by Lesly / Thursday, 25 February 2010 /
I never fail to be amazed by how quickly time flies by. Can you believe we're in the last week of February? And I have done only one of the three bee blocks I have for this month. In part, this dereliction of duty is due to the inordinate amount of time I've taken to decide on a block for March, which is my month for the Modern Tradition bee. Joan had a great post the other day about how hard it is to choose a block. You want it to be simple enough for all skill levels, but still challenging enough to be interesting. And, most of all, you want it to have scope for the participants' creativity while still ending up with a block you want. And when a bee has a theme, as this one does, it adds yet another constraint. The MTQB has a loose theme, which is using modern fabrics with traditional blocks. This is the first time I've chosen a block for a quilting bee, so I'm feeling the pressure!
So, without further ado, here is the big reveal for March at the Modern Tradition Quilting Bee. The block is called Granny's Flower Garden, and it's a traditional block from Marcia Hohn's amazing trove of quilt patterns.
It's a 14" block, and I will be asking for a couple of monochromatic blocks in yellow, orange, pink and red, each with a green centre. The background is that wonderful Essex linen/cotton blend - I bought it from Jackie and I love it sooo much!
The block in the pattern is strip-pieced using 2.5" strips, but I am encouraging the bee to approach this block loosely, and think of it in the different ways that this block can be drafted. I've made some sample blocks that show just a few examples of how that can be accomplished.
This scrappy red block is the true to the pattern, with strips of red fabric. It looks okay, but I like the others better.
This yellow block uses only two colours, with an inner ring around the centre square. This means using some strips and some squares.
The pink one is the result when the pattern is drafted as a set of squares only, no strips.
Finally, the orange one is the most modern, because I made a biggish improv panel and cut two 4.5 x 6.5" pieces from it, then filled in the block with 2.5" squares.
(Seems like I only ever take photos in the backyard with blocks on various fences, clotheslines and bushes - folks must be getting so tired of this, but my inside photos never seem to turn out properly.)
So that's what we'll have for March - I hope everyone in the bee likes it! What would you do to jazz up this block? Please post suggestions in the comments box!