Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Autumn Block a Day" Flying Birds

Even though it's still hot in Texas, today is the official "First Day of Autumn." And that means a new "A Quilt Block a Day!"

[Sorry, Ann Roberts tells me the link doesn't work! To join the "A Quilt Block a Day" community, go to your Facebook homepage and search for "A Quilt Block a Day." Be sure to type all five words, there are other "Block a Day" groups.]

I chose the "Flying Birds" block, since the migration of the Canada geese always heralds the arrival of fall for me. We made lots of half square triangles for the summer BaD, and this block also requires HSTs.

Here is the finished block:

I'm using scraps of Civil War Reproduction fabrics, left over from the Farmer's Wife Quilt I made last year for my brother's 60th wedding anniversary.


There are several methods to make this block. I will start with the easiest method, and as the season progresses, will add different techniques.

The block requires three HSTs of dark and light, three light triangles, and one large dark triangle.

For a block finishing at 6", make three HSTs that are 2.5" raw-edge-to-raw-edge. Even though the two-color block only requires three HSTs, I am using the 8-HST method.

1) Cut one square of light fabric and one square of dark, each 6.5"

2) Place the fabrics right sides together and press lightly (this will help keep them from shifting as you mark and sew). Draw a line diagonally from corner to corner in both directions:

3) Stitch 1/4" away from each line. Cut diagonally between the stitching lines, then again at the horizontal and vertical center of the block:

4) Press the seam toward the dark of each HST and square up to 2.5"

5) To make the small light triangles, cut two squares at 2.78" and cut each on the diagonal. Cut a dark square at 6.78" and cut diagonally. Arrange the pieces as shown and stitch all the pieces together. Be sure your seams are scant 1/4" then sliver-trim to square up to 6.5":

If you have access to Eleanor Burn's book "Birds in the Air," her method makes two identical blocks without cutting the small triangles. That is the technique I plan to use!

I hope to see some of your Flying Birds blocks on the "A Quilt Block a Day" Facebook page!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Monday, September 21, 2015

Design Wall Monday: A Quilt Block a Day

I inherited the "A Quilt Block a Day" Facebook group from Karen Snyder several years ago. Each season, I post a block tutorial here and BaD quilters make one block each day – – usually 90 for the season.

This summer's block a day was inspired by a quilt from magazine. The March/April 2014 issue features a half square triangle quilt by Pat Bravo on the cover using her "Rapture" collection from Art Gallery Fabrics. I particularly enjoy using AGF fabrics, probably because of the quality of the greige goods they use. The background fabric is white from Michael Miller's cotton couture collection. Yummy! I buy it by the bolt.

My quilt is a bit different -- primarily, I used larger HSTs. Also, I included a few solids that complement the Rapture fabrics. And also, I pieced about 10 blocks wrong. I initially thought I would rip them apart and fix them, but I decided leaving them "as is" would add a bit of randomness to the quilt. Because I would be spending my summer in Texas, I cut out all the pieces for this quilt at one time. Then, each morning when I sat down at the sewing machine, I first made one block. This is a great way to make a quilt and also to check if your machine has developed any problems overnight.

As you can see, I miscounted when I cut my blocks! When I finished hanging all my blocks on my makeshift design wall, I was short one block! Guess this "finish" will have to wait until I return to Colorado, and my fabric stash.

Come back Wednesday for the Autumn "A Quilt Block a Day" tutorial. And if you haven't already, consider joining the BaD group on Facebook.

From the desk of your auntmartisignature