would talk a bit about my own design process for today's post, so I thought I'd walk you through the development of a project I made this week.
I've been needing a new laptop case for my Chrome Book which we bought earlier this year, and I wanted it to feature a quilt block on the front. After a bit of doodling at my desk the other night, this is what I came up with. I liked the mix of strips and half square triangles, although I wasn't sure about the size of the quilt block. Math seemed to demand a smaller block centered on the case with a border around it, but I wanted the block to be bigger.
After some thought and a bit of time at the cutting table, I settled on this design -- almost the same except that it features four half square triangles in each corner rather than the original nine. For a project this small, I didn't mind settling for fewer but larger squares -- especially when it meant that I could fussy cut bigger pictures from each print.
This is the fabric stack that I pulled for the project before making alterations to the block, so sadly many of these prints didn't make it into my project. I've saved all the extra squares, though, and I have no doubt you'll be seeing them in the future. I called this fabric audition "Juice Bar" on Instagram, and I've decided to name my new design the Smoothie Block since it reminds me so much of pieces of fruit being spun around by the blades of a blender. Of course, since there's nothing new under the sun, I have no doubt that this block already exists under a more dignified name. That's the reality of quilt design when you come in on the heels of centuries of creativity. But seriously, I'm craving a Strawberries Wild smoothie from Jamba Juice right now as I type this...
I added a strip of black yarn dyed Essex linen to the bottom of the block for a finished look to the case. A large piece from a recent checkered text print by Suzuko Koseki paired with the same linen made the perfect backing, and I lined the case with a sweet floral print by Aneela Hoey from Hello Petal. A button and hair elastic are currently my favorite type of closure for just about any case. It's easy, and it just looks cute.
I am so grateful to Alyce for pushing me out of my comfort zone to try something new. I adore this little case, and it will be getting lots of use in the coming months. If you'd like to design a block of your own, there will be a link-up at the end of October as well as a weekly challenge on Instagram. Prizes will definitely be involved, and you can get all the details here. Just look at the inspiration that Alyce has lined up this month...
October 1 - Let the games begin!
Week 1: Inspiration
Ros @ Sew Delicious
Week 2: Sketches
Week 3: Making
Week 4: Finishes
Happy sewing, my friends!