Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Blocks of the Month for April

Last year, I challenged myself to try a new improvisational piecing technique every month, using the colours from the Colour My World Challenge at Quilt Matters. At the end of 2012, I had a set of 12 very different blocks, which looked surprisingly harmonious together.

These blocks are on their way to becoming a quilt for our inflatable guest "bed". The quilt requires 24 blocks, so my goal for this year is to make an additional block of each colour to compliment the existing ones. I ran out of batting around October, and it was too cold to go out for more, so I've been making twice as many per month to make up for the fact that I can't quilt them.

April's first colour was green. I decided to try my hand at the Diamond Carat block from the Pile O'Fabric Skill Builder BOM. This design was supposed to have a much more random colour distribution to make it look like a sparkling gem, but I liked the idea of light in the middle and dark on the outside. Once it was mostly assembled, I decided that it would indeed have looked better the other way, but overall I'm pretty happy with the result.

This was my first attempt at English paper piecing. I didn't expect to like it very much, but it was actually quite a zen activity. Wow does it ever take a long time though! Possibly because I'm a teensy bit obsessive when it comes to hand sewing...

I don't expect to do a huge amount of this type of piecing anytime soon, but I'm glad I took the time to try it! This block was made to compliment my improvised green block from December, which got a dark background to match.

The second colour I worked on last month was black. There was a bit of a challenge there. How do you make something out of black on a background that is already pretty much black? I decided to use this as a chance to experiment with negative space, which seems to have become a theme with this year's blocks.

The design is based on the reverse applique block by Lindsay Sews from the Something New Sampler.  I love it! If I had to do it over again though, I'd use fusible interfacing to stabilize the cut-out areas. This being my first attempt at reverse applique, I don't know what to expect. I can't help being afraid the fabric will completely unravel the first time I wash it. I guess we'll see!

This compliments my previous black block perfectly. I'm a big fan of this one, even with its side borders mostly chopped off to make it the same size as the others.

I've got 16 blocks ready for quilting so far, and only two rows to go! Despite how different they all are, I'm really liking the way they look together. It will be fun to experiment with different layouts and see how to take advantage of the negative space.

I am sharing my progress for WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!


  1. Your blocks are stunning! I do like the EPP block a lot, especially the colour! I wonder how long it will take me to piece my 1600+ hexies, a year, maybe two? LOL....

  2. Love the colours in these, they look great!

  3. I really love the reverse applique black square. It is pretty much as right in Suedre's wheelhouse as you can get! What an ultra cool collection you have there. Should be really cool when it all comes together.

  4. You made a TARDIS block! Love it. I also love the black block with the colourful circles. Great work.

  5. I was curious about how the unique blocks would come together, but wow, they do look really great laid out like that!