Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Sewing the April Lotto Block - Three Ways

This morning, I'm asking myself why, when there are multiple ways to make a block, I try to include those choices in the block patterns I create for the Block Lotto. It would be so much easier to create a simple pattern with one path to the finished block and leave it to everyone to figure out possible alternatives on their own.  It's probably because I love that there's rarely one right answer when it comes to accomplishing a quilt design and, in my way, I hope to spark that interest in learning new ways to see a quilt block in others. You can find the Triangles in a square block pattern here:

Triangles-in-a-Square Block Pattern

Whatever the reason, this month's block pattern for the Block Lotto includes three approaches to making the block, along with cutting directions for making multiple blocks that follow the guideline of making each block with a unique 3-color combination (combined with white), with no waste. To test my directions, I made blocks following all three methods, 4 from Method #1,  8 from Method #2 and a single paper-foundation pieced block, Method #3.

I couldn't share my design wall yesterday for Design Wall Monday, but I'm joining the party today.

Method #1 Notes

In Method 1, the 7-inch square (finished size) block is constructed from one flying geese unit plus two half square triangles.

I used the no-waste method for making flying geese, 4 at once.  When you choose fabrics for 4 blocks, it helps to keep in mind that the one used for making the FG units will become the large triangle in all four blocks and will be combined with all other fabrics.  The other four fabrics are sewn into half-square triangle (HST) units with white and then combined in pairs with unique combinations.  It was quick and easy to chain sew all the units needed for four blocks, arrange them and finish the blocks.


Method #2 Notes

In Method 2, you first construct the 5-inch (finished size) center–which is half quarter-square triangle (QST) and half half-square triangle (HST), then add white triangles to put it on point to create the 7-inch block.  To make unique 3-fabric combinations with no waste, you make these blocks 8-at-a-time.

Besides the white background, you'll choose eight fabrics–four will be used in the HST half and four on the QST half of the center squares. I didn't do well choosing fabrics for this set of blocks because it wasn't obvious to me (until it was too late) that each of the small triangle (QST) fabrics (the larger squares) will be combined with each of the large triangle fabrics (HST).

As I assembled the centers, I saw how the two blue fabrics and two red fabrics, though different, were just TOO similar.  I decided to remake them by replacing the large triangles (the HST halves).  Here are the before and after versions.

After I was happy with all the centers, I added the white triangles to put the centers on point and finish the eight unique 7-inch (finished size) blocks.

I was feeling a bit wasteful about those fabrics I'd replaced until I realized I could use them for Method #3, the paper-foundation pieced block.    Alls well that ends well :-)

Method #3 Notes

A couple sneak peelers had problems printing the foundation (on page three of the block pattern) and we figured out that if the shrink to fit option is selected, the foundation will shrink slightly and while not enough to be significant in the 1-inch block printed on the page ... the block will be too small.   Be sure to also double-check the measurement of the outside box–it should measure 7 1/2-inches square. Here's my single paper-pieced block.

The inspiration for this block came from a scrap quilt made by me a long time ago. The 7-inch block is inside the 10-inch block in this quilt: 

You can make these 10 inch blocks from the Triangles-in-a-Square by putting it on point, adding triangles (from squares cut 5 7/8-inch, halved diagonally). 

The color-way for the April Block Lotto was suggested by Kim–it's the one used by the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild last year for the To Boston with Love project.  Since I had often thought about remaking this quilt in those bright, clear colors, it seemed like a perfect match to me. 

For more information about this month's Block Lotto and a peak at the virtual quilt (made from photos of 55 of the blocks already made), here's the link: 

1 comment:

Terri said...

No matter what method, I love that block, and the split of color... little triangles of bright. Yum!
Thanks for sharing it with us nonparticipants.

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