Monday, March 21, 2011

BOW #40 Pinwheel

Pinwheel is just, well, a fun block. It looks like childhood, playgrounds, summer days....It's easy to do, using our old friend the Half Square Triangle.

I'm not sure that a 12" block is the best size for this particular block, but that's our standard size in this series, so I'll give that to you--as well as a 6" finished. (It's very easy to figure whichever size you want.)

For a 12" finished Pinwheel, you'll need:
(4) 6-1/2" HSTs (Half Square Triangles), light and dark (So, you'll start with 6-7/8" squares)

That's it, just 4 HSTs.

For a 6" finished Pinwheel, you'll need:
(4) 3-1/2" HSTs, light and dark (Start with 3-7/8" squares

Arrange the 4 HSTs so they "spin" in the middle.  (To get the points to meet in the center, it's especially important that you do an accurate 1/4"--or, rather, scant 1/4" seam.)  Also note that you can have them spin in two different directions, depending on how you "tip" the HSTs, so if you're making multiple Pinwheels, make sure you spin them all the same direction--unless you want them to spin in different directions.

Rows of Pinwheels make wonderful, playful borders, both inside and outside.  They're perfectly splendid on baby and children's quilts.    You can make quilts that are all Pinwheels, or alternate with plain blocks, or with other 4-patch blocks.

Can you find the 4-patches in this one? They just "fade into" the design!

Monday, March 14, 2011

BOW #39 Monkey Wrench

Monkey Wrench is another block on a nine-patch grid, and easy to make.  It's a class block, with a classic look; you'll see if often in old quilts.

For a 12" finished block you'll need:
(1) 4-1/2" square light
(4) 4-1./2"  light/dark Half Square Triangles (so, you'll start with 4-7/8" squares, cut in half diagonally)
(4) 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" rectangles light
(4) 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" rectangles dark

Sew a light 2-1./2" x 4-1/2" to a dark 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" rectangle along the long edge; square up to 4-1/2".  Repeat to make a total of 4 of these units.

Arrange the pieces into the block:

The Monkey Wrench is a grand old block, and you can make a quilt with just this block:

Or, you can alternate it with any other block that is built on a nine-patch grid:

This is a great one to play with in Bock Fab.  Have fun!

Monday, March 7, 2011

BOW #38 Shoo Fly

Shoo Fly is another block made of simple shapes that we've already visited:  squares and half square triangles (HSTs).

For a 12" finished block you'll need:
(4) 4-1/2" light squares
(1) 4-1/2" dark squares
(4) 4-1/2" HSTs, light and dark (You know the drill, start with 4-7/8" squares, cut in half diagonally, etc)

Arrange as below; couldn't be easier, right?

Rotating this block doesn't give you different designs because it's bi-directionally symmetrical: no matter which way you turn it, it shows the same face on all sides.  But it is a fun one for diagonal set, and setting with alternate blocks.  A few examples are below; what else can you put together in Bock Fab?