Friday, June 28, 2013

Festivus for the rest of us for December 2013

It really doesn't matter if you are a Seinfeld fan or not.  The festivus quilt block is actually kind of non-holiday generic, very simple & just a bit "off".  In short, no one will know it had anything to do with festivus if you don't tell them.  Making the whole thing very festuvitian.

You will need two fabrics & then you can begin:

Fabric One is a silver or gray or white or black or combo of same to represent the festivus pole (which is traditionally made of aluminum, but as you may know traditions don't mean a thing with festivus).  This fabric does not need to read-as-solid.  You will actually need only one strip of the pole fabric,  & it can be anywhere from .75" to 2" wide & roughly 9" long for each block (so one selvedge to selvedge cut just might do it for most if not all of your blocks if you chain-piece).  This strip should NOT be cut on the bias & should be a consistent width throughout, but again you should work with a width that is comfortable for you (narrower is generally more difficult).  In these examples, I worked with a strip that was 1.25" wide.

You will also need a square of a read-as-solid in any color EXCEPT silver or gray or white or black or any combo of same (although I suppose that wouldn't read-as-solid anyhow so never mind) for Fabric Two.  You want to end up with a 7.5" square so you probably want to begin with at least an 8" square because some of it is going to get eaten.  I started with an 8.5" square & could have started smaller, but better safe than sorry for the first one.  If you have a scrap (or scraps, even, once you get the hang of things) that is not  quite square, that is just fine, so long as you end up with a 7.5" block at the end of the process.  If you do use oddly shaped scraps, please be sure to square along the straight of grain & the cross grain; an open bias will get stretched all out of shape in this project. 

Put the square on your cutting board.  Note (to yourself or with a pin) 1.25" or more but not less from the left corner & the right corner on opposite sides.  The reason for this is you do not want the beginning of the festivus pole to get lost in the corner when you square everything up later.  After you make your first block, you will have a better sense of the overall proportion

Make a cut from one side to the opposite side.  You will be putting the festivus pole (the silver or gray or white or black or any combo thereof) fabric right there. 

Stitch up the pole, first one side, press & then stitch the other side to the other side of the pole piece.  I found that early on I had trouble lining up the two pieces on either side of the pole.  Don't make yourself crazy, so long as you have a 7.5" square when you are done, you're doing fine. 

I would also suggest pressing either to the pole, or away from the pole to give the block a little dimension.  It is subtle, but as there are only two seams in the whole thing, so it does make a difference.

Square it up (7.5" unfinished/7" finished) & you are done. That's right, two fabrics, three pieces & two seams.  If you cannot fit this block into your busy November/December schedule you really should consider cutting yourself some slack.

As always we swap in sets of FIVE (5).  Please send your five (5) blocks to arrive the last Saturday in December, December 28, 2013.  Because mail gets slower around the holidays (even if there are a lot fewer holiday cards being snail mailed, there are also a lot fewer postal employees & they take time off just like the rest of us!) I strongly suggest getting everything in the mail no later than the Friday before Christmas which will be Friday, December 20th. 

If you not currently part of the swap group, but you are interested in joining, you are welcome BUT it would make my life A LOT easier if you joined through Facebook.   Log into Facebook, search "quilt block swap" & find the Group.  Ask to join & you should be approved within a day or two.  If you are not on Facebook, but still interested, leave a comment here. 

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