Sunday, July 10, 2016

Circles BOM: first look

My inspiration fabric
Oh, Boy: it's time to start advertising for a new Block of the Month!

Theme for this BOM, which starts the first-Saturday-after-labor-day, is CIRCLES.

I have about eight circle ideas so far--out of 12 months, that's not a bad start.  I really want to explore a lot of different techniques, and I have found so many ideas in the blogosphere.

I love learning new techniques!

Here are the samples I have made up to advertise the BOM, along with the inspiration/tutorial that got me started

Not a circle, you say?  But this is clearly the place to start: if one is afraid of curved seams there are circle-like things that can be done using only straight lines.  In fact, there will be many months in this BOM of no curved seams, to honor those fears; then we will push past them.

Instructions for this particular log-cabin came from Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.  Bonus points for the fact that she uses scraps, as this tutorial is part of her Scrap-A-Palooza series.  Her finished quilt using this block can be found here.

Mmm, I love this technique: reverse applique!  Again, no curved piecing: a little freezer paper and glue stick make this one work.  I previously tried this technique at a retreat, as part of Block Challenge, and knew it would become part of my Circles BOM.

The freezer-paper-assist technique was shared by Barbara at Cat Patches after she learned it in a class, and she is very clear with her tutorial.  I am so thankful to all the bloggers out there who write good directions!

Finally, a slew of Orange Peel blocks.  Many of the circle techniques I am investigating look best when repeated.  This block definitely falls into that category; I love to see a sea of orange peels stretching across a quilt top.

I saw this technique in person done by my friend Joey at a retreat and just thought it was so clever: make little football shapes by stitching the focal fabric to a fusible lightweight interfacing, then carefully turning the whole assembly outside-in so that all the raw edges are encased. 

You then fuse the sucker onto your background fabric and stitch a decorative edge.  This was my first use of the blanket stitch on my new-to-me fancy sewing machine.  I would previously have just used a narrow zigzag stitch, and it would have been fine.

Free template for this block, in multiple sizes, along with a clearly written tutorial for the turn & fuse method is from the SewCanShe blog.

Well, those are the blocks on display in the shop, tempting people to start signing up.  We start circling our wagons in September.  Let me know if you have a favorite circle block or technique that I might add to the mix!

Do you like my fabric choices?  After black-and-white BOM this past year, I agonized over choosing a colorway...

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