Friday, February 1, 2013

Some birdtrap block tips

Another week, another round on the birdtrap blocks.  I know, I know I need to get a life.  Or at least broaden this one.  But I have a few completed blocks & I thought, just in case someone was thinking of trying this on their own (or even joining the swap in Facebook) I would toss out some pointers:

You can never have enough 1/2-square triangles.  In a wide range of sizes, although generally the smaller they are, the more useful they are.  Whenever you have a minute, slice a few more squares, make that line down the back & keep them handy for catching threads between "real" pieces.

Plan on making odd-width planks.  While it was a requirement in this swap, I would do it either way.  Those unplanned-width borders meant that I could put together pieced strips as close as possible to the correct length of existing blocks for the adjacent rows & then square them up.  I am too embarrassed to tell you how long it took me to realize this, but once I did things went much more smoothly.

Less is not more.  Just to see what it looked like I made one block that was almost the bare minimum.  It meets every requirement without fanfare & then goes just one step further (one more round than required).  It is not impressive.  Don't get me wrong, it is cute all on its own, but once you see the others it is just too.....drab. 

Sometimes more is too much,  That's right, despite the very relaxed final measurement guidelines (more like a window really- 10.5 to 12.5 by 10.5 to 12.5), I still managed to make more than one block too big.  For this reason I would recommend ending on one of those versatile-width plank rows.  That is why I would also suggest making yourself a block specific ruler.  In my case, I cut two pieces of paper & taped them together at a right angle.  One of them is 10.5" long (the minimum the block can be) & the other is 12.5" long, the maximum the block can be.  Actually they are both 10.5" long & 2" wide, I think you can figure it out from there.  This way I can...going sure my blocks all fall in the size range.

My decision to make extras (failure to keep track of how many I started & then an Oh What The Hell approach to continuing) means I will have my nine to swap even without the gaffes.  In a strange turn about, I kind of want to keep everyone I have finished so far.  Anyone who knows me should gasp at this point.  I almost never keep the quilts I make.  I have one hanging in my dining room I was preparing to give away when my husband said he kind of liked it, so I didn't.  There is another quilt in the tv room, also for my husband.  The quilt on our bed came from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Hopefully the November 2013 deadline will give me enough time to gaze at them & then send them on to their rightful homes.  Or enough time to make more.  Lots more.

& as a sidebar:  this morning, this post is the first time I am participating in the Weekend Update over at Block Lotto.  Hello Block Lotto, I miss you!  I do plan to jump back in, honest I do.


  1. Me, too! I meant to jump back in during January, and it just didn't happen, and I know it won't this month either. Sigh. Love your little blocks. This is one I didn't know about, so I'll be checking your link. I don't do facebook, though.

    1. you don't have to fb for this one. Get me your e-mail, I will send you the info, etc.