Thursday, March 24, 2016

Craftsy Block of the Month 2012: January to August

I enjoyed Amy Gibson's classes so much that I was delighted to find out she had taught a Craftsy Block of the Month back in 2012. The idea was really great. 20 blocks, 10 techniques, to make a one-of-a-kind quilt. I was mostly interested in learning all the different techniques, and I wasn't super concerned that the fabrics were going to be insane and probably not matching. I would have paid good money for a class like that, but it was free! I went to Jo-Ann's and got a bunch of fat quarters, and not worried about the matching, I just grabbed what I liked.

January: Slash & Sew

These two blocks weren't very difficult, though I definitely had trouble keeping it straight. My wonky pond sign, especially, isn't perfectly aligned. But I'm not too bothered.

February: Half-Square Triangles

I found these quite difficult, and had to make the first one twice. I used Jenny Doan's HST method this time, which meant the outside edges were bias. Whether that's the case, or whether it's just my sewing, or my cheap background fabric, I have no idea, but none of my triangles were usable at first, I ended up redoing them with larger squares, so that I could then square-down to the right size. I also seemed to have a habit of losing about 1/8" of fabric during pressing time! I had a real hard time with these.

March: Foundation Piecing

The foundation blocks were fun to do, and were very scrappy, I just grabbed whatever. I definitely once again had trouble with the size, I was losing fabric during steaming, and they were stretching at the same time. At the end my right triangles weren't right triangles anymore. Once again I had to be super careful and make it a little bigger and trim it down to size. I think this is the last time I will use the cheap white cotton, next time I will definitely use Kona cotton. And I think I need to be more careful during pressing time.

April: English Paper Piecing

I'm really glad to have Jon's cutting machine, because I ordered some hexagons for the first block but I forgot to order for the 2nd block. It also seemed a waste when I just needed a single 2" Hexagon. So Jon used his cutting machine to cut some hexagons for me, and they work perfectly. I thought EPP would be difficult, but turns out they were fun and surprisingly satisfying to make. I'm not afraid of a little hand-stitching, and I didn't think it was hard to remove the paper forms, either. It's quite time-consuming compared to other blocks, but I'm very excited about EPP.

May: Log Cabin

I enjoyed the blocks a lot, though the straight one more than the wonky one. I'm just not a wonky kind of person, I think. I did think these were easy, and it turned out very well, I think.

June: 9-Patch

And once again, we're looking at blocks that get pieced together in rows and columns, which is a big challenge for me as I always seem to lose fabric along the way, and my finished block is always 1/8" too small. This time though I decided to press my seams open, and it made a difference, for sure. It made nesting more difficult, but I ended up not losing fabric so much, so I think I will still press to the side when it doesn't matter but when I'm joining rows or columns and size matters, to definitely press my seams open.

July: Dresden Plates

I really enjoyed making these. They were much easier than I thought they would be, and appliqueing them was easy too. I did a zigzag applique for the first time ever. I'm not sure how much I like the way they *look*, but I definitely think they're easy and fun to make.

August: Stars

I had some problems with these blocks. The Ohio Star block was on the easier side, and my quarter-square triangles weren't bad. I had a lot of problems with the double star block though, the flying geese units were really hard to get just right. And at the end when I had to sew them all together, they still weren't even. By pressing the seams flat, which took a long time, I manage to get juuuust under 12 1/2" squared.


I just love this series, I've learned so much already! After all the blocks are done, I will add sashing, then probably explore some interesting straight-line machine quilting (I might do a different design for the different blocks), and finish the binding by machine. I just don't want to do a hand-binding anymore. This will probably end up being either a quilt to display on my craft room wall, or a quilt that we use when we play on the deck.

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