Creative articles about quilting

Creative articles about quilting Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler, in red white grey and black: part 5

Sometimes you can get great results, using quilt fabrics with strips or directional prints. I like to change blocks, to create movement. That’s why I have used stripes in the next block.  

Block A5 Amethyst is such a block. Directions on page 15. The star stands out with the original block, because the background fabrics are light and almost solid, optionally pulling the star to the front. I will use stripes, alternating red/white with black/white. Not just the fact that I am using two different colors/fabrics instead of one for the background sections will change the block, but also using both red and black for the star points and the center square:  the original block shows just one fabric. REMEMBER: you are free to choose as much fabrics as you want to. I always try to get a symmetrical look, by using the same fabrics in opposite corners.

The templates from page 85 are for both traditional and paper piecing: because I’ve used the latter, the center square is cut in quarters. That means the seams have to match up in the center, when the four Units are sewn together.

I have covered the Units, cutting back to the right size, seam allowances included. The large remnants are placed in a bag, for future use.

Placing the four squares the your cutting mat, gives an idea how different the block will turn out. I have removed the paper from the back, in reversed order.  

Sewing the Unit squares two by two, next the last long seam, all cross sections matching. 

This is the back of the block: I have cut the center seam again, almost up to the stitches, to be able to press the seams both ways. If the seams run well at the back, the front will be ok too. 

With Block A7 Cats and Mice (page 23, templates page 90), I will create more contrast. The original block is really ‘busy’, fabrics with flower prints can be overpowering, making the pattern disappears entirely. Because I am working with reds, whites, greys and blacks, I can emphasize the contrast by using almost-solid fabrics.

I have converted the block to paper piecing, used Papers for Foundation Piecing to print it all and filled the Units with fabrics. The picture above shows that I have used templates too: the large white triangles are single-cut pieces.

Before assembly, the paper was removed, joining the Units with a 1/4 seam allowance. I have used my Bohin Glue pen again, no pins involved.

With sides matching and points sharp, this block is assembled Unit by Unit, adding the white triangles.

Working in straight rows, as much as possible, there are three pieces ready, each with many sections.

Finally the block is assembled: what a difference comparing to the original block. Using contrasts, or light fabrics instead of darks (the large triangles were originally brown) will give you a totally different look.

Next time I will show you how to make curved blocks, and appliqué by machine. See you then. 


Happy Stitching.

Sylvia Kaptein
Sylvia’s Art Quilts Studio

Difficulty level: Beginner
Time to Complete: Weekend
Used Material: Add-a-Quarter ruler, Bohin Glue Pen, cutting mat, Folding template, Papers for Foundation Piecing, Quilt book Sylvia's Bridal Sampler, quilt fabrics, rotary cutter

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