Around the Block designed by Debbie Mumm
This year we are going to try something a little different with Block of the Month. Instead of entering your blocks into a winner-take-all drawing, you will keep your blocks and enter for a fabric drawing (one entry per person, and you must present your blocks to enter). The finished quilts will be a special exhibit in the 2014 Quilt Show.
Go to the free patterns section of debbiemumm.com and download a copy of the pattern, which is her 2010 Block of the Month Project. Here is the link: www.debbiemumm.com/Projects/QuiltBlocks/2010. Print the pattern in black and white if you can. We will be working with a Black & White copy of the pattern to add an element of mystery to what your quilt will look like when it is assembled. I have a few copies of the pattern for those without internet access, which can be obtained at the BOM table while supplies last.
Everyone will keep their own blocks. Bring your completed blocks to the BOM table each month according to the schedule below. Show the completed blocks and you will qualify to put your name in for that meeting’s BOM fabric drawing. Then, check the BOM display for the next month’s blocks and tips for construction.
The fabric requirements page of the pattern lists several fabric colors, but ignore the specific colors and choose your own. However, it is necessary to keep the colors dark or light as indicated on the original pattern. Choose 17 fabrics that you like together. You will need some fabrics for the borders as well as the blocks. I suggest pasting a piece of each fabric to the fabric requirements and cutting instructions page of the pattern. I challenged myself to use only fabric I had in my stash, but this is a great excuse to shop for new fabric!
The quilt has 4 different star blocks and 1 center block. The 4 blocks are made with 1 light on dark and 1 dark on light. The blocks finish to 12 ½ inches according to the pattern or you can reduce or enlarge the block size if you wish.
There are 7 borders. The first border is pieced and completes the design of the quilt top. You can eliminate some of the borders if you don’t want to add all of them. I used fabrics from the blocks in the borders, except for one border and didn’t follow the directions for the order of fabrics that is suggested in the pattern because it didn’t look good on my quilt. You can also use your discretion here and choose what looks nice on your quilt.
Remember to credit Debbie Mumm for the design on your quilt label. Most of all, have fun!
Tips for making “Around the Block”
I found the instructions to be well illustrated and easy to follow with the exception of the half square triangle units being labeled as quick corner triangle units.
Half square triangles / Quick corner triangle units: Note that instructions read in most instances quick corner triangle units, when they are half square triangle units. For example, Box Star step 3 and 4 are quick corner triangle units, but step 5 indicates you are making a quick corner triangle unit, but it is a half square triangle unit.
I found it easier to cut some additional 3 inch squares, sew them and square them up to 2 ½ inches for the half square triangles. I had 40 extra 2 ½ inch squares when I finished the project, so you may want to cut a few less. You will also need a little extra fabric so that you can cut some 3 inch squares to replace the 2 ½ in squares. This occurred in the following fabrics; A, B, G (cut four 3 ½ inch squares) J, L, N, O, P & Q.
These are the setting triangles for the pieced blocks, so keep that in mind when selecting those fabrics.
You may want to wait until you piece your quilt top to decide on the fabric to use for your quilt borders. I cut the first border fabric when I was cutting the fabric for the squares. I am glad I only cut the first border, because I did not end up using that fabric in any of the borders. As I laid out the fabrics under consideration for my borders, I discovered that the order suggested by the pattern was not going to enhance my quilt top, so I changed the fabric selection to others in the quilt, then added one additional fabric that I thought enhanced the border design.
Good luck. If you have any questions, please email me at email@example.com or see me at the Block of the Month table at the next meeting.