This line from Lewis Carroll came to mind as I sat down to write our blog post for you, as indeed, “The time has come, to talk of many things”. Today we'll be looking at tips for creating the final block for the quilt, and (drum roll, please!) two variations of a layout to turn nine blocks into a quilt. I'm sure you're as excited as I am to see the final product!!!
The eight blocks we've covered so far in the blog hop, done in Twilight Chic fabrics.
With the introduction of Deb’s Signature collection Twilight Chic by Island Batik, it seemed like the perfect time to bring to life a collection of BlockBuster designs into one great project. Inspired by Janet Houts and Jean Ann Wright's Circle of Nine book, we chose to use nine completely different blocks each finishing to a common size of 12" for our BlockBuster sampler quilt. Different from most, and unique in its design, we think you'll enjoy what we've come up with.
An excellent addition to every quilter's library!
Before we reveal our setting solutions however, we have one final block to cover. The last block used to make our quilt is BlockBuster #34 - Evening Shadow. Constructed in the same 12” finished size as all the other BlockBuster blocks we've made this week, it creates a focal point for the center of the quilt.
Keen observers will recognize this as our most recent BlockBuster block.
When making the Evening Shadow block, you will need to be familiar with three of our Technique Sheets, namely Shaded Four Patch, Bird of Paradise, and Stacked Squares. Traditionally these units are comprised of individually cut small pieces, and are usually difficult to construct accurately. But with our streamlined construction methods, they are built efficiently, slightly oversized and then trimmed to perfection.
Let's start with the smallest unit first. You'll need to construct four Shaded Four Patch units. You'll be amazed at how easy it is to construct a Shaded Four Patch by following the instructions in the Technique Sheet. For a 12" block, you'll need to follow the instructions for 2" finished units. But (pay attention here!) don't trim it yet! Because the Shaded Four Patch unit is the center of the Bird of Paradise unit, it will be set "on point", so it will need to be trimmed differently.
Instead of using the Tucker Trimmer, you will need to trim using the Square Squared tool. Using the window template you would usually use to cut the Center Square (Part A), position the diagonal line over the diagonal seam of your Shaded Four Patch. Find the "tick marks" associated with the "Center square for 3" finished block". Place these on the seams of the small square as shown in the illustration. Trim your first two edges. Rotate the unit, align as before and trim again. Now your Shaded Four Patch unit is just the right size to sit on point inside the Bird of Paradise unit.
Let's examine the Bird of Paradise unit next. You will want to make four units that finish to 3"x 6". To make the Bird of Paradise unit, you'll start at step 4 in the instructions, replacing the half square triangle unit in the center with your Shaded Four Patch as shown. Follow the remaining steps as written and trim your finished units to 3½” x 6½". You can see a video tutorial on how to construct these Bird of Paradise units here.
Once the Bird of Paradise (star point sections) are complete, it is time to turn your attention to the center unit. Officially known as the "Economy Block", we call it a "Stacked Square" - named because it's a square, inside of a square, inside of a square. Our Stacked Squares Technique Sheet provides instructions to create 12 different size units including the 6" finished size you need for your Evening Shadow block. Refer to the chart for cutting your squares and triangles, then work your way through the construction steps. You can watch the video tutorial here. As with all things Studio 180, you'll add slightly oversized triangles at each step and use our Square Squared tool to trim as you go. You'll end up with a perfectly sized unit.
Once the units are built, the final steps are easy. Lay out and stitch together the four Bird of Paradise units, the center Stacked Square unit and four 3½” corner squares. Pressing instructions for the block are included in the BlockBuster 34 handout.
Now you’ve created the nine beautiful blocks needed for your quilt. The Twilight Chic fabrics make each one glow and come to life with a unique coloring and mixture of deep jewel tones. Each one is unique. Every one is different. And now that we have ooohhhhed and aaaaaahed over these nine amazing blocks let’s finally pull them all together!
Take a look at our two settings. Both are simple in order to showcase the blocks in an interesting way without dominating the design. There are pieced spacing strips made with either Square Squared units or Flying Geese units depending on which layout you select. The detailed instructions to create both of these layouts can be found in the setting document you can download here.
Setting Option One (using the Square Squared) & Setting Option Two (using the Wing Clipper)
In setting option one four different fabrics were chosen as the centers of the 3” Square Squared units. Laying them out before stitching allowed us to choose where each fabric would be placed. After some playing with the units we decided to use the same arrangement in each setting piece and have the colors chase each other around the quilt. It allowed for an easy way to keep them organized and each color where we wanted it. When sewing your Square Squared units together we recommend pressing the seam open, it will help to reduce bulk. Add the top and bottom borders to the pieced Square Squared units and that gives you setting option one.
If you choose to do setting option two you will be making 1½” by 3” Flying Geese instead of Square Squared units. Jackie O'Brien, of If These Threads Could Talk, made this quilt and when arranging the Flying Geese she choose to use four fabrics for the center triangles of the Flying Geese. You might want to use eight different fabrics so each pinwheel has the same color geese, but each is different from the other seven. Or just make them all scrappy! Your quilt, your choice!
Whichever setting option you choose will give you a stunning quilt that will allow you to showcase the nine Blockbuster blocks we presented here or 9 other of your favorites. After all, there are 34 to choose from right now, and more to be released in the future.
We hope you have fun as much fun creating your very own version of Evening Elegance as we did making these for you! We had so much fun creating these blocks and layouts. Remember to share your progress and finished project with us on Facebook or Instagram (please tag us with @studio180design and #EveningEleganceBlogHop so we can admire your work). We can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Thank you for joining Studio 180 Design’s Certified Instructors Tina Dillard, Tammy Silvers, Karen Overton, Jackie O’Brien, and Island Batik on this Evening Elegance Blog Hop. A special thanks to Sarah Furrer (another of our fabulous Certified Instructors) for all of her hard work behind the scenes, designing, planning, coordinating and making this happen. We couldn’t have done it without her!