Thursday, 26 April 2018

Simple Folk BOM - Month 3

Three months into Sarah Fielke's Simple Folk block of the month and I'm keeping up. Each month seems to have a different challenge- be it a different aspect of appliqué or working out the spacer blocks that go in between, there's always something new to learn or a skill to improve.  The instructions are generally very detailed and the videos are a supportive visual security blanket, but  I do have moments of uncertainty.  With this block, I got a bit doubtful about how much to cut away on the reverse.  There is a porthole style element in the centre of the star shape so that was all explained and worked well but general cutting away for applique, that's not been covered so far. 


For the rest of the block, I followed my instincts and trimmed the larger layers back to a 1/4" seam allowance to reduce bulk.  I'm going to take a look at my finished blocks and do the same, they do feel rather thick untrimmed!


As always, fabric choice takes time on these blocks. I'm aware that there's lots of yellow from the corner triangles and in the spacer blocks (see below).  I'm also allowing for the scrappy pink fabrics in the mini 9-patch squares so it's a balancing act.  I haven't bought the acrylic template sets that Sarah sells for this BOM- they would make the process a lot easier, especially cutting, but the cost with overseas postage is against me at the moment, so I used template plastic and made sure I cut accurately and transferred all the seam points so I can pencil them on the fabric pieces- essential for aligning those tricky shapes and with patient construction the block came together well. I made a test block out of scraps before committing to the good stuff and that was definitely worth doing! 


 The other element in my fabric choice considerations is the tiny circles that punctuate many of the appliqué blocks.  I did end up auditioning a lot of colours and motifs in my search for the Goldilocks effect!  These are my rejects, saved for potential future use.


Here's a little layout of what will be the top left corner of this quilt. The cobalt blue will be bordering these blocks, framing the grey backgrounds and as a canvas for lots of animal-themed appliqué around the edges. I am enjoying seeing the variety of blocks from BOM participants all over the world. Observing the choices and dilemmas of so many other quilters, all working on the same pattern in such a variety of fabrics is fascinating!

13 comments:

  1. Wonderful Blocks, front and back. Wow....your work is so neat.

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    1. Thankyou! This is probably the only area of my life in which I am neat.

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  2. This is so beautiful. I struggle with keeping neat and precise so I am finding these posts really helpful - this is a bit beyond my skills at the moment but I have continued to practise different blocks since the simple sample quilt along am improving

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    1. It is defitnely a challening BOM, a real skills builder experience.

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  3. Your quilt is coming along beautifully. Your use of the yellow gives this a completely sunny, happy feel.

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    1. I do want a happy, bright quilt at the end, sunny all the way!

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  4. I subscribed to the BOM and didn’t start (yet) as most of the blocks I’ve seen are rather traditional in colour but I love your behaved colour explosion!

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    1. Thank you! Seeing other people’s choices can definitely help future planning.

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  5. I'm also planning on a different colour for that border, your blue looks great. I'm not a fan of trimming the back of the appliqué it doesn't feel that stable to me.

    When I first saw this block I struggled with what fabrics and colours to use and then I made a first choice and everything fell into place.

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    1. With appliqué it is a tricky balance isn’t it? I look at each area and weigh up the pros and cons of cutting away/bulk.
      It sounds like you’ve found your colour groove for your quilt!

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  6. Oh, Gosh -- I LOVE this! As always, the time you put into seeking out exactly the right fabric for each shape is paying off. As for applique trimming -- I'm with you. I trim beneath anything that has more than 1/4" of fabric inside the stitching line on the back of the quilt, especially if it's layered applique. Some quilters prefer not to trim away any backing, and the reason they give is that the applique is somehow "weakened" by trimming that extra fabric off the back. However, with tight, tiny stitches like yours, the trimmed applique is going to be exactly as strong and secure as if they were pieced blocks once you trim away the extra.

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    1. -- I meant to add that the biggest reason in favor of trimming away from the back side is that you aren't going to have all that extra bulk when you get to the quilting part. But you probably knew that anyway!

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    2. I totally agree! Thank you for your lovely words though, I haven’t had many discussions about appliqué in quilting, although this is definitely the most involved appliqué that I’ve sewn to date.

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