Favorite Sweater

I have had a crazy couple of weeks, let me tell you. Technology has been letting me down. First my laptop went loco, and then my nearly-new iPhone met a watery death. Therefore, I’ve had a couple of weeks of limited interaction with the interworld. It is actually kind of interesting to turn things off once and while, don’t you think? As I write this, the AC is on the fritz and it’s 90 out. My war with The Machines is clearly not over.

But it means I have many things to talk about and catch up on. Let's start with the third block that I have done for my Patchwork City BOM with The Intrepid Thread.  The block is called Favorite Sweater and it's a really fun block to make, with six fabrics and a chevron stripe effect.

I am mixing in some of my stash fabrics with those supplied by IT, not because their Cotton & Steel choices aren't lovely - they are! - but rather to achieve my own personal vision of the Westside Quilt, which includes some city themed fabrics.  For the best effect on this 8 inch block with smallish stripes, I felt some small-scale prints would be best, so I chose two of the BOM prints and four of my own.

I know I started this BOM thinking that I was going to find it really difficult because I have not done a lot of intricate patchwork piecing before, but the truth is I am finding it to be incredibly enjoyable. I'm still trying to get my head around the concept of spending HOURS on just one block (okay, I'm slow - I'm learning!) but the results are really worth it.

The block construction for Favorite Sweater is simple, as long as you pay attention! I probably spent at least an hour auditioning fabrics.  I know that I am making it difficult for myself by adding in extras from my stash. I'm stuck in the middle - I can't just surrender to the fabric fate which arrives in my mailbox every month - nor can I plan ahead as to what to pull from my stash, because I don't know what the mystery parcel will contain (and what will pair nicely with it). But I guess any quilter loves playing with fabrics and auditioning combinations, so who's complaining?

There are no templates involved, so it’s just a case of cutting out your 12 strips of fabric in the correct sizes.  You then lay the strips out in order, offsetting each strip from the one below it by an inch. One stack leans to the left and one to the right. 

I had to think carefully here about the directional fabrics, so that once I cut and reassembled later on, everything was pointing in the right direction. It turns out the right thing to do is to have everything facing in the same direction (not like in this photo, where I have my triangles reversed on the top and bottom fabrics).

Once the strips are sewn together, they are cut at angles and then placed back together. If I had to give you one piece of advice for this block, it’s to pin the heck out of your seams to make sure your stripes line up together. I am a person that will avoid pins as much as possible. As you can see, I did not play to form on this occasion.

I have to say that my block came up small again.A perfect 8.5 inches tall and a little over 8.25 inches wide. I was so careful about my seams as well! I even used a quarter inch foot with a guide and sewed just scant of it to be safe (even though Elizabeth dictates a regular 1/4 seam in the book). I am not going to worry about it, there is sashing between the blocks and the variations are all less than 1/4 inch, so the quilting fairies will help me make it work.

Overall I loved making this block and I could probably do a whole quilt of them!

Next block in this BOM is the River Walk block.