Wednesday, February 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Just playing around

The last couple days I've been sewing some blocks for one of my guild's charity projects. 

It's called Home of the Brave, and it's a movement dedicated to honoring fallen heroes of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by making and presenting Civil War era inspired homemade quilts to their families. Our guild's focus is Michigan, since that's where we are located. I took home the pre-cut package to make 15 blocks back in mid September, and here it is February. Oops! I'm determined to hand back the stitched blocks at our meeting next week.

I've got 7 X blocks completely done and the other 8 at various stages of completion. Ultimately, the blocks will be pieced together with sashing rows and a border. 

While I am all for the cause, I'll be honest that neither the fabrics or the pattern are really my style. So while I was sewing, I was brainstorming ways to try a more modern spin on the design later for myself.

Though I have to say that I do love the contemporary spin of this block on the January-February 2013 Love of Quilting cover!

Last Friday night, I was home alone (Thank you, concert that my husband wanted to go to and I didn't!) So I started experimenting.

First I went down a complicated route. I wanted the triangles to be pieces, so I cut solid gray squares and adding snowball corners in two different sizes/colors. 

This created an interesting sort of repeating pinwheel that I kind of liked.

With two problems.
 First, because of the nature of the cutting, half the pinwheels are mirror images. Short of making two quilts spinning in opposite directions, I couldn't think of a good way to use all the pieces. 
Second, I didn't consider how small the pieces would start getting as I cut and pieced. The assembled pinwheel block below measures about 8". Those center gold "blades" are t.i.n.y. Too tiny. (And not consistent in size, but that's just a quality issue on my part.)
There is ALOT going on in this block, but I do kind of like it, so I'm thinking of redoing it slightly larger and making a pillow. Not sure if some straight line quilting would minimize the distracting seams in the solid gray sections or not...

Talk about over thinking some "play" time! 
I went back to the proverbial drawing board, simplified things, and came up with these blocks. I like 'em.

I'm still working on a final layout idea and surveying my stash to choose actual colors, but as I cut triangles, this is the type of look I'm going for. Each "solid square" you see below will actually be comprised of two different print triangles, for a scrappy look. Definitely a project I'll be laying on the design wall before sewing! 
What about you? Have you ever sat down just to play? 
And then done a complete about-face? 

Linking up with W.I.P. Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced and hoping to get my charity blocks finished before next Tuesday! 


  1. I like what you did, it is easier on the eye then the small pinwheel. Good job.

  2. I should play more. I like what you did, too. I love that one on the cover of the F&P magazine!

  3. Love your resulting blocks after playing - great colors and pattern - good reminder to never stop experimenting!