I spent a wonderful time visiting my sister recently, and that visit included a trip (OK, more than one trip!) to her local fabric store. There she bought some Christmas panels on sale- 6 identical panels- so she could make a “one-block wonder” quilt with it. I helped her cut the fabric, and cannot wait to see how it turns out.
I have always loved these quilts, but several things converged to generate this renewed interest. First, I saw that Maxine Rosenthal is bringing out a new book..yeah! It is titled “One-Block Wonders of the World: New Ideas, Design Advice, A Stunning Collection of Quilts”. Then I was browsing Pinterest (here is the link to my collection of pins on the subject) and saw the most stunning, inspiring quilts by Bruce Seeds. And of course seeing my sister pick out some terrific fabric and helping her cut it out reminded me how quick and easy they are to make, once you have the fabric.
Here are photos of the ones I have made and posted about over the years.
I have a stash of fabrics which I have purchased for just this purpose over the years, and this morning I was just itching to start one. It is SO exciting to see the fabric transformed, and wish I had been more religious in keeping a “before” photo of the fabric for each of them!
Today was the day! The fabric I chose has a large fabric repeat, but it sat for so long because I was concerned about the colours, and how they would look when cut up for this type of quilt. So I am still in my PJs and it is getting close to dinner time; I got quite a bit done-time to put it away for another day. Here are images of the starting fabric (Field Study No. 1 by Anna Maria Horner), and what the sewn blocks look like on my design wall. I had to cut the rows at 3.25″ to maximize the fabric, and I have estimated the finished quilt – if sewn together as laid out right now- will only be about 40″ square. I would really rather have a larger quilt, so may wait and see if I can find a fabric with the same kind of colour way. Or not.
I am busy on yet another One-Block Wonder quilt. I just love playing with those shapes… I hope to have this quilt finished and on display at the Quilts at the Creek outdoor quilt show this summer, August 10th & 11th 2013. (note: I am the writer of that blog too!). Below is the starting fabric. This is quite different from the kind of fabric usually used in this kind of quilt, mostly because there are only a few colours in it, but I do love paisleys!
Here is a typical block- I love the patterns that form.
..but I don’t really like the way they work when I put them together…..
So, back to the drawing board.. this is what happens when you another set of triangles to a hexagon block.. interesting!
What next? Here are some ideas I’m playing with right now……
And this is my favourite as of now…
And here are a group of them..first layout. Once again, the stars don’t seem to “shine” when grouped too closely together.
And my favourite layout right now.. a sprinkling of stars on a white background. I think it makes the stars really POP.
In my last post describing the steps in the construction of the one-block wonder quilt, I gave the amount of time it took me for each stage. I realize that I did not explain that this is not the first quilt of this kind that I have made. The first few times took WAY longer, as I read and re-read the instructions, and double-checked every step. My current project is my fourth quilt using this technique, so I am pretty familiar with it now.. I thought I would share images of the other three one-block wonder quilts I have made.
The first was the most difficult, partly because the directions call for a fabric with a 24-inch repeat, and I used one with a 12-inch repeat. Also, there was not that much variation in the original fabric, so it was often difficult to find matching pairs. It was made as a gift for my sister’s birthday.
The second was made with a fabric that had fish swimming in a stream- small bits of the fish are visible in a few of the blocks.
The third quilt I made was a tricky one, as it was a simple red leaf design, and did not seem to have much visual interest, but I loved the colour. I was worried that the blocks would all look the same- what a surprise! I was thrilled with the way it turned out, and it now has a happy home with a good friend who fell in love with it at first sight.
Christmas is done, and I have a few precious days all to myself. I love to take this time to work on something new- I can work on other projects later, this is all for me.
I have a small pile of fabrics to use to make a one-block wonder quilt – they are fun and fast to make, and always a surprise. This year I decided to time myself to see how long each step takes…..
Here is the fabric I started with: it is called Born to be Wild by Hoffman, and comes in several delicious colourways. Almost too beautiful to cut up!
- Iron fabric & cut into ~24″ blocks, align layers and cut strips: 1 hour
- cut one strip (now consists of 6 layers 3 3/4″ wide by 40″ long) into 60-degree triangles (yields 17 sets per strip), sew units into half-hexagons: one hour
- repeat last step 6 more times
Total time: 8 hours total so far. I did not do this all in one day- it was spaced out over 3 days. Final step is placing hexagons on design wall and playing until the design flows. Here is a photo of the arrangement I ended up with.
And if that wasn’t enough fun, I am now off to the quilt shop to look for fabrics for the borders and the backing. I will probably a purchase a solid for the back, as I may make a row of orphan blocks down the centre back of the quilt- see attached test layout. It may take a while for me to sew the rows together and get this quilted, but I will post a pic when it is finished.
Such fun! This project has really helped me de-stress after a hectic few weeks of cleaning, cooking, family, friends and parties.