Thursday, October 1, 2015

Smoothie Block Laptop Case

Smoothie Block Laptop Case by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

It's really easy for me to fall into a rut when it comes to block design. Most of the time, I'm perfectly content to just sew together a stack of squares and call it good. When I feel the need for something new, the best way to start is usually by sitting down with a pad of graph paper and my colored pencils, and that's exactly what I did to prep for today's book tour post. 

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.

Smoothie Block Laptop Case by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

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. 

Juice Bar Fabric Audition by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

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...

Smoothie Block Laptop Case by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

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. 

Smoothie Block Laptop Case by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

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!

October 2
Heidi @ Fabric Mutt
Christa @ ChristaQuilts
Angie @ Gnome Angel

Week 1: Inspiration

October 7Ros @ Sew Delicious

October 9
Jennie @ Clover & Violet
Jane @ QuiltJane
Melissa @ My Fabric Relish

Week 2: Sketches

October 14

October 16

Week 3: Making

October 21

October 23
Keera @ Live Love Sew
Janice @ Better Off Thread
Michelle @ Factotum Of Arts

Week 4: Finishes

October 28
Kelly @ A Place Of My Own
Abby @ Color Bar Quilts

October 30 - Linky opens!

Smoothie Block Laptop Case by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

Happy sewing, my friends!


9 comments:

  1. So cute.Love your fabric combo!

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  2. I adore the colors you chose.....I may need to emulate and make one for myself!!

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  3. Thanks for the peek into your design process - it is interesting to see how everyone dreams stuff like this up. Also love your finished project - it's just gorgeous!

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  4. I like this case a lot. I know it would make me smile every time I got it out, both because it's pretty and cheerful and because there's a pride that goes with making nice things and launching them into the world!
    Thank you for sharing it! :)

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  5. So fun to see how you came up with this Heidi. I love your colour choices, and such a fun and useful design.

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  6. Heidi, I so enjoyed reading this post. The way you describe a project, from an idea, to the step-by-step way you made it with your thoughts and feelings along the way make it so fun to read. Am so glad you are back to sewing and creating beautiful things after the family's move. Love, M

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  7. Heidi, I so enjoyed reading this post. The way you describe a project, from an idea, to the step-by-step way you made it with your thoughts and feelings along the way make it so fun to read. Am so glad you are back to sewing and creating beautiful things after the family's move. Love, M

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Aren't you the sweetest!! Thanks for making my day by leaving a comment!

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