Thursday, June 23, 2011

Garden mazes for August 2011

I had originally thought to have this block in December & then I got another way-better idea for October & then I changed my mind again & then & then...  So here we are with a slightly more complicated block than I usually put up for the first-of-three, but I really truly think you can handle it. 

The first swap block for the second half of the year is a not-uncommon block; it has quite a bit of mileage frankly.  You will see a variation of it in at least one quilting magazine or catalog every year, although I doubt you will see exactly the variation we are doing. If you are interested in more about this block, it is listed in Brackman as quilt block 3030. 

We begin with a 6.5" unfinished/6" finished 4-patch, 9-patch or 16-patch.  You can make the 4-patch using four 3.5" squares, or the 9-patch using nine 2.5" squares or the 16-patch using sixteen 2" squares or combination, variations so long as they are fundamentally 4-, 9-, or 16-patches.  In short, you can make almost any block you can think of & the only fabric requirement is at least one of the fabrics used is a floral.  You can use anything from two to however-many fabrics & again only one need be a floral.

For this example, I made the simplest block I could with two different floral fabrics but you can stretch your wings in any direction.  You can make a much more complicated block, you can make this same simple 4-patch but with four different fabric & only one of them need be floral. 

That part was the "garden"; next is the "maze".

To make the maze, you will need two (& only two) fabrics: one of these should be more green than any other color (& both of them can be, if that suits your stash), although neither has to read-as-solid, nor does either need to be exclusively green.  Neither of them need have anything at all to do with florals or leaves or anything, just one of them needs to have a noticeable amount of green.  One (or both) of these fabrics could also have been used in the "garden" part of the block although it is perfectly OKay if your garden & your maze fabrics have nothing common.

From each of the "maze" fabrics you will need four (4) 2" by 6.5" strips (or one long 2" strip, as you will sew them together along the long edges).  If you make a long strip, cut it down into 6.5" lengths (& if you measured correctly when you cut, they will be 3.5" across).

From one fabric (the fabric that must have green) you will also need four (4) 3.5" squares; from the other fabric (which could be green, but does not have to be) you will need eight (8)  2" squares.  These will make the outer corners of you block & will be what connects your maze to the maze in adjacent blocks.  

The hardest part of this whole thing is making the corners of the "maze", the outer corners of the completed block.  To make the corner blocks:

-take two of the smaller squares & draw a line on the back in faint pencil from one corner to the opposite corner.

-place one of these, right side down in the corner of one of the larger squares (which is right side up).  The line you drew should connect one straight edge to another.

-stitch from one corner to the other along the line you drew.

-press so that the smaller square (now a triangle) covers the corner

-do the same for the opposite corner of this same square & for each of the other three corner pieces.

Once all four corners are made, attach them to the ends of two of the long strip pieces.

Attach the other two long strip pieces to opposite sides of your center "garden", keeping the green strip to the inside of the block.

Assemble what is a 12.5" unfinished/12" finished block.

If you would like to join this swap, the easiest thing is to go to Facebook & search for the group Quilt Block Swap & ask to join.  Blocks are always due the last Saturday of an even numbered month (which means they should be in the mail no later than the Monday before, if not sooner).  This particular swap is due Saturday, August 27, 2011.

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