Friday, August 14, 2015

A Busy Summer Obsessed with One Block Wonders

School is starting and summer is nearly behind us. The weather is still warm with 90s expected the next week where I am here in northeast Kansas; however, overnights are cooling down indicating that fall is on its way. I've had a busy summer going to quilting retreats, teaching classes, quilting for clients, and making quilts for myself. Some of those quilts were class samples, one as a gift for my great-niece for her new baby due this week, and some just for fun.

As a shop sample, I explored using panels for a One Block Wonder (OBW), purchasing 7 panels and cutting up 6 to make the OBW hexies and then framing the 7th as part of the top. The result was Wanderlust, pictured below. I added a flange border around the central panel to set it off. I entered it in the Lyon County (Kansas) Free Fair and it won the 1st Place blue ribbon and the 2015 Best Use Of Color cash award! In two weeks it goes to the Kansas State Fair and we will see whether it places in the larger state-wide competition. 

This year has become the year of One Block Wonders. Including Wanderlust, I've made 5 so far and have fabric already selected for at least 5 or 6 more! Each one will be different with either yardage repeats or panels being used. The other 4 tops are done and each needs to be pinned and quilted, something I plan to so very soon.
Original print for the Butterflies OBW mini wall hanging

Of the OBW tops waiting to be quilted, I managed to squeak a mini wall hanging out of a yard of fabric that I picked up at the Missouri Star Quilt Company on a visit earlier this year. The Stitchin' Grannies, our Wednesday morning quilting group, were interested in learning more about OBWs and we worked together on one of our sew-days. Using the butterfly print pictured above that was fairly small scale, I cut just 2.5" strips to make the triangles for the OBW hexies. The top is just 26x36" and will have a few butterflies from the original fabric appliqued in the border before finishing.
Butterflies mini-OBW wall hanging

The next OBW I tackled was another one featuring a framed panel. I used Pandora, a challenge fabric selected by the Facebook group "One Block Wonder Forum". The panel features gorgeous poppies and lilies in brilliant yellows, oranges and reds. I once again purchased 7 repeats and cut 6 up to make the hexies. For this one, being a larger scale print, I cut 3.25" strips to get finished 6" hexies once assembled. This top I made larger, adding a border making it more into a generous throw that will finish at approximately 68x75".
Finally, this past couple of weeks I have been working on two wall hangings made from a beautiful nativity fabric. I missed out on purchasing panels before the shop sold out; however, I purchased the large scale print instead with 7 repeats and chose to fussy cut the large designs to frame in the wall hangings.
The large scale print of nativity fabric used for two wall hangings
I split the fabric down the center fold, using half for each top. I cut two sets of 2.75" strips, one with the grain and the other across the grain in order to get a different mix of cuts to make the hexies different in each. For the first one I fussy cut the main design features out as hexies and inset them with y-seams as part of the overall design. The blue border around the large hexie fussy cut on the first one will have a red satin cording frame appliqued to help break up the color flow and bring the eye to the main feature before quilting. For the second one, I made larger rectangular cuts of the two main design features that were framed within the overall OBW design similar to the panel quilts.

The two OBW wall hangings made from the same fabric with different fussy-cut framed features

It has been great fun playing and being creative with the designs on the OBWs. Changing up the OBW technique and framing designs within the color flow gives such a different look. The next fabrics are ready to be cut so I can continue playing with unique layouts.

Other quilts that have been made will be written about soon as I settle back into a fall teaching & quilting schedule. I hope you've enjoyed seeing these unique quilts!

More snippets from the sewing room soon...

No comments:

Post a Comment