Since August is my month as Queen Bee of Scandibee, I thought I’d present to you the project I have in mind. I’ve worked on my own blocks for a while now, and only two days ago received the first blocks in the mail, a very exciting event indeed! Somehow amidst planning of the quilt and working on posting fabric photos for the ladies I had managed to forget that I’ll also be receiving pretty things from them!
From the quilt mock-up above you can see that there’s a rainbow, but I’d love to talk a bit more about my thoughts behind choosing this particular pattern. First of all, you can make your own quilt like this using the Starflower block tutorial by Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane.
I’ve made the slight alteration to ask for low-volume fabrics for the background with a fairly even colour distribution (nothing overly black popping up all of a sudden here and there), which would be easier considering the white fabrics in the different stashes most certainly would vary quite a bit. Also, the starflower rainbow colours should preferably be tone-on-tone to create as “flat” a look as in my mock-up above. The good news is of course that you only need one set of each colour, since half-square triangles work to produce double the amount of units for each triangle set, so to speak. In other words, I’ve told them not to make two different blocks this time, but to send similar blocks. It is a rather particular request after all to be as specific as tone-on-tone only.
I also asked to put pink in between purple and red, since that’s where I believe it should go in the rainbow. It’s no huge harm done, however, if someone were to place it between red and orange.
The beauty of half-square triangles (HSTs) is that they are quite quick to make. If you have a larger table around your sewing machine, there’s a nifty trick you can use, which involves masking tape and three lines drawn on it a quarter inch apart, but my sewing machine doesn’t come with such an extension table. What I did, however, was to chain piece.
I prefer to have the drawn diagonal move along the right edge of the presser foot as were it the edge of the fabric. To make chain piecing happen, I therefore sew all HST sets on one side first, leaving that little string of thread between each, then turn the stack around so that the diagonal is still on the right side of the presser foot.
Were I to use the masking-tape trick, I’d do the same kind of chain piecing then, rather than clip threads between each HST set, and in fact I’d only need two lines, the centre line (to line the tape up correctly with the needle) and another one a quarter inch to the right of it (to move the diagonal along).
And finally, here are a couple of photos of my progress on my own blocks. I have to make eight blocks altogether, since I get 11×2 blocks from the ladies, and so far I’ve cut for six blocks.
I think tone-on-tone fabrics are magical somehow. Some people seem to dismiss them as boring, but look what you can achieve with them; a subtle movement and interest despite the colour itself being rather even. Don’t get me wrong, I love patterned fabrics with huge motifs and lots of different colours, but they have great limitations when you want to make a certain type of work in the spirit of solids without choosing actual solid-coloured fabrics. In other words, I’m really excited about this quilt!