the charm of traditional blocks

Hello all, It’s Mary Ellen back again. Between the garden, and the sewing machine I haven’t had much time at the blog lately. So I’ll try to catch up a little bit today. I taught a class today on designing your own “drunkard’s path” layout. Part of the class was also learning how to stitch that curve in the block without any puckers. I must say all the students were successful at that. YAY! Accurate cutting and very few pins are the keys in my book. I used Anita Murphy’s drunkard’s path book as a resource (thanks again, Helen). We also went a bit high-tech and used Google images to see SO many gorgeous variations on it. I had brought color photos, but one of the students had her iPad with her so we went on the internet. The students were floored by the versatility of the “module”. I think that’s what determines if a design idea will become a classic-how much can you infuse your own creativity into it to make quilts that are completely your own. No one else has your quilt.

Another quilt pattern that has stood the test of time is the Dresden Plate. Again so much versatility-change the number of degrees in the “wedge”, round tips or pointed tips, set it in to a circle or applique it on, include a trim into the curve of the block, make the wedges from strip sets… And on, and on. I absolutely love this Dresden plate block.dresden wheel This variation ( visit her site for more of her versions!) looks so modern, doesn’t it? I think I’ll be trying this soon-I already own the ruler she uses in her tutorial. And another cool thing about this one is that you get two blocks for the price of own, since you are flipping the ruler back and forth along a strip set. Love when that happens!

I know this is probably quilters’ blasphemy, but if you know a few of these classics you would never need to buy another pattern, just investing in fabric instead! You could keep making quilts forever working from the tried and true “traditional” blocks, without making the same old, same old quilt.

Do you have a block that is your favorite traditional, classic block? One that has staying power because there is so much you can do with it? Share please!

What project’s at your sewing machine these days? I’ve got a stack of 30’s repro fabrics cut for a scrappy drunkard’s path block that I’ll be using for leaders and enders for a while, but that’s not the main project. I’ll be finishing my samples for my seminar class in a day or two so the photos can get posted at our “seminar central”! (If you’re wondering about photos of all the local teachers’ projects, their deadline to get the photos to us is June 1. They will be posted as I get them, and our web guru checks them out. Supply lists are due to us by the beginning of July for web posting, and will be snail mailed to all registrants close to Aug. 1) I’m then going to have to choose a cheery summer time project. I think I’m going to go patriotic so I’ll have something to bring out on all our national holidays. I have a few mats and table runners, but I think I’d like a good ole red, white and blue quilt for the back of the couch.

TTFN. More coming before long, I promise!

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Filed under "modern" quilting, antique quilts, free patterns, quilt history, seminar, Uncategorized

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