Saturday, March 31, 2012

BOM April Block(s)

Our instructor, Amy and took pity on us BOM-ers and let us start on Friday, a few days early for April's block of the month!  This month is English Paper Piecing, specifically hexagons.  And I've been fooling around with it all day. 

This is how my block turned out   
The first block Amy called a "stripe".  We are doing two rows of hexagon pieces on a 12 1/2" block.  

At my house I enlist the opinions of my 23-year old twin sons.  It's kind of amazing what they come up with.  For instance, Amy's 'stripe' is parallel to the sides of the fabric, and a bit off center to the right.  My sons not only helped me with the color arrangement of my batik prints, but decided my stripe looked better a bit wonky.  And so it is.  And I have to admit, it looks pretty good!  Thanks guys!

The second block was Amy's own design, if I'm not mistaken, and she called it "Sunny with a chance of Hex" (racy huh?)    Well she took into consideration that not everyone's quilt themes (ie holidays) would work well with this block, so she gave us a challenge to come up with our own block using hexagons.  

Here's the first block, almost all batiks, because my jelly-rolls weren't wide enough to make hexagons with.  Still.. I like it.  And I tried out my blanket stitch (no more hand stitching please) with some hot pink embroidery thread.  And my son picked out the color of the thread we thought would go the best with the block.  Sure helps that my creative/artistic gene somehow got magnified in my kids.  :D   

Here are some other shots of the hexagons, for fun, and to practice being 'artsy' with my camera.  I think there should be photography classes offered on sights like Craftsy... we need to be expert photographers as much as accomplished 'sew-artists' and quilters!

I've been reading my sewing machine and serger manuals on the way to work (I ride the no worries!) in my attempt to make friends, very GOOD friends with my sewing machines.  Using the blanket stitch on my machine for the hexagon stripe was fun.  Now if I could just get my buttonholes down! 

(click to enlarge)

As far as being creative with the second block.... we have a plan!  I haven't started cutting and making the hexagons yet, [oh and I tell you...  time to get a new prescription for the glasses!!  It wasn't easy hand stitching this time.  I had my reader's on, and I have my Ott light with the attached magnifying glass ~ I'm sure you've seen them... it looks like a Spiderman villain of the octopus variety! ha  Still not easy...  Although the lighting was terrific!]  but I will tell you it involves moonlight, instead of the sun... and a few fun extras!  I'm really excited about this block... so look for it soon!  :D

Day 2:

When my son woke up this morning he almost immediately asked if we were going to get started on the second block for April.  Is that strange or what?  Not really.  The twins and I were brainstorming yesterday and were really having fun.

So I started cutting the smaller templates and making hexy's actually in all three sizes.  Two were for the "moon" (instead of the sun).   We put the 1-1/2"  hexy on top of the 2"  snuggled in the corner to form the crescent moon ~hexy style.  And I had this cute Japanese lantern fabric that I wanted to scatter around the block.  Originally we were going to hang the lanterns across the lawn of 'grass" (which was a green strip on the bottom of the block).  That changed.  I have some "wave" fabric (same as I used in my What's in the Bag? tote).  

And suddenly we were working with waves, and then a hexy scrap from the first block looked like a boat... and then we were reminded of the lantern scene in Disney's version of the story of Rapunzel, "Tangled".   Cute movie btw.  And we were totally changing things up as the day went on.  

I was working with a black background, and was fine with it, but my son thought it needed something.  But none of the fabrics we could use would have added anything with the lanterns being the focus.  So I got out my different colors of embroidery thread and did a kind of "Starry Night" thing to fill that void.  Obviously I didn't fill the block with swirly thread like Van Gogh did with his masterpiece (wait! Van Gogh used thread? of course not, you know what I meant), but my son recognized what I was going for.  :D  Anyway... here's what we ended up with.  The creative process was a lot of fun (and second-guessing).  If I wasn't working with hexy's in this block I would totally have many many more lanterns and cut to the shape of the lanterns... there is such a variety of shapes and colors.  But hexy's it is.  I can always do another version.  :D

I totally need to have my camera serviced.  And maybe take along the manual to read on my way to work!  My pictures are not looking as good as they used to, and they are not doing the block justice.  Soon I hope.  

More artsy shots...

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