I don't do a lot of traditional piecing at all, but I'm fascinated by blocks that use fun tricks, like the disappearing 9 patch, etc. And I also always notice the ones that don't require much math, because that seems to be one of my 'things', even though I have always liked math! I'm always looking for tricks to show you :-) The other interesting thing about this block is that it ends up the same size that you cut your initial squares, hmmm.... :-)
For this one, I started with 5 squares that were 9 inches each. Neither of those numbers are required, there are lots of ways to vary this block! You can use any size square or rectangle (not toooo small), and more than five fabrics, even if you only cut five sections. The number of fabrics is how many blocks you will end up with. You do want at least as many fabrics as sections you will be making so they are all different. Since I was using light colored sashing, I used medium-ish fabrics. The fabrics themselves do not need a lot of contrast as they will be separated by sashing, but mostly you just don't want them too close to the sashing value. Black sashing would be cool too! The rest of the fabrics can be as matchy or scrappy as you want.
Stack all five fabrics, then whack a chunk off, I did approximately 1/3, but no measuring required!
Do the same with the fabric that's left, only in the opposite direction. Keep cutting chunks off the remaining fabric, alternating directions each time. I tried not to make them all the same width, but I didn't measure.
This is the fun part! Take one of the fabric stacks and move the top piece of fabric to the bottom. Then take another one and move two, then three, then four. One stack stays the way it was. Now your fabrics are arranged so each block will have one of each!
Next, stitch them back together, in the reverse order that you cut them, but inserting a 1" strip (cut size) of sashing. Press the seam toward the sashing, and keep the stack in order!
Keep going until all seams are done. Look, it's still 9 inches!
On the back, the seam allowances should just meet. The one inch sashing takes the place of the seam allowances so you don't lose anything! Pretty cool! (If you leave out the sashing, this doesn't work. However, I do have tricks for that too, maybe another tutorial!)
If you use the same size sashing to join the blocks, you won't lose anything there either. So, for a 54 inch wide quilt, you'd need 6 nine inch squares to make 6 blocks across. Easy math! (You do still have to calculate the amount of sashing... I used three WOF strips for these five 9" blocks to give you an idea. But you just have to add up the length of all of your cut lines after cutting up your squares to find out how much one block interior needs. Calculating the strips to attach the blocks is pretty easy)
Variations: As I said, you can use more fabrics than you have sections, every block will just not have all of the fabrics that way. But if you restack them the same way, they will still all have five different ones. Or you can do them in batches, and they don't all need to be cut exactly the same as the previous batch. (I see some of you cringing, ha!)
Also, you can cut them into more or fewer pieces. Since you don't lose seam allowances, it doesn't matter how many seams you add!
The initial pieces (and therefore finished blocks) can be rectangular instead of square.
You can even cut them diagonally, but it gets a little trickier to line them up.
I hope you will try this fun block! Sign up for my newsletter (sidebar) for all of the tricks I have up my sleeve, it's a lot, ha!
Happy New Year! Beret
I recently announced that I have been wanting to focus more on teaching, since I really love it! And it's more than just teaching art quilting; I also want to empower you by showing you that you can do more than you might think. In my classes I always say, "I don't want to STRESS you, but I do want to STRETCH you!" It's so fun to see people make something they didn't know they could! It ends up giving you confidence in other areas of your life too. Creating art is important all by itself, but it can be so much broader as well. I've added a few updates, mostly to the Framed Collage class, but one in the Simple Secrets class too! On that note...
First, I'd like to welcome all of the new class members after our Black Friday week sale! I hope you will at least get a chance to peek into your class even though it's a busy season, so you will be motivated to get at it after the holidays are done! And I also hope you will join the facebook group for your class. I am looking into another platform for classes and community both that will be so much nicer than what I have now if I get it going, hopefully after Christmas.
Second, I'd love some feedback! I know I want to focus on teaching, but what is it that YOU want to learn? Are there specific techniques, such as collage, or free motion stitching? Composition? Color theory? Or, are you interested in having your own creative business? I don't know everything, but I have learned a lot in my 14 ish years of doing this, and lately I've been learning even more thanks to classes I have been taking, and I'd love to pass it on! The business side of all of this is as interesting to me as the creating and the teaching. Or is there something else that I do that you would like to learn more about? I'd love to hear from you! If you get my newsletter, there is an actual survey, but for here, please comment below 😊
And, last, but not least, in addition to the printed greeting cards, we are gradually adding more art prints to the Etsy shop as well. I posted earlier this week that they are lower priced due to not being technically archival quality, hopefully we'll have those next! BUT, even when people have them in their hand, it takes a second to realize they are prints and not actual fabric, so the quality must be pretty good still! I like that they are an economical way to share my creations. (And also more 'normal'... people are more used to printed cards than quilted ones! 🤣)
I hope everyone is able to slow down and enjoy this season and not be too rushed. We've had plenty of snow here, so it definitely looks Christmasy!
Beret Nelson's On The Trail Creations Blog Page
I am a homeschooling mom of three fun kids, who are now old enough that I have a little time to pursue my passion for sewing! After several years of making quilted cards and art quilts, I'm now designing kits and patterns. Some of my designs have been in Keepsake Quilting and Art Quilting Studios magazine! I teach classes online, and am starting to do more traveling and teaching. I also have many tutorials, including some on YouTube. I am blessed to live in Alaska where I am surrounded by the inspiration provided by the beauty of God's creation!
Free mini art quilt workshop for new subscribers!
"Like" my facebook page!
I am also an independent distributor for Plexus supplements, since I credit them with enabling me to be healthy enough to do all these fun things! They target blood sugar and gut health, which are at the root of so many modern health issues. E-mail me for more info, or check out my website! I am as passionate about getting people healthy as I am about getting people creating :-)