Signs of the Zodiac
I have always been fascinated with (well for the 4 years I've been quilting anyway) how people/designers/shop owners can take a variety of different sized blocks and just create sampler quilts?! They all work, the blocks fit together perfectly, each design looks fab on its own but like magic when they all sit together. I have attempted a couple over the last few years: Purple Fairies, Navy Dad, Winter Stars and most recently African Star I wouldn't say I was in any way a professional but practice makes perfect right?? So here we go again....
Regular readers will know I have a real problem with Instagram, I spend hours of my life on there "researching" it was on one such occasion that I came across details of a new BOM that was being started by Diane over at From Blank Pages, I signed up immediately and just couldn't wait for it to get started. I already had my next project in mind, in fact I have actually been 'collecting' block ideas and patterns for this project since before Christmas, most of them 6" or 12" blocks however I was on the hunt for some 18" ones to fit in particular spaces that were as yet unclaimed, Zodiac gave me this option so really it had to be done yes? Yes!
The details of Zodiac can be found here, and that's all the plugging I am going to do I'm afraid.
Already having an idea of the direction I needed the design of 'Modern Man' to go in probably wasn't the best way to start because if these blocks don't fit in or throw the rest of them out of sync I'm going to be a bit stuffed but you know me, I love a good challenge! So I began with Pisces and I went the whole hog and jumped in with the 18" block. It's all paper pieced, my most favourite thing and the instructions and pattern pieces are clearly marked and explained, so all in all fairly straight forward, except there is that small problem of choosing fabrics.....
The clue is in the title 'modern man', my first thoughts were for grey, white, black and blue lots and lots of blue, not at all stereotypical! Having had a brief scout around there are plenty of beautiful solids that fit the bill however I've really been struggling to find some nice, modern but manly prints that will work with what I have in mind. I happened to be walking past a charity shop and saw a shirt in the window, the print on the fabric was exactly what I had in mind, a closer inspection revealed the shirt was 100% cotton and 7 shirts later I had Plan B!! #winning
I marked out which fabrics I wanted where.....that really hurt my head and then set about cutting all the fabric pieces I needed for the first block.
Marked out each section and began sewing all the little bits together! I am very lucky to have a small but absolutely beautiful sewing room/studio at home (thank you my love) with a huge window right along one wall, the light is perfect for checking each section will fit on the right place.
A few little bits turned into a piles of A,B and C units
Which in turn become sections of the intended finished block
Once all the sections have been measured ( you need to do this yourself because no measurements are given for cutting fabric) and the fabric cut, the 2 halves of the block comes together fairly quickly
There are a lot of fabric joins and points to get into the final seam of the block but removing all the paper from the seam of each section, helped to ease the bulk and thankfully on completion this one finished up the correct size and shape!!
The same can not be said for this little monster!!
I followed the same process with this block - Aquarius as I did for Pisces, however for love nor money could I get that center to line up!! GGRRRRRRR
They looked so good as quarter sections
I tried 4 times to unpick and redo the halves to make them a whole, but the fabric started to fray and pull a bit funny, so the end result is a slightly off block which I am hoping will right itself when quilted! I know it will bother me so I'll likely end up redoing it or replacing it with something else, but it will do for now!
If you are also participating in the Zodiac BOM I would love to hear from you and see how you are getting on. If you know of any other BOMs happening get in touch, I can never have enough projects on the go!!