Friday, September 28, 2012

The block that took a week . . . .

 . . . . and is still nothing to write home about.
As some of you know, I have decided to play along with Barbara Brackman's new Block of the Week program over at Grandmother's Choice.  This week's block is the Kansas Sunflower.  When I looked at it, I decided I would skip this week.  Then I realized that part of why I joined the program was to grow my skills.  After all, it is important to keep growing as a quilter or all my work will look the same.  Some people think this would be a good thing, having a signature look and all, but I am not one of those people.
The first thing I did was select the fabric and cut the pieces.  I have decided to do all the blocks with my wonderful selection of paisleys and light colored batik.  For this one, I decided two fabrics wasn't going to work, so I grabbed another batik.  After I cut everything out, I took the time to draw all the seam lines on each piece.  I learned from doing another block with Y seams that this helped quite a bit.
I pieced all the light points to the dark shapes, then pieced them all together into the star.  I don't know if this is the easiest way to piece this, but it worked okay for me.
Next, I pieced in the center circle.  So far, so good.  When I pressed it, it lay flat as could be.  Drawing in those seam lines really was a good idea, even with the extra time it took.
Today, I finished piecing the outer wedges, then pieced it all into the circle.  This is where things started to go astray.  If I was going to do this again, I would machine applique the star circle onto a background square.  I may take this apart from the background and do that, but I really wanted to piece the whole thing this time.  It is hard to see the difference in the fabrics in this photo, but the star does stand out better in real life.  I honestly don't think I will do another one of these, but who knows.  I am thinking of making another quilt at the same time using my batiks, and I may really want the sunflower.
Here is what I have so far.  I look forward to seeing what Ms. Brackman sends our way tomorrow.  I am hoping for something a bit easier this week.
Once again, I want to send you over to the flickr page to see some of the stunning Kansas Sunflowers others are making.  There are some real beauties.
Joyful quilting, everyone.


Vroomans' Quilts said...

I machine pieced my sunflower by machine, but needle turn applique the unit to a background - still working on that part. This was a more difficult block, but as you said, you get to spread your wings.

Impera_Magna said...

Congratulations, Miki! It was a hard block and you did it!!!

Wooooo hoooo!

Willa said...

How nice to wake up to a new posting! I really enjoy your postings, especially when you are venturing into growth areas! I admire your energy/desire to grow.

Venus de Hilo said...

That's a lovely block, and looks like a nightmare to piece! Congrats to you for persevering.

From the sketch, I wonder if it would be easier to sew a D to a C to a B into an arc, and then all of those into a circle? Still lots of angles to deal with, but they'd be shallower ones.

Is the sew-along teaching you the "best" way to make a complex block, or just tossing the diagram your way?