Wednesday, March 2, 2011

free piecing study - march - girl + star

some of you have been asking for the next block, and i hesitated to tell you. i know some of you will just take off running (or sewing, in this case) with out waiting for a tutorial. which is fine. but...this study is not about finishing first, it's about taking the time to think through the process. to learn how to look at a block and figure out how to piece it. with these tutorials, i'm not only laying out the steps for you (which i'm sure you could figure out how to do!), but i'm wanting you to think about how to add some character along the way. when everything is straight and orderly and perfectly measured, it gets a little snoozy. when you take the time to add a little wonk, you also add visual interest. i don't want to ever make a quilt that you can look at for just a few minutes and have seen all that there is to see. that is probably why i like to use LOTS of different fabrics and even use i spy fabric. and one more way to add some visual appeal is to wonk it up a bit in the piecing.

the first block of the month, is a girl block. i know you have seen lots of these blocks out there, and they are fun!


let's start with the bottom part of the dress. notice that when i cut pieces, i tend to not make them exactly the same "measurement". i know that i will always whack the extra off, so it's just quicker.



make the hands and sleeves. just eyeball the proportions.


make a head. "wow that's a large noggin!"


look, her head is smaller. i like to make the parts a little large, and then adjust when i put it all together depending on how big i want the block to be.


ta da! all done. there are many ways to give your girl personality. a shirt and skirt, or pants instead of a dress. add some wonky angles to the dress. change up the leg angles. give her shoes, hat, or hair. i'm sure you will come up with some fun blocks!

and for block 2, a star block. there are lots of tutorials out there for wonky stars:

silly boodilly's wonky star tutorial
quiltville's maverick stars
sew take a hike's twinkle twinkle wonky star tutorial

i've seen stars with blocks in the center also.

i don't have a tutorial for stars, but here are a few pictures of a star in progress that i made a few years ago.

star making

star making

star making

little star

- remember, i like to make things larger and whack off the extra
- also remember, that with angles, you need to consider that a lot of the "point" gets used up in the seam allowance.

have fun! can't wait to see your blocks!


Molly said...

As I said before, I love her and the colors! And I love your tiny star. Now I have to make some tiny stars of my own!! Thanks!

Jilly said...

Thanks so much for this free peicing study, Sarah. I am having so much fun making the blocks, and it is really bringing some bits of fun and whimsy into my month.

susan said...

thanks for your thoughts at the beginning of this post. i will take them to heart when i go to my sewing room to play. such wonderful ideas and ways to make the blocks our own. your girl is cute and i love how they come together.
i have made wonky stars before (and love them) but have never put anything in the i think that is what i may try, also maybe mess with the proportions.
thanks again for this group. it is so much fun and is so freeing!!!

l said...

i am behind! i still need to make a heart!
i haven't touched my machine or fabric since the january block i made :(
ok enough crying...this will inspire me! thank you!

Vicki said...

Love her, her legs look like my pj's.. I might not have any PJ's tonite, LOL

Laura Lea said...

Oh this is wonderful! I've got a two year old granddaughter and another little girl on the way. I'm making plans for fabric things for them. I set up a gallery on flickr for inspiration from the free piecing group! I wanted to thank you personally. I searched to find your tutorial. Please let the other women know that they've inspired someone. I'm not the best at free piecing and run out of patience fast, but I think it would be fun to try to make my granddaughters in fabric for something. You're an inspiration!

Naomi Olson said...

Love the little lady... :)