Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Test Blocks

Laurie made a comment that she finds it hard to cut into batiks. And if it weren't for her comment - I probably would have stuck that great pile of batiks Susan sent to me on my shelf - to "age" and be pulled out occassionally for fabric petting. Oh the possibilities of uncut fabric! But then again, with Laurie's "warning" fresh in my mind I decided that I must cut right into that fabric and get the "hard" part over with! Ta-Da!!!

One thing about batiks - many have great designs... so I didn't exactly want to start out by cutting those fabrics down into strips for the strip bins - to be used "someday". Nope, I wanted to find a pattern that would showcase their beauty, where I could use them ALL and have a nice project to work on here and there (believe me, here and there does add up!) . Keep in mind - the fabric sizes varied - a few fat quarters, and a bunch of long strips anywhere from 4.5" - 9" by the width of the fabric. Hummm, what to do? What to do?

I've been wanting to make some heart blocks and just so happened to have the cutting directions for 2 different heart blocks on my table. So, last night I made "test" blocks of each size just to see how they made up. 8" and 6" finished. I like to make a test block or 2 before cutting all my fabrics up - sometimes I really don't like how a test block goes together. One block - no harm done, right? Quick lesson. Not s0 if you cut enough fabric for an entire quilt and then learn you don't really like working on a particular block. A test block is well worth the little bit of extra effort!!! DH and I both liked the 6" best - and the 6" block makes much better use of the fabric seeing that it is just 3.5" X 6.5" batik bricks with no other pieces to cut (other than background), doesn't "cut" up the batik design with seams and is an easy block! And, since 2 different heart halfs are joined together - it won't matter that each fabric yielded a different number of bricks - it is a mix and match type block. With a bit of careful cutting - altogether I managed to get enough bricks to make 67 of those 6" heart blocks!!! The background will be a pale solid yellow I have on hand.
Did you notice the "bonus triangle squares in the test block photo? The 6" block gives me those itty bitty tiny 1" squares - I won't make anymore of those because honestly - I think they are too small to justify the thread usage! But - the block also gives me a larger, more usable unit as well (the medium sized one). The largest one is from the 8" block.

And look there - I have a great little collection of new scraps from cutting the bricks. Little scraps mind you - I used almost every bit of the fabric in cutting the bricks. Still - enough scraps to include in a bars quilt or string stars, or postage stamp, or, or, or??? I love scraps! Not sure when these heart blocks will be done, but the hard part is over, right? Pattern selected and fabrics cut. Yippee!!!


Darcie said...

Your "bricks" look delightful, Evelyn! And as I always say: "It's only fabric!"

Lindah said...

67 heart blocks! Wow, you have a lotta heart! --in more ways than one! :-D
Those are beautiful batiks. They will make a beautiful heart quilt.
I'm afraid of shelves. When I put things away on the shelves----well, sight unseen means soon forgotten! I'm with you; cut into it right away.


Laurie said...

I am glad I could motivate you to cut into those batiks...maybe I'll make that my March project...too much travel for this month! You go girl!!!

Becky said...

Could you post the directions for the hearts? That is a great block to use for scraps.

Susan said...

If I'd known you would enjoy the batiks so much, I would have sent even more. When I get back to the Dakotas this summer, I'll see what I can find in the storeroom to share with you!kkmndjn