Sunday, 4 November 2012

November block - Cheyenne block pattern

Sorry I half did the instructions and the fabric on Thursday night, the went away for a couple of days for my birthday. I've finished it all today though - Using lots of different fabrics took a while to sort!

I've finished it - here is the block you'll be making in November:

It's traditional name is Cheyenne block pattern and it can be attributed to the Kansas City Star in 1933. I wanted a striking but simple block where the fabrics could be scrappy. I like order in what I do so I thought I'd give you the same design, but then to add the interest give you lots of different fabrics so you can each create a different effect. It's also appropriate as the base fabrics are 1930s reproduction fabrics.

You will get in the post:

A piece of Kona Solid in Dark Violet for the background (I ordered navy for the background and the violet for my stash from Simply Solids but when they came I thought the violet looked better).

15 different pieces of fabrics, approximately 4-5 inches square.

I'd then like to follow Anna's idea and ask you to put in a square of something from your stash. If you have any 1930 reproduction fabrics then perfect but I've also added gingham and dots with a small pattern, or tiny stripes would work - I think delicate is the key!

Here are the fabrics I've used:

 A selection of 1930s reproduction fabrics, a few I have picked up as fat quarters (on the left) and a 1930s fabric bundle from Tikki London which I discovered when searching for solids for another project a while back.

 Then there are a couple of Flea Market Fancy and a few other bits and bobs from my stash that I felt tied in nicely with the other fabrics.
 Finally here are some half yards I bought in the recent moving sale at Pink Castle Fabrics. The top five are from The Simple Life range by Riley Blake and the bottom two are Sweet on NY Mini Dot by Timeless Treasures. When I started pulling the fabrics together I discovered I needed more both to complete the block and to get the scrappy variety I wanted.

So here is what to do:


Cut the plain piece of violet fabric into 8 squares, each 4.25 inch.

Take the 15 pieces of fabrics I've sent and the one that you're adding and cut:

*IMPORTANT* a few of the pieces are smaller than 4.25 inch, but bigger than 3.5 inch, on at least one side so please measure them all and work out which ones you have to use for the smaller squares before cutting any fabric. 

8 x 3.5 inch squares - these will stay as squares in the final block

8 x 4.25 inch squares - these will become the half square triangles in the final block

Take one of the violet squares and one of the patterned 4.25 inch squares and lay right sides together. Draw a line diagonally with a pencil/fabric pen and then sew seams 0.25 inch either side of this as shown on the violet square above. Then cut along your pencil/pen line.

Repeat with the other 7 pairs.You only need one of each patterned triangle for this design but hopefully you can use the rest for something else.

 Iron the seams open and trim the half square triangles so that they are 3.5 inches. As the photo shows (it's a 3.5 inch square) you should have a reasonable amount to trim.
Lay out your squares and pressed and trimmed half square triangles in the pattern above until you have a design you're happy with. Then sew together firstly in pairs across the rows, then sew the two pairs in each row together and then sew the rows together, being careful each time to line the seams up (I prefer to do this free hand and unpick if I need to but you might find pins help, depending on how you like to sew). I pressed each seam open as I sewed it but I don't mind if you press open or to the side, whichever works for you.

You should now have a block that looks similiar to this. I'm sure it took me longer to pick and cut the fabrics for you all than it will take to sew up but I think it's really striking and I'm looking forward to seeing how you organise the fabrics and which fabrics you include.

The finished block size that you'll send back to me should be 12.5 inches square. If you have any questions please let me know and I hope you enjoy making it.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Miss November

It's my month and I was going to be so organised! Then last week I was sorting my fabrics from my stash (I had decided I wasn't going to buy any fabric for my bee blocks) and discovered I didn't have enough of any one colour for the background and the pattern would only work if I gave you all the same! An emergency order from the wonderful Justine at Simply Solids means I now have the fabric I need but am a day behind with getting things sorted. I hope to get the block instructions online tonight though and fabrics posted out tomorrow to those in the UK and Monday to those overseas. 

So this is a bit of a 'sorry' post - but I will wet your appetite with a taste of the fabrics you'll be getting, more on these in the instructions post: 

I have finally finished my October block for Jessica. I was really late starting as the fabric arrived whilst I was on holiday so it was already 20th October before I could start. I decided I would just make one more complicated block (we could make one or two) and I picked one called Tradewinds as I used to live in a flat in a block called Tradewinds so it seemed appropriate! I had some trouble with my corner points so some are slightly flat but hopefully the overall effect is good - it'll be on the way across the Atlantic very soon.

Whilst I'm posting I also wanted to share with something else I'd been working on - using a couple of charm packs I bought from the talented Karen at Blueberry Park who designs and prints her own fabrics. I spent ages practising my half square triangles for this - hope I've cracked them now:

Karen suggested I make it into a mat for a table centre and I think that'll be great, just need to work out what  fabric I can use for binding and backing. 

I'll be back tonight with instructions and I'll use my camera rather than my phone for the photos next time!