Craftsy Block of the Month 2013 – January block

I’ve already mentioned my sampler quilt project based on the Craftsy Block of the Month 2012 series, but today I decided to look at the 2013 series as well. Just like the previous one, this ongoing year’s class is free for everyone, but this year it is one block only per month. I’ve decided not to make the blocks into a quilt, because I find the look not as balanced as it could be. Individually they are excellent practice projects though, so I’ll start making them when I feel like it.

The January block is based on the log cabin, which I’ve never tried, and as it so happens that a certain someone has her birthday the coming week, I thought I might create something out of the January patchwork. I still have no idea what to make – pillow, drawstring bag, other bag,… – but I’ll figure it out soon enough. Here’s the block:

Craftsy BOM 2013 - January block

It’s getting late here, so the photo is not as warm as it could be, but hey, there’s pink! The yellow and pink of the strips surrounding the birdies are very warm in hue compared to the pink creatures, but it was a conscious choice to practice colour theory. I purchased a class taught by Weeks Ringle during the Craftsy sale (75% off!!!) and its topic is designing modern quilts, including an intro to colours.

My take-home message from the block I just made is that patterns can break up pretty heavily, when the fabric is cut here and there, then sewn back together. While I tried to include at least one whole yellow bird, the fussy cutting clearly wasn’t very successful, but such is life.

On the other hand, I spent quite some time figuring out how to sew the bird square to the flower fabric in order to have all the birds show in the same direction. You have to rotate each print 90° in relation to the previous one so that if you work on four blocks, each bird is in a new position on top of the flower fabric when you piece. When I write it like this, it’s really obvious, but sometimes these directional prints have me confused.

I don’t know why, but if there is some way of making stuff more difficult, I find it. It’s just that this kid is crazy about yellow and she used to be crazy about pink (but that was before she got crazy about yellow, duh… seriously, yellow is The Colour now!) and she likes pink too still and they are so pretty colours. So this January block is just that. I can’t not deliver when it’s handmade.

Finally, I learned that there is something wrong with either me or the presser foot. The block kept shrinking each time I added a new strip and while the seam allowance seems to be a quarter inch like it’s supposed to, I think it could be either the lack of “scant seam” (why on earth does the quarter-inch presser foot not take this into account?), my wobbly pressing skills (are they? I don’t know) or the fact that I tried the press-to-side method as opposed to the press-open method I’m usually favouring. Anyway, I corrected as I went, but it’s slightly smaller than what it’s supposed to be. Who cares though, it’s pink. Sorry, yellow and pink.

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