I’ve been working diligently at creating each of the blocks in the book 100 Modern Quilt Blocks by Tula Pink. I am happy to report that I’ve completed the first 75. I think the last time I talked about them I had just completed block number seven so a lot has happened since.
Time For A Break
After completing block 74 I made the decision to stray, for a while, from my mission to make all 100. The last grouping of blocks I had just completed was slightly more complicated than all the rest. After accomplishing those my brain needed a rest. I was exhausted and needed something else to throw my quilting enthusiasm into.
I maintain a box of orphaned quilt blocks and misfit pieces. Every now and then I pull it out and peer inside to see if anything is calling my name. My recent scrounging reminded me that I still had remnants left from the Courthouse Steps debacle waiting for my attention. I’ve shared stories about these blocks in the past. You will find them listed under the category Courthouse Steps, Block of the Month. Feeling the strong desire to wrap up a few loose ends I chose the remaining remnants for my next project.
Ugly because I didn’t like them. They were just too boring for my taste. To make them appealing I had to camouflage their existence. The best way to do that was with a rotary cutter.
Time to Start
One by one I attacked all 6 ugly ducklings with a determination to turn each one into a beautiful swan. The end result created 16 brand new art pieces. All 16 have been quilted and are ready for finishing touches (binding, hanging sleeve and label). I’ll share photos when they are all finished. Until then I will leave you with a a photo of one of my experiments.
Thank You for sharing in my celebration of my newest art pieces! I hope that you will return to watch all 16 unfold.
My series What’s Your Style explores topics related to sewing and quilting. This is my fourteenth edition. On December 17, 2017, I published a post called Wash or Not? In the article I shared that I didn’t pre-wash my fabrics for these reasons:
I disliked the fact that the fabrics got all wrinkled and
I wasn’t fond of the threads that unraveled and twisted the fabrics together.
After reading the responses to my question I went on a mission to learn even more. Through that research I found a wealth of opinions and techniques. One lady was frustrated with her struggles to achieve a properly sized finished block. To explore the possible reasons she did a detailed experiment. During the discovery process she learned that the heat from her iron was shrinking her fabrics. I had personal experience with the same situation during my 100 Modern Quilt Block challenge.
After reading the articles I decided to change my philosophy. I now pre-wash all of my fabrics and have resigned myself to dealing with the labor intensive process. Hopefully this will head off future potential issues with fabric bleeding, block shrinkage, etc.
Now I sort all of my fabrics by color. Anything other than hand-dyed and batiks are washed in warm water and dried in a hot dryer. If I’m concerned about bleeding I toss in a color catcher. Some of the hand dyed fabrics I wash individually with Dawn in a bucket of super hot tap water. The process is repeated until the water comes out clear. Next I rinse them in clean water to remove any remaining soap residue. The fabrics are then gently squeezed and spread on top of cotton towels to absorb excess moisture. Once the fabrics are damp to the touch I either draped them over a hanger or tossed them into a dryer to finish the drying process.
If I remove the fabric from the dryer right away I can avoid excessive wrinkling. After removing them from the dryer I sometimes iron them, fold and stash them away. Then other times I skip the ironing (depends on the condition of the fabric when it comes out of the dryer and/or my mood).
I must admit that I’m much happier now with my pre-washed fabrics because they are softer to the touch and seem to be much easier to work with. They are also less apt to bleed colors and experience excessive shrinkage.
Week One of the #the100dayproject on Instagram ended on April 9, 2018. With the first week behind me I thought it would be fun to share the blocks I’ve made so far. I am very happy to report that I was successful in making all seven of the daily postings/blocks. Shown below is a pictorial diary of my blocks.
Day 1 Fabrics
Day 1 Block
Day 2 Fabrics
Day 2 Block
Day 3 Fabrics
Day 3 Block
Day 4 Fabrics
Day 4 Block
Day 5 Fabrics
Day 5 Block
Day 6 Fabrics
Day 6 Block
Day 7 Fabrics
Day 7 Block
Now that I have the first seven blocks under my belt I only have 93 more to go. 🙂 Doesn’t sound like much to celebrate but I’d rather it be that way than zero blocks finished.
While I relish in the progress I made on my personal challenge I also feel the need to make a confession. Participating in the 100 day project on IG seemed like a great way to get my 100 Block challenge off the ground. For the most part I enjoyed making the daily posts, which essentially killed two birds with one stone (#the100day project and my personal 100 Block goal). Who doesn’t like to accomplish two tasks at once!
But…last night I was thinking about the IG group project. While I had fun meeting the daily challenge I felt like it was taking the fun out of my goal. My initial intention was not to see how fast I could power through the book. Making all 100 blocks was meant to be an enjoyable experience, not just a task to check off on a to-do list. I have had fun making the blocks; so much so that I already have pulled fabrics for the next 34.
I intend to press on to finish making the remaining 93 blocks but I’m not going to do it under the pressure of #the100dayproject. I’m going to make them because I want to and I’m going to make them at my own pace. So there! 🙂
Thank you for sharing in my excitement! Talk with you soon!