July Queen Bee of Scandibee, Nina aka bossyoz, asked for two houses for Scandibee Road. I immediately jumped at the chance to try two house patterns already in my collection, namely Dwell by Camille Roskelley in her Simply Retro book, and one of the houses in Johanna Masko’s Houses wall-hanging quilt.
The Dwell block finishes at 9” x 12”, so I had to add borders. If you look closely at the original pattern, you’ll see how I have chopped off some of the house. The block didn’t look nice enough with grass only on the sides, so the rotary cutter got to sing unexpectedly. Nina encouraged us to put stuff in windows and add other quirky details, so I wrote a little story about my Dwell-based house, with a fancy lady collecting watches in her sitting room, whilst the cook was baking in the kitchen. And the Snowy background gave the name for my block, The First Snow. The red/white house and door colour is a nod to a Nordic tradition of painting cottages and such red with white corners.
The second block I made has no name, but the story goes such that there’s a minimalist family living in the house. Perhaps the father is dealing with a stressful situation with kids and barking dog and the whole suburban experience by trimming his lawn each evening. You see, Nina commented on how neat everything looks behind the row of trees, also planted in organised manner.
Anyway, construction of each block was interesting, and I learned new things in particular when making the second block, more specifically its paper-pieced section. It contains parts that need to be constructed before adding to the rest – which I hadn’t done of course – and so I had to rip a few seams, cut the template into sections, and start again. Very interesting indeed. These situations arise when one doesn’t read instructions properly… *eyeroll*
I have to give myself some positive feedback, too, to counteract the negative. The Houses quilt is a continuous pattern, but I decided to copy only a part of it, then start tweaking away. The only thing I knew when starting out was that I wanted this house to be in the middle of my block, but the rest was improvisation. I recall when making the first cuts back in the day with my rotary cutter, completely freaked out that I’d mess stuff up somehow, but now I’m happily chopping here and there without much worry.
Not only did I think of fabric as being more holy somehow, but I also was a bit reluctant to cut into my pretties. So there’s happened a clear development for the better in both how I view the materials and how I fearlessly try new things. I can’t say the latter about myself in all other areas of life, but oftentimes I notice rings over the water at some later point in time. Waltzing outside of the comfort zone is good.
Another conclusion I keep arriving at whenever I sew with the help of paper is how FPP is such a nice technique for me to use whilst I have the silly sewing machine I can’t trust completely to sew accurate seam allowances. Because FPP is about creating said accurate seam allowance only after you’ve already sewn the seam! So nifty.
I was very late at sending Nina her blocks, only a couple of minutes before the postman emptying the box for evening mail, and so I didn’t have time to throw in some extra fabric. I have something for her cooking, though.
So, you and houses? Have you seen how popular they are currently? They come in all shapes and sizes!