Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thinking Outside the Block

In my quest to use up my stash, I realized I've been hanging on to these vintage blocks for years.  I bought them at a "garage sale" held by the Birmingham Quilters Guild.  I think I paid $20 for them, which is amazingly inexpensive considering each block has 19 hand pieced hexagons.  Think of the time someone spent!  I have more than 50 of these!  But what to do with them?

Sewing them together was not an option - to many "in's" and "out's" for me.  I thought about appliqueing each piece on a background, but again, so many innies and outies.   Plus I want to give the wonderful fabrics a more graphic and contemporary look - the best of both worlds.

I finally decided to applique a big circle from each block onto a square background.  Now what to use for the background?  I went shopping in my stash and found four yards of muslin with the tag still pinned to it.  I have no earthly idea why I bought four yards of muslin in 2003 and never even cut into it.  This will be a good use for it, I think.

I'm using my favorite method of needleturn:
1.  On the backside of each 8" square of muslin, I traced a circle using the lid to my coffee can.
2.  I centered a hexagon block on the front of a background square, pinning it in place.
3.  Using a very heavy weight thread (like a jeans thread) I basted the circle from the back along the traced line.
4.  I trimmed out the circle about 3/16" outside the basting.
5.  I clipped away a bit of the basting thread, using my needle to turn the fabric under along the basting line and appliqueing the edge to the background.  The basting stitches make the circle a bit perforated along the edge, allowing for very easy turning under.

I think this will be a nice project, something to "take along" to bee and guild meetings.  As I get more blocks done, I'll post more photos.


Joan said...

Great idea to for using those pieces.

Lisa A said...

Love it! Are you going to sash the muslin blocks? Could really set them off.

Emily said...

it looks like a soccer ball!