Recently I had a chance to do some beta-testing on BlockBase+, which is a revised version of Electric Quilt’s original software. I will write about the sofware next month when I host a giveaway for this software, but this post is about the process of making. In our beta-testing, we were asked to make test quilt blocks, check for spelling issues, functionality, etc. so I thought I would try out a new-to-me quilt block.
Every block in BlockBase+ has a name and a number, based as it is on the Barbara Brackman Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. I thought this looked cute, so I went for it.
I printed out the templates, labeled them as to the color I wanted, then got to work.
This whole thing was a little tricky, trying to get the petals seamed around the blocks and little triangles. But I really really liked the design I had cooked up (coming soon), so I persisted.
You can see the finished quilt block above, but all I could think was, how did this quilter in the early part of the 20th century put this thing together? But some early quilters did, as I found in a search online:
The blurb describing it says: “Antique Vintage Triple Sunflower Quilt Top in 1930’s prints beautifully hand and machine stitched. This measures about 33 x 47.5 inches and is in very good as found vintage condition with 8 places that need to be resown.” NOTE: It sold for $26 this past September 2020.
I had not seen those antique quilts when I started this block. So on the second round, I decided to try using English Paper Piecing in putting it together. Many sections went together more easily, like the petals: crisp and sharp.
This long stem was less fun.
The back. I think it’s always fun to look at the reverse side of EPP.
Done. This took me about two days of pretty constant piecing, but I did get to watch a few episodes of Ted Lasso on Apple TV (colorful language alert).
Side by side, back and front.
What was the clue I garnered from the antique blocks?
Okey-dokey. This would have made things so much faster and easier. There is also a lot of variety on the stems and leaves, all hand-appliquéd after the four blocks were assembled. And I was able to really enlarge the green-bordered block to see the grain of the background pieces: the grain is not all straight of grain, so while I don’t know if they did a lot of EPP at that time, they might have. Or they might have used odd bits from their scrap bags.
(I don’t know about you, but I wish some fabric designer would do a replica of the lower right petals of the blue sunflower block at the bottom, with those cool alternating blue-white half circles.)
Overall: putting in a seam on the rectangles and the center squares would make it easier to construct. However, I do like the long stem in one piece…pieced-in, rather than appliqued.
Regarding the giveaway for the Walk book: the Husband Random Number Generator picked a winner, and I’ve notified the winner by email. Thank you to all who wrote. I had the best time reading all your springtime descriptions, and felt like I was visiting different areas of the country and world. I laughed at many, and got warm feelings on others. You are all amazing writers and quilters. Thank you for reading.
P.S. Happy Pi Day. Since I’m not making a pie, enjoy these random pie charts from The Internets.
13 thoughts on “Thoughts on Constructing a Quilt Block”
Elizabeth it looks like you had a lot of fun (and perhaps a bit of frustration) making this block. It turned out beautifully. What fun though beta testing a program based on the Brackman Encyclopedia. I agree that someone needs to reproduce that blue fabric. It is too cute! 😁
I spent my working career in market research. I got such a chuckle out of your pie charts.
On one of your emails I saw a wonderful skeleton and tried to go to your website where you sell patterns but I couldn’t locate it. Can you help me find this pattern?
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I wouldn’t use EPP, but I think I’d use templates to draw the seam lines and hand-piece the circular seam. Back to my early days of quiltmaking! Hand piecing is quick, accurate, and sturdy enough if you backstitch every few stitches. It’s a pretty pattern.
Love this blocks and your review of the pattern! I keeping this short because I’m not sure if WordPress is playing nicely!
You are WAY more patient than I am. Two days of piecing? My 96 year old aunt hand appliques lilies in her quilts. She hand quilts everything as a matter of fact. I need to send you a photo. More rounded than these flowers so easier I would think. Your work is beautiful! I would buy some vintage blocks of yours any day! 🙂
What very pretty blocks! I’m sure you have had fun beta testing–they picked the right person for the job!
Fun to read. I’ve gotten behind on wordpress and blog reading again, after a decent start earlier in the year!
As to the blue sunflower fabric, check in with Linzee McCray. She is a Moda designer since writing her great book on feedsack fabrics 4 or 5 years ago. Here’s her IG link https://www.instagram.com/seamswrite/
Goodness! You are nothing if not ambitious! I would have hesitated to make that block even once.
EQ owes you a commission. 😄 I ended up purchasing block base based on this and am absolutely delighted with it. Thank you for the thorough run through on this product.