Saturday, January 28, 2023

Not Quite Twins

My only sewing this month has been this block. 
I think it came out pretty well.  It's a 12" block.

I based the block on this pattern and altered it somewhat,

  to recreate this antique block from Lizzy.
That brown frame around the diamond and two central squares fascinated me.  The finished block adds up to much more than its parts, composed of five squares, 20 half-square triangles, and 12 flying geese.  I don't know the block's name but it makes me think of stylized search lights.  After studying it a bit and looking through Judy Hopkins's book, 501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks, I realized that the block was based on an 8-unit grid, which made the recreation of the block so much simpler.  It was easy to calculate the size of the squares from the pattern.

When I finished the block I though, Oh, twins! 
But no, they're more like older sister and  younger sister.  Younger sister was made perhaps a hundred years ago and is smaller, finishing at about 11".

Lizzy's block was on top of my blue sampler blocks when I realized the center was the same format as most of the other blue blocks, with a square in the center, either on-point or horizontal, surrounded by a square or two in the opposite position.  Some of these blocks are also based on an 8-unit grid; others on a 6-unit grid.
I'm asking myself two questions at this point:
First, could I mix brown blocks with the blue ones?
Second, would I dare use an antique block in a quilt that will get washed and dried at least once in its life?  It's a well-made block with good, sturdy fabric, but . . . .

I have five more blue blocks already made.  And I'm currently thinking of sashing and borders in an old-style pink fabric.  (Or not.)  Hmmmm.  The blocks are too busy to use a fabric with a busy pattern.

I hope you've had a more productive January than I have!



  1. That's a sweet little 11" block. I'd be tempted to frame it with something so it would come out to 12" and use it. I do like all your blue blocks together - such a fun array of similar blocks. It's enjoyable to compare each one.
    I don't have a whole lot to show for January but a quilt in the hoop and 12 wheel blocks. But, I do some stitching almost every day.
    I think it's because I've been using some of my normal sewing time in other ways like studying or cooking or genealogy
    . We've eaten some great desserts this month.

    1. I was thinking exactly the same thing, Robin. Maybe I will after I test the color to be sure the color doesn't bleed. Maybe....
      I think what you've done for January is amazing. I especially like your wheel blocks.
      Making desserts is a good way to spend time, in my opinion!

  2. Your new block looks great with all the others. I like Robin's suggestion of framing the antique block and displaying it in your sewing room. This was probably my least productive January in many years, hopefully February will see an improvement.

    1. Thank you, Pat. I don't really display quilts on my walls so I probably wouldn't use the block that way. But it is beautiful enough to frame!
      I'm sorry you had a less productive January. I hope February improves for you -- and the rest of us, too.

  3. Yes, blue and brown are great together! I would put the antique block in there since it seems sturdy. It will add something special. I like the block groupings and mixing 6-patch and 8-patch seems fine, too. What a great project, even if January wasn't as productive on the whole. I actually didn't meet all my goals, but I was more productive than any time in the last two years, so I'm happy anyway!

    1. Thanks for your thoughts on the blue and brown together and on whether to use the antique block or not.
      I'm so glad to know you're feeling well enough to cut and sew fabric again, Susan. It seems like just doing that is a great goal. I'm sure you'll meet all your goals one of these months soon.

  4. Excellent job on the recreation!
    I definitely think blue and brown work well together. If the fabrics on the vintage block seem strong, I'd work it into the project. If not, display it on its own somehow.
    My productivity this month has all been small stuff, but since I do not set monthly goals, I just feel great to have accomplished as much as I did. :)

    1. Thank you, Janet.  I'm going to test for color fastness before making a decision about whether to use the block.  Even if I don't use the original in the quilt, I'll probably use the brown I made.  I was thinking three brown blocks with the blues.  We'll see....
      I thought you had a really productive January!  You made some beautiful pieces.

  5. Your version of the antique block is wonderful. You do such immaculate precise work. Very impressive.

    When I worked w the brown block from Lori/ HQ the brown dye ran badly just being steam ironed, so best not to use the old block with other blocks. Tho my experience is the old never used blocks hold up quite while being washed. But I might put the brown block in w the blues---it is always the quirky little detail or mismatch that makes us love old quilts.


    1. Thanks, Lizzy. The block I made isn't really perfect but I'm glad it looks good in the photo.
      I remember you commenting that the brown block from Lori bled. Before I make a decision how to use the one you sent I'm going to test it for color fastness, just with a dab or two of water on the brown, just to see. And then I'll decide whether to put it in with the others or not. If I were to use it, I'd want to place it carefully, some part of the quilt where it would get less wear. I have heard corners and edges don't get as much wear but I don't believe that's true. But then I certainly wouldn't want to put an antique block in the center of a quilt, either.


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