Monday, March 9, 2015

Blocks From the Past Part I: Sister's Choice

I'm so happy to be part of the Blocks From the Past Quilt-a-long! My fabulously talented—and fun—quilty friends Marion at My Quilt Diet and Natalie at Natalie Ever After hosting a sampler quilt-a-long using Marie Henry's Teach Yourself Blocks From the Past book (available here on Amazon). April over at Making Ends Meet discovered this book at a yard sale and proposed a QAL using modern fabrics.

They organized a QAL blogfest, with each of us taking a week or two to highlight some of these blocks. If you haven't been following along before now, check out Marion's post here, which lists the bloggers and the schedule. Today starts the first of two weeks I'll be blogging about six of the pieced and appliquéd blocks from this book.

This week, beginning with today, I will do three posts on three separate blocks. The first up, is Sister's Choice on page 23.

Before I outline what I did, may I rant ever so briefly about the horrors of the One and Eleven Sixteenths Inch. Yes, I capitalized it. So horrible a thing deserves capitalized letters.

This pattern for the Sister's Choice block calls for squares of two different measures: One and Eleven Sixteenths of an inch, and Two and One Sixteenth of an inch. The first is kind of like 3/4 of an inch, but it isn't. I'm apparently more precise (also known as OCD) than I had realized—much as I wanted to just round it to 1 and 3/4, I just couldn't. Given the apparent shortcomings of our wonderful modern rulers, I pulled out my trusty 12" ruler from college:

Using my Washi tape in a vain attempt to lighten the moment, I marked out 11/16 of an inch. Do you know how little those little marks are? It was a grisly task. I then used this measure to mark out the 1 11/16 inch square on my Omnigrid ruler:

After mastering this, I finally moved onto fabric. Now, my other quilty peeps who have preceded me in this QAL venture ably discuss the most efficient way of sewing half square triangles (HSTs), but I found myself so overcome by the 11/16 issue (see above) that I resorted to cutting out the HSTs and then sewing them together. Old School baby!

The block calls for the following pieces:

Color 1: Eight 1 11/16 squares; 4 2 1/16 squares, cut each in half diagonally
Color 2: Four 1 11/16 squares
Color 3: Four 2 1/16 squares, cut each in half diagonally
Color 4: Five 1 11/16 squares

I then trimmed off the little ears from the squares and squared them up

I sewed the squares together in strips:

And then sewed the strips together:

11/16 aside, I do like the look of this block. I'm ambivalent about my greens—I love them, but don't adore them together—but I do like the modern look of the general color scheme. 

Give this a try and let me know what you come up with! Next up, the Fox and the Geese block! Stay tuned!

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