Last year I participated in Foot Squared Freestyle (F2F). The time came for me to receive my blocks, and I did (link here if you want to see them all; scroll down to March for mine). I had planned to make my three after I saw if any color/shade was needed to balance things. I’d also made Sunny Lanes for everyone and planned to make one for me. That is what stalled the process. I needed yellow-orange and didn’t have any. I finally bought some and prewashed it, but by then I was on to other projects. So I am finally back, and here is my finished Sunny Lanes.
Since I made one for everyone, I thought it would be fun to see what variety color differences can make for one block pattern. (There are only 11 because I started a month late.) A reminder of the rules: Members could make any pattern 12 1/2-inch block using the colors chosen by the recipient.
After seeing all those, you want to try one, right? I foresee a quilt in my future using scraps for the squares and a unifying pair of colors for the HSTs.
A 12-inch block requires 8 HSTs (Cut four 4-inch squares of two colors–I allow oversizing and trim to 3 1/2 inches.) and 32 2-inch squares (they will finish at 1 1/2 inches).
When I have plenty of fabric, I cut 8 squares of each potential color and make my HSTs and play around. I add the extra squares to my collection for scrap quilts for later use. So I tried three color groupings for the current block.
I started out thinking I wanted the medium brown in the corners, then saw the bright red beside the stripe and thought I’d like it. Last I tried the gold, just in case. In the abstract it was my least favorite, but I ended up liking it best. I thought the medium brown too distracting and the red too bright. I wait till the 4-patch pieces are sewn to fiddle with the direction the corner ones will go–sometimes a diagonal line, sometimes more rounded. Much easier to rotate one piece than four each time.
After making 3 or4, I finally had a system.
Three challenges for assembly: keeping the HSTs going the correct way, keeping the colors where you want them, and pressing the seams so they will nest when assembling the next seam (of course people who press open don’t have to worry about the latter).
I lay the pieces out on my 15 1/2 square ruler.
I start chain piecing with the small squares, L to R, top to bottom. I do not cut them apart until after they are pressed, and I leave the thread bunny (or leader/ender) attached to mark the top. I press seams in alternating directions. That way each pair will nest.
I snip the pairs in twos as I lay them in their place on the square ruler. Then, again moving L to R and top to bottom, I stitch each four patch segment.
This time pressing is a major issue only for the center 16 squares because they will meet up. The corner ones do not matter. I lay all pieces back in place on the ruler and carry it to the ironing board. I press the seams in the two in the center-left column down and the ones in the right up.
Now you have the choice of assembling the center and the pairs of HSTs then assembling the whole as if it were a 9-patch block or assembling row by row. I have found the latter easier as it requires fewer breaks.
I sew pairs down one side, then down the other, then sew the middle seam, making four strips. I lay them out and press in alternate directions. Nothing left to do except the final joining seams.
I hope to see some of your variations on Sunny Lanes.
10/3/17 Linking with Quilting Jetgirl’s and Late Night Quilter’s Tips and Tutorials
And after I come back from vacation, I’ll lay out blocks, make my last two and start setting them together.
BTW I will be without WiFi on most of vacation, so won’t be responding to comments till I get back.
Also while catching up on blocks, I finally made June and July for the weather quilt.
Yep, that orange is for highs in the 90s and that is what we had at the beginning of June, 97 to be exact.
July was cooler and pretty boring colorwise. Too bad I hadn’t planned on different colors for each 5-degree increment.
And here are all the blocks so far.
There will be cream sashing between eventually. Most weather quilts are done in rows (some samples here) instead of blocks and look better, but I’ll finish what I started.
See you in three weeks.
6 responses to “Sunny Lanes–more tips than tutorial (and weather update)”
Great to see your colour scheme again! Will you let me have photos of your completed blocks when you’re done so I can put them in the gallery? And of course, whenever you finish your quilt (or whatever the blocks end up being) I’ll want to include that too!
I really like the colors you picked for your sunny roads. And I love the whole idea of the weather quilt. I’ve never heard of that before. I’ve loved the weather this year so it would be a good one to remember. Nice work – and I’m going to save your tips for future chain piecing. You had mentioned that you had a system for keeping things in order, and I’m much in need of one. Great post.
The weather blocks look more interesting in the summer colors, I think. But the whole thing will be great together. Thanks for the tips tutorial on the block. I love mine, though all the colors look just wonderful. Not an ugly one to be seen! I may try it with 2.5″ squares and correspondingly larger HST, using it for the center of a baby quilt. It would be fun to play with borders for that
The orange and yellow is especially nice for sunny lanes. Looks like a lot of work for one block!
Very nice tips, thank you so much for linking up. And I am fascinated by the weather quilt, what a great idea!
Lovely sunny lanes, nice color ways all of them and I like the wonky touch in the green block in particular!