Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sample Blocks

In my quilting, I'm particularly drawn to the old-fashioned, traditional blocks that have been used for years and years. I think I could spend all the rest of my quilting days working with these old patterns and never get bored.

I get teased about the "fancy-schmancy" potholders I make. "Why do you spend so much time making pieced blocks just for potholders?" For one thing, I simply enjoy looking at the potholders when I use them. But most of all, it gives me a chance to "test drive" different blocks to see if I might like to use them in a quilt.

I recently started these small sample blocks to hang as decoration on the pegs of a drying rack in our bathroom.

The little baskets hanging on the pegs right now will come down as soon as I get my sample blocks finished and choose my favorite four of the six to use.

Experimenting with the six different pattern blocks taught me how they actually look when constructed out of fabric, and how easy (or not) they are to piece.

The above block fell into the category of "or not." I fought with that center diagonal strip of pieced triangles longer than I should have and the (supposed to be) matching points are still pret-ty bad. What if I had cut out all the fabric to make a baby quilt out of this particular block before doing a sample? I'd have either gone crazy, committed hari kari, or wasted a lot of fabric. No way I would have struggled through the construction of forty or fifty of those little recalcitrant buggers.

I may never actually use any of the above block patterns in a quilt, but who cares? I still get a lot of enjoyment in playing with the samples. And I'll definitely keep making "fancy-schmancy" potholders!


RuthieJ said...

You are a quilting marvel! I would love to make some quilted hot pads for my kitchen. What do you use for a durable and heat-proof batting?

Mama Pea said...

Many thanks, Ruthie! The batting I've always used is two layers of Warm & Natural. That's not going to be fire-proof . . . but I try real hard not to set my potholders on fire! And it is quite sufficient for not letting any heat through to my hands.

RuthieJ said...

Thanks Mama Pea. I'll look for that on my next visit to the quilt store. I'm guessing a small batt could produce quite a few potholders and placemats, right?