Saturday, May 31, 2014

Rosebud (& I don't mean the sled) for August 2014

Every year I try to include a traditional block in the Facebook Quilt Block Swap Groups set of blocks.  Also, a garden themed block.  & a component block, which is a block where each swapper makes one part of a complete block.  This year I am trying to address all of these with just one block, our August block.

The traditional Rosebud block has been popping up all over lately.  I have no idea if it is having a revival or if I just noticed.  You can see a version of the compete Rosebud block on Quilter's Cache right here.  & because I have found sometimes these direct links go all screwy, you can go to the main Quilter's Cache page, go to Quilt Blocks Galore, select the alphabetized list that includes "R", & then select the 12" pattern "Rosebud".  Or last but not least you can type in

As you can probably guess, if the completed block is 12.5" unfinished/12" finished, then 1/4 of the block (the component we are actually swapping) makes a block that is 6.5" unfinished/6" finished.  You can follow the directions on Quilters Cache (making our color changes, described below) right up until you put the four pieces together; we are swapping the individual pieces.

You will need two fabrics:

One of them should be either a solid or read-as-solid (which means that while there might be a small pattern...or even a large one, the fabric is predominantly one color & there are no dramatic changes in from dark to light). This same fabric should be limited to the following range of colors:  pink, maroon, red, orange, gold, peach, yellow, cream OR white.  The reason I say "OR" is almost any fabric with two or more of these colors will not read as solid.  So, just one of these colors please (I am going over this because in the past year there has been a great deal of confusions about the term read-as-solid, to the point where one person submitted a rainbow plaid, which is about as far from read-as-solid as I can imagine.  So now I want to be clear).  This will be the "bud" fabric & we are aiming for traditional rose bud colors. 

The second fabric can be anything with a garden theme, a novelty fabric, or anything at all that says "garden" in a conventional sense.  A floral or leaves or trees or birds or even small repeating wheelbarrows would be acceptable; while I accept that it does have an elegant garden/park area, a small repeating Eiffel Towers- probably not.  I would encourage people to limit themselves to small scale prints, or even medium scale prints.  This is not the best place for a large, dramatic print even if it is a floral.  Also, if you are at all unsure about whether or not the print you have in mind says "garden", please do not use it.  In the event you cannot locate a floral or garden themed fabric (I recognize it is not everyone's cuppa tea), you could use a solid or read-as-solid green or a solid or read-as-solid white.  This is the background.  Yes the background will potentially be a patterned fabric.  It will be OKay, I promise. 

Let me clarify:  if you use a solid or read-as-solid white for your first fabric, please do not use the same or a different solid or read-as-solid white for your second fabric.  I know 99 people reading this are asking them selves who would do that?  I am here to tell you I have seen it done.

From the bud fabric please cut two squares, one of them a 5" square & the other a 3" square.  Pair these with the same from the background fabric & make 1/2-square triangles.  The 5" squares will become two 4.5" 1/2-square triangles (you will need one of these for each block).  The 3" squares will become two 2.5" 1/2-square triangles (you will need both for each block).  Lastly, from the background only cut one strip 6.5" x 2.5". 

I have made 1/2-square triangles before & you can find those directions here, but the technique I use is put the two squares right sides together, one of them marked with a line from corner to corner.  You can stitch 1/4" from either side of the line, cut down the line & then press the unit open.  It is possible you will need to cut the squares down.

Once you have the pieces, please be sure to lay them out & assemble them so the strip is to the left, with the background of the larger 1/2-square triangle & the bud portion of the smaller 1/2-squre triangles butt up against it (see picture below).  This way, the blocks you swap & the blocks you get back for them will all fit together consistently.  I had to rip out two of the eight blocks I made because I put them together backwards.

I realize some will be concerned about the busy background.  I made examples using eight different fabrics, including two different whites, one as the rose bud & the other as the background, a mostly solid green background, two different busy floral backgrounds in two different colorways in the hopes you can see that the strong read-as-solid bud color really will dominate. 

Four of our swap blocks will make one traditional rosebud block, 12.5" unfinished/12" finished.  As always, we swap in sets of FIVE, but you can always send more than one set.  If you do send multiple sets, please be sure no more than two are the same.  As always the blocks are due here the last Saturday of the swap month, in this case that is Saturday August 30th.  & as always we are collecting 6th blocks.  You have the option of sending a 6th block with your five swap blocks; you will get five back & the 6th will go to whichever member of the group asked for them to make a quilt to donate to in her community.

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