Friday, April 10, 2009

A new spring block

This is one of the quilt blocks that I've made recently. I love the fresh spring colors.
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This was some of the fabric from a pizza box block exchange I took part in last year. Each person gathered together fabrics and quilt block patterns and then each month a different member of my quilt guild made one block, while I made one block for a different person each month.
It was interesting making the different blocks and I learned a lot about quilting from doing the different projects. This type of exchange is great if you want people to make blocks for a quilt which you then just put together and you can accept that some blocks will not be quite right. One person wanted to make a quilt with lots of the same block, and in this instance by using the pizza box exchange for this, she's had some of the work done for her. Another good thing about this type of exchange is that you get to know a bit more about the other quilters in your guild simply by seeing the fabrics they chose, the patterns, etc. However, I chose not to do it again this year for the following reasons: I found it very hard to complete the blocks on time, I missed playing with the fabrics that I had selected for my own box, and I found some of the blocks very frustrating to complete due to a number of factors, badly written directions in quilt books (not the guild member's fault) one box had no directions for complete a bearclaw block (which made me have to find directions) and so on. In my case, two people just chose blocks out of the book I provided instead from the list of blocks I wanted. Also, it turns out that not all the blocks in the book I chose are really all 12" finished blocks (having not used this particular book before I had no way to know this), so one of the blocks is significantly smaller than the other ones I received. However, I do have some very nice pinwheel blocks that were made for me and now I am making some more to fill out the quilt top I am planning.
I did learn quite a bit about myself by taking part in the pizza box exchange. First of all, I learned that part of what I love about the process of selecting fabrics extends into the actual quilt making itself. I love to play around with different fabrics configurations and simply choosing the fabrics for the box itself was not enough playtime for me. Also, it turns out that I can enjoy making traditional blocks as long as they are fairly large in scale (i.e. no itty bitty triangles and such) and I don't have to make too many of the same one over and over again. I am much better now about accurately cutting out the pieces for a block and using a consistent 1/4 inch seam allowance. From sewing a block with a Jacquard fabric that had to be backed by interfacing, I learned I never want to deal with overly tricky fabrics for a quilt (unless its a stitch and flip crazy quilt block). I also learned that if I want to put together a block correctly I have to lay out all the pieces and sew the parts of the block one at a time. I am not very good with chain piecing as I tend to flip things so they end up backwards and then I have to get out the seam ripper to correct things. So while I won't do this type of guild exchange/challenge again, the learning experience was well worth it.

1 comment:

Lola Jo said...

I love the colors of the blocks! So happy and springy!