Monday, June 17, 2019

Tricia's Favorite Block Tutorials -- Block 5 ELECTRIC FAN

Here are the links to the first 4 blocks in this series if you missed them:

Block 1 -- Shoo Fly

Block 2 -- Courthouse Steps

Block 3 -- Flying Geese

Block 4 -- Rail Fence


Our next block is the Electric Fan!

I think this block looks complicated, but it really isn't.  If you look closely, you can see that it is a 4 patch block in disguise -- 4 Hour Glass blocks turned this way and that.

This quilt block was included in a booklet called Practical Needlework:  Quilt Patterns in 1906.  The design was contributed by Clara Stone. (This information from The Electric Quilt Company BlockBase.)

What You Need:

2 white squares 7 1/4" x 7 1/4"

1 dark blue square 7 1/4" x 7 1/4"

1 medium blue square 7 1/4" x 7 1/4"

Here's What to Do:

(Please note that there are several ways to make Hour Glass units.  You can find many different tutorials online.)

1.  Cut all 4 squares on both diagonals. 

2.  Sew a dark blue triangle to a white triangle.  Make 4.

3.  Sew a medium blue triangle to a white triangle.  Make 4.

4.  Sew a dark blue unit to a medium blue unit to make an Hour Glass unit.  Make 4 units.

5.  Sew the 4 Hour Glass units together, turning as shown.

 And that's it!


Here's a quilt made with 20 Electric Fan blocks.  Isn't it great?  I love how crisp it looks with just 3 fabrics.  Wouldn't it be fun to scrap it up, though?  This would be an awesome scrap-buster!


 Go forth and make Electric Fan Blocks!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

More Mini Quilts!

Are you sick of Minis yet?  I hope not -- they seem to be really hot right now.  Have you looked in any quilt magazines lately?  You're sure to find at least one mini quilt featured, but often more.  Pin cushions are also hot and you can find them everywhere.  Of course, a pin cushion is really just a tiny quilt, isn't it?

So, have you jumped on the mini bandwagon yet? 

Oops!  I just realized that I never did a blog post about our previous class in May.  Well, let me get you up to date!

Last month we explored different ways to make half square triangles.  What's your favorite technique for making HSTs?  Before this month, I would have said the usual using two squares RST and sewing 1/4" on both sides of a diagonal lone then cutting them apart on the diagonal line.  But now I must say that I'm liking the 4 at a time method.  You can find the tutorial here at Blossom Heart Quilts.  

Our project in May was a tiny little Bear Paw quilt about the size of a coaster with 1/2" finished HSTs.

At this month's meeting, everyone showed off their projects so far.  A few people are already behind (this was our 4th class).  But luckily, we do not meet in July so they will have an extra month to get caught up.  Tehehe!  Yeah, right, I know.

Here are some of the Little Log Cabin quilts from April as well as tiny Bear Paw quilts from May.  Aren't they wonderful?

Of course, they'll need the extra month when they get started on this month's project which requires 100 tiny HSTs!

If you like our mini quilts, you can find them in Pam Buda's book, Vintage Patchwork.  You, too, can make your own Mini Masterpieces!

Monday, June 3, 2019

Tricia's Favorite Block Tutorials -- Block 4 RAIL FENCE

If you missed the first 3 blocks in my Favorite Block Tutorial series, here they are:

Block 1 -- Shoofly

Block 2 -- Courthouse Steps

Block 3 -- Flying Geese

Now that you're all caught up, let's make Block 4 -- RAIL FENCE.  Rail Fence was one of the first quilt blocks that I ever made.  Mine only had 3 strips whereas this block has 4 strips in each section.

As you know, I like to add a bit of Quilt History to my Block Tutorial posts.  Have you ever wondered where the names for quilt blocks came from?  I have always found this subject fascinating.  Blocks were named for people, special events, political figures and events, common everyday things and activities -- just about anything you can imagine! 

Have you ever noticed that quilt blocks can have a lot of different names, though?  I find that even more fascinating because people in different places were creating the same quilt blocks and calling them something different, based on their own experiences. When quilt block names were published in magazines and newspaper, even more names were added to the list.  For example, look at the Churn Dash block.  It is also known as Monkey Wrench, Puss in the Corner, Love Knot, Hole in the Barn Door, Sherman's March, Indian Hammer, Fisherman's Reel, and several other names.

If you find this as interesting as me, you might want to check out Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.  It is an amazing resource with thousands of pieced quilt blocks, their names, and even the publications they appeared in.  It can be hard to find, so if you are an Electric Quilt user, you should invest in BlockBase, which is a digital version of Barbara Brackman's book.  BlockBase doesn't include all the blocks in the book, but it does have a great selection.

Sew, let's get started on Block #4 -- Rail Fence.

 For a 12" finished block, you will need the following:

4 background rectangles 2" x 6 1/2"
4 light rectangles 2" x 6 1/2"
4 medium rectangles 2" x 6 1/2"
4 dark rectangles 2" x 6 1/2"

(For this block I chose to go with a monochromatic color scheme, but you can make this block as scrappy as you want because anything goes.)

1.  Sew a background, light, medium, and dark 2" x 6 1/2" strip together.  Make 4 units.

2.  Sew the 4 units together into a 4 Patch block, turning units as shown.

And that's it!  This a great beginner block, but it has a lot of possibilities for more experienced quilters, too.


Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing: