Thursday, July 5, 2012

4th of July-inspired block

Saw this metal wall art over at Something to Crow About last week and got a bit inspired.  Not that I have time for such things, mind you, but I love to be taken over by the Spirit of Creativity.

Kennette's profile picture: also inspring

Kennette said she found it at this year's quilt market.  Comes in smaller (10-inch?) and larger (16-inch?) sizes.  And, since July 4th was within view, plus I have all this "Americana" fabric I'm not using from buck-a-block, I thought I'd see if I could design something for the 4th

Here's my design, with cutting directions.  I decided on a 12" finished block, as all the measurements came out nicely that way.

EMBARRASSED NOTE:  I just realized that the coloring of the flag's stripes in my design does not match the stripes in the original wall art. It would be a relatively simple exchange of the short and long strips (1 1/2 x 3 1/2 vs. 1 1/2 x 6 1/2) in the cutting directions below to make the switch.  Sorry for any confusion--a photo of my finished block appears at the end of the post.

Cutting for the main background fabric (I had 2 backgrounds, the main background, which also formed the stripes of the flag, and a different background for the flag's star).

Cutting for the red that will form the stripes of the flag, as well as the outer star.  The 3 1/2" squares will be used as folded-triangles in the border star.

CORRECTION:  the cutting directions say a 2 1/2" square of blue, but you really need just a 2" square.

Cutting for the blue that will form the flag's star field.  I am a big fan of triangle paper, especially for making very small half-square triangles.  So although there are only 8 half-square triangles needed, I based my cutting directions on this product.  ***Ooh, I just found out that you could make 3/4" (finished size) half-square triangles!  I didn't know the product came in that size, so I used what I had on hand and cut mine down in an interesting manner (see below).  If you use the 3/4" size triangle paper, your end result will look more like the original artwork.

CORRECTION:  The 1 1/2" squares should really be 1 1/4"

Cutting directions for the background of the flag's star-field.  Again, if you use 3/4" finished size triangle paper, you won't have to cut them down to size (like I did).

1.  Use the 3 1/2" squares of red fabric as folded corners with the background fabric to make 4 flying geese rectangles.
2.  Make 8 half-square triangles with the blue and star-field background fabrics.  Sew squares together in pairs to form 4 flying geese rectangles.
steps 1 and 2 complete
3.  [If you made 3/4" half-square triangles, you can skip this step.]  The blue-star flying geese rectangles need to be trimmed so they are 1 1/4" tall by 2" wide.  I cut them low, so the point of the flying-geese was at the edge.  This made the final blue star have shorter points that didn't extend fully within the star background.  Quilter's choice, as is the option of trimming the block width-wise so the point is no longer centered.  This will result in wonky stars (which I understand are rather popular now).
Untrimmed (at top) and trimmed (at bottom)
4.  Continue to sew the block together until you reach an end result somewhat like this:

Happy 4th of July!

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