Wednesday, February 15, 2017

New project

Hi everyone!  Hope you all had a lovely Valentine's Day and time with your significant other.  We got takeout--it was amazing.  Takeout is my favorite thing ever.  Also, I made brownies, so you know, pretty much perfect.

I decided to start a new project this week.  Because, you know, I need a new project because I don't have enough already. You all know that I love old blocks, especially the ones that don't get used a lot, mostly because they have a lot of pieces or steps.  I like taking these apart and figuring out how to make them using modern methods.  Usually that works, but there are a lot of vintage blocks that still can only be made using templates.  I've decided to make some of these and put them in a quilt.  Here's the first one I tried:

Letha's Electric Fan

This is Letha's Electric Fan, a Kansas City Star block from 1938.  Isn't this a great block?  I think I'm going to redo the center circle in a solid, though, because it looks off (and it does need better pressing) but it isn't.  The fussy cutting wasn't fussy enough, so that make it all look like it's the wrong size.

Even though it's made from templates, this was not a really hard block.  Really, the cutting was the hard part. 

Yay templates!

I used a rotary cutter to cut these pieces, stacking the fabric and cutting through all the pieces.  You know those tiny rotary cutters that look like they would be useless?  For some reason, I have an 18 mm cutter, and it works really well for cutting curved pieces!  After the cutting was done, it only took a few minutes to put this block together.  The curved was pretty gentle, not quite as bad as Drunkard's Path blocks. 

I will be making another Letha's Fan block, but in the interest of honesty, I have to show you the other template block I tried and seriously failed to complete because they're not all that easy:

Yep, that's a hot mess.

This block is Gardener's Prize, an Aunt Martha block from the 1930s.  I just could not make the set-in seams work.  In my defense, look at those pieces!  The diamonds are good, but the corners and side pieces are ridiculous.  Seriously, the Letha's Fan block was so much easier.

I think I'm going to have to baste this by hand and reinforce the seams by machine, or else applique the yellow and blue pieces to a background.  I really can't believe that anyone ever made this block using those corners.

So that's my new project, which I'm calling "the template block project."  Isn't that imaginative?  I have about a dozen blocks picked out, but I am looking for more.  If you have any good ideas, send them along!  Or if you have a good idea about what to do about the Gardener's Prize block, let me know!

Hope you're all having a good week!  Stitch happy!

Sharing at Let's Bee Social and Oh, Scrap!


Kathy S. said...

Your blocks are gorgeous! Patience is a virtue. You have a lot more than me.

Jo said...

I think gardeners choice would be better done by hand. But I really like Lethas electric fan.... good fun

Danice said...

Both beautiful. I am doing good to keep up with Constellations and other QALs, lol. Those older block patterns are intricate looking. I have not yet mastered paper piecing but do love it.

Lane said...

As I was scrolling through blogs, I saw your electric fan block. I love it. I made one that is hanging on the design wall, but never got around to making more. I confess to breaking down and appliquéing the center circle on. Oops! Be well!!

Preeti Harris said...

OK, I am going to be brutally honest. The electric fan is lovely. Beautiful use of Good Neighbors fabric. The Gardener's Prize block will be fine the second time around. Y-seams can be tricky.
No, you do not need a new project or template blocks. You need to finish the Intricate Stitches Quilt - the beauty that you showed me when we met last.
OK, if I am being completely honest, I admit that I need to wrap my a few things too, before I open the Pandora's box of new shiny objects.

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

It's ionteresting exploring all those 'older' blocks! I love the 'electric fan' one! and your fabrics for it!

Bernie Kringel said...

The fan block is very cool (haha - get it?) You do a great job with these funky pieced blocks - I would be pulling my very short hair out. I have an 18mm rotary and I love it for curves. That is what I bought it for (but for the Chemex Cozies I make for my shop - not for crazy blocks that would make me cry.) It works great for the curves tho.

Alycia said...

They are beautiful! I like take out too - and brownies.... that may have been our Valentines too ;-)

Lisa J. said...

I love the Leetha's fan block. You used wonderful fabrics in it. It's looks pretty difficult but the other is even harder looking.

Debora said...

Nice work! I wonder if it is possible to machine sew the long yellow sides on the Gardner's Prize block and then applique the yellow points.

Kate said...

The Leetha's Fan block turned out beautifully! You are a brave woman. I've tried template piecing and decided if I couldn't paper piece it, then I wouldn't make it. Looking forward to seeing how your experiment works out.