Thursday, February 1, 2018

February Color Challenge Block

 Thank you for making the first month of the 2018 Monthly Color Challenge so amazing!




I hope you had fun playing with red, but we're done with that color. Toss those reds back in the scrap bucket and starting pulling out the blues!  Each month there will be a different block pattern and you can choose to make the 12" finished size or the 6" finished. Find the introduction post HERE.






Grab your free pattern HERE.
**The block patterns, and setting instructions, will be available for free until June 2019, at which point they will be bundled and sold as a full pattern.**

Blog Hop

Don't miss the bloggers joining in the fun! A few of them also have blocks for you.



Joanne of Quilts By Joanne


The Prize
Information on how to enter for a chance to win this months prize is at the bottom of the post. This month we have a $25 gift certificate to The Fat Quarter Shop!





Supplies

Grab your blues, you will need a dark, a medium and a light blue. Scrappy pieces are fine, just make sure you have the same value for each, or you will lose the pattern. You also need a ruler with a 45 degree angle, or a specialty ruler for trimming Half Square Triangles. There are many, I prefer the Tucker Trimmer®.

Tucker Trimmer

Creative Grids 6 1/2" square ruler

Piecing Hints


I use an old cut up mat to mark my diagonals on. This keeps my current mat clean and prolongs it's life.  It's not pretty, but it doesn't need to be. I also use it to trim, again, saving my current mat.






I use a mechanical pencil to mark my diagonals, unless it's a dark fabric, then I use the Clover White Marking Pen Fine.


Find instructions for trimming Half Square Triangles HERE.




If you are making the 6" finished block, note that you are trimming the HST units to 2".




Chain piecing is your friend. My desk faces out (I can't stand to face a wall, too many NCIS episodes, I guess) and there isn't a wall to catch my chain piecing units. I use a basket to keep them off the floor,and it's easy to scoop up the basket and grab the pile of pieces for the next step.




A trick I learned from Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville (and I apologize, I can't find a direct link to that post on her blog to share with you) is to not clip your squares after you have sewn the first seam. Keep them attached and sew the other seam, it's faster than clipping and then needing to stop and grab another square.




Lay out your block, with all of the turning HST units, it can be easy to get them turned around.

Spinning your seams

There are a lot of seams that come together in this block. If you would like to avoid some of the bulk I have a picture tutorial for you. Spinning your seams is not part of the block's instructions. What is spinning your seams?  Cooking Up Quilts has a nice tutorial.

NOTE: The block in these pictures uses the light blue for the center.


If you want to spin your squares, split them into quadrants.



Sew into pairs and follow the pressing arrows that are included in the instructions for the rows.




Pin and sew each quadrant into a 4 patch. Spin the seam. Your new units should still be easy to butt seams together.




Sew top row together, then bottom row, and press those seams opposite directions.




Stitch the rows together. I spun that last seam as well.


What's next?
You've visited the bloggers, you've made the block, or something in blue, and you're ready for the next step. Entering for prizes! On February 21st I will open up a link party. From February 21 - February 28 you can add your blue "something" to the link up party. One entry per person, please. On March 1st I will randomly choose a winner. Please make sure you add your email address!! 



Quick note

I had a lot of questions about using other colors other than the color of the month. As long as your block, or sewing item, "reads" the color of the month, you are good.  Remember, though, it is a challenge, so maybe sticking to all blues will push you to try something different.


**Remember! Every month you enter gives you an entry for the grand prize. If you enter all 12 months you receive 12 entries into the grand prize!**

Grand Prize

Jen at Dizzy Quilter is providing the grand prize! 

The generous prize provided your top quilted by her (up to 90" x 90"),  a $202.50 value!

You must provide the backing, 8" longer than width and length. Batting can be purchased from Jen, for $20, if you like.

Return shipping is included for US residents only.
**Please note, the quilt will not be trimmed or bound, those services are extra**

Happy Stitching!
Jen

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3 comments:

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  2. Great block this month --- as always! I love spinning seams, it is so satisfying. :D This was a wonderful block to make and I can't wait to see all the lovely color combinations that everyone comes up with.

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  3. Need to look into the spinning seams at Cooking Up Quilts. That is a lovely block, and blue is one of my favourite colours. I don't think it will be too difficult to think blue for February. xx

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