Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Finished...and Not Half Way There

Let's not bury the headline: I have finished all 56 Lucy Boston blocks!!

I started to put the first blocks together on January 20, 2018 and cut the thread on the last block on March 10, 2019.

Following are the final nine blocks. I'll start with the ones that came out of the Third Block contest by Alewives Fabrics. The first one I entered, what I call the pineapple block:
Then we have the tile block, which is my favourite (of these ones):
This is mostly the winning block:
I moved the semi-circle pieces to the corners and switched out the flower pieces for the green furl pieces.

And the last of this set:
I added the tigers after the challenge. I love them - hiding in the flowers.

When my mom took a trip to Pennsylvania she picked up this Normal Rockwell fabric.
By then she knew what size I needed for the motifs and that I only needed a quarter yard. (It's so easy to buy a quarter yard!)

I had fun putting together this bright pink and yellow (and orange) block:
You'll see some of the same fabric in this yellow and blue blend block:
I had some of the pieces for the following block for quite a while.
The fabric with the green lined curly pieces was very limited and I couldn't get enough pieces for a lot of designs. I had several ideas of what to do on the other diagonal but nothing worked. I finally found some fabrics to put together a dark purple "background".

And finally, the mask block:
It took a long time to find eyes for this block. I tried a lot of fabrics with circles and ovals and kept my eyes out for fabrics in the stores for months...and found nothing. I finally tried a lot of the pieces that I had prepared for other blocks but rejected and these ones worked for me.

Sunday I was at church for the afternoon so I took advantage of the large table space and worked on the layout.
I had worked on it once before and didn't land on anything. I tried sorting by colour again and just couldn't work it out (again). I ended up ordering the blocks from most traditional to most unconventional.

Once the blocks were in order, I marked each block's placement on the back.
It's not every quilt block that you can just write on the back! :)

Now it's time to think about sashing. My experience in explaining the sashing is that people don't get it. (Or if they get it once, they've forgotten by the next time we talk about it.) So I have produced pictures!

Here's the basic block:
Around that block, I will sew more of the honeycombs (shown in grey) to make a sort of sashing:
But since the block is not straight on the sides, when the blocks come together, you have these extra square and cross shapes (shown in blue):
Most of the quilts I've seen have a pale colour for the sashing and then brighter or darker fabric for the squares and crosses. Usually the little squares are the same fabric, the center four squares of the cross are fussy cut to make a kaleidescope effect, and the outside squares of the cross are the same colour.

I have been thinking of grey for the sashing for quite a while. There's enough colour in the blocks, a plain solid border would be good. Here's a mock up:
I just put in black for the little squares and crosses because I'm not sure what I'm doing with them and I knew black would show up.

Soon after deciding on grey, I wondered about choosing different shades so that I could build a gradient.
One concern is that the more complicated the sashing, the more it would distract from the blocks. But I think this gradient effect would be noticed and effective from far away (across a room) but not nearly so obvious when you were close up looking at the blocks. Then you would only really see the fabric right around the block.

In the example above, each block is surrounded by the same fabric. My next thought was what if the colour changes didn't line up with the blocks? Something like this:
I have to decide before I can go any further. (Decide, and find fabric in the right shades of grey.)

Back to the title of this post...each block has 24 pieces. The sashing around the block is 24 pieces. So there is just as much sewing in the sashing as the blocks. And then you I have to sew the squares and crosses too. So I'm not quite half way. But certainly the hard part is done. Once I decide which way to go I can make the pieces in bulk and just sew sew sew.

Since I'm not sure which way to go on the squares and crosses, I plan to just sash the blocks and not worry about putting them together yet. The only sad part about moving forward is that my blocks will no longer fit in my binder. I've gotten attached to my binder of blocks!


  1. This is going to be the most stunning quilt! The mask... oh, my! That is just perfect! I was showing your photos to my husband, and he likes the gradient. (He quilts just a bit and is ready to get a little more serious.) I like it both with and without the gradient, so I think you've got a winner no matter what you do. Fantastic work, and congrats on finishing all the blocks!


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