Today I'm linking up with WIP Wednesday.
My grass border & butterfly corner blocks have been added to the Fox Quilt, and now it is time to pass him along to the next quilter in my modern quilt round robin. For more information on this guy, please see this post.
I designed the paper-piece pattern for the butterflies, and went through several versions before I found a simple butterfly that I felt was just right.
I can't wait to see what comes my way from the next rotation of the round robin group!
Today I'm linking up with WIP Wednesday.
Several weeks ago I signed up to be part of a "round robin" through the Modern Quilting Facebook page. For those of you who aren't familiar with a quilt round robin, participants are organized in groups and then each person makes a center block for their quilt. You then send you block to the next person in the group and they add a border. The quilt makes its way through the group with each person adding a border until the quilt lands back with the maker of the original block. We all had to have our center blocks finished and sent off by May 1, and now we have 2 months to add a border to the block that we received. (Click here to see my center block.)
The first block that I received is this fox block (above). Isn't he cute? Once he becomes a quilt, he will be a keepsake for a 10-year old girl who is infatuated with foxes. When thinking about what to do for my border, I wanted to make sure that a young girl would think it was "cool."
After thinking for a few weeks and spending an evening sketching on the front porch with my 5 year old son, I decided to piece an improv border of thin stalks of grass (click here for a tutorial on how I made the borders). Two borders are complete and here's what he looks like so far:
Two more rectangular borders to go, and then 4 corner blocks to make. I'm thinking of doing butterflies...
Today I'm linking up with Work in Progress Wednesday. Enjoy your week!
Update: A tutorial for the Fox block can be found here, and a tutorial the cross-stitch block that was used to make the fox can be found here.
Here is a quick photo tutorial on how I made my improv grass border for the fox quilt in the Modern Quilting Round Robin. You can also call this "improv sticks" and it could be fun in a bright mixture of colors.
I wanted to make a 6 1/2" border of thins stalks of grass. There were several ways I could have done this, but I chose to use this quasi-improv method to create my border over a traditional slash-and-insert block, strip-piecing, or improvisationally piecing strips for the following reasons:
- I wanted my stalks of grass to be fairly uniform in size
- I didn't want my stalks to be perfectly straight. For this reason I couldn't just strip-piece.
- I didn't want my stalks to be totally random. So that meant I couldn't improv piece strips.
- I wanted a fairly even distribution of background fabric and green fabric
- I wanted to use up scraps of background fabric, so I couldn't do a long slash-and-insert block (click here for a tutorial showing what that is)
- I wanted to end up with a relatively straight rectangle that I could trim at the end. Sometimes when I just improv piece random strips together the block can end up pretty wonky and slightly curved.
I should also mention that my border is going to have different corner blocks made out of butterfly blocks.
To begin, I cut my background scraps into 2" x 8" strips and I cut green scraps in to 1'' x 8" strips. I didn't exactly know how many of each strip I would need, so I just cut a lot of strips. This was part of the improv!
Next I chain-pieced a green strip to each white strip...
...and then pieced sets of strips together.
I tried to roughly line up the edges of my strip sets, but as you can see below, I didn't do a great job. No matter though - in the end I trimmed my border piece down to 6 1/2" tall, and all the uneven ends were gone.
Once my border piece of strips was roughly the length I wanted it to be, I pressed it (to the dark).
Note: Because of the width of strips that I was using, at this point I needed my border to be roughly as long now it would be when it was finished. The next step of inserting slashed pieces in to it would not actually create any length to the border since I was only inserting 1" pieces and was using a 1/4" seam allowance.
The next step involved the improv slashing. Here I wanted to make sure that my blades of grass or sticks didn't touch each other, so I left at least 1/4" of background fabric on each side of the green fabrics. This was a personal preference and you could totally make this border with sticks touching or overlapping. I inserted a "slashed" strip of green in between each straight-set strip of green.
I chose to do 1 slash, then inserted a 1" strip of green, and then sewed the pieces back together. I did a slash, sewed in a green strip, did another slash, etc, until I had inserted a green slashed strip in between each straight-pieced of green. I continued on like this until my border was just about long enough. Below you can see the before and after pics. The top row has the slashed pieces inserted. The bottom row just has the pieced strip sets.
When I got close to the end I chose to add a straight green strip so my border began and ended with a green piece. (See below.)
The final step was trimming it all in to a long rectangle. I lined up one of the straight green end pieces with one of the vertical lines on my cutting mat, then I lined up my ruler with one of the horizontal lines and I sliced off the uneven ends! I repeated that process so the border would be 6 1/2" tall... And that's it! My grass border was done.
Please post any questions in the comments below. Thanks!