32 miniature half square triangles!?!? Oh, dear.
So far I'm very much enjoying the Summer Sampler Series quilt-along. It's quite fun to discover the challenge for the day, and lose myself in the simple task of completing one block. On Monday, the block for the Summer Sampler Series was Flower Path, which is made up of 32 half square triangles, each measuring just 2.5" before finishing. Here is Kate's layout of the pieces, to give you a visual of this 12" finished block:
Once pieced, the block looks like this:
As you can see, Kate's lovely block has a large white center, narrow blue "path" and corners filled with small square and triangle "flowers". Quite the accomplishment, for sure!
On my way home from work to tackle this block (and dinner and putting children to bed, you know the drill), my reluctance to sew with tiny pieces rose up anew. Certainly, there's skill to be gained in the process, but what if it's skill I never mean to use? I actually laughed out loud at the thought of my choosing to work with 2.5" half square triangles in some future pet project. And that's when I knew that doing the block correctly would be too much like more work for my day.
So, I gave myself permission to have fun. To cut corners. To be happier.
This block came to be in the spirit of happiness with a nod to the real block. The inner square is nap sack by Joel Dewberry, flanked by a path of herringbone also by Joel Dewberry. Add a border of measuring tape and outer corners in various yellow scraps, and... Tada!
(Note: I did consider an alternate method of creating flower path, but in the end decided that simple triangle corners were just my style).
If you should like to make this block, dubbed "happier" here are my cutting notes: inner square 6", diamond path (2) 2" x 10" and (2) 2" x 6". After adding diamond path to inner square, trim work-in-progress to 9" square. Cut (4) 2" x 9.5" borders and add to all sides. Cut (2) 5" squares in corner prints. Divide squares into half square triangles and sew to the center of each corner (remember to orient inner square on point). Square up finished block to 12.5".
Now, I don't intend to cut corners on all of the more difficult blocks, but it's likely to happen at least one more time. Lots of brave souls have made the assigned block, so you can see actual flower path creations at the Summer Sampler flickr pool. Well done, people!
In the meantime, today's block is paper-piecing! I have never properly paper-pieced before. Faith's tutorial was so excellent that I found the process neither confusing nor tedious. Here's my first completed quarter-block! I'm so glad to have learned the basics because I'd like to experiment with my own designs someday!
P.S. Along the lines of choosing "happier", I also decided yesterday to set aside my darty dress project for now (don't worry, I have dutifully saved and bookmarked all your resources!). I'm just not in the frame of mind to enjoy that challenge right now, and I'll admit that the project may not be the most sane route to sewing my first adult dress. More reasonable options include:
* sewing a dress from a pattern. Yeah, as soon as I find one I like.
* sewing a dress with stretchy fabric and just copying a favorite in my closet. See Noodlehead's Sewing With Knits Mondays to get over the fear.
* learning how to drape darts from a real person. I'll be taking some apparel sewing classes at The Sewing Summit this October. I may bring my bodice mockup and see if anyone wants to help me there!
If you're also stumped, but interested in apparel sewing, consider Deborah's online Fall Wardrobe class, which is really a "sewing with patterns" class dressed up in fall clothes. Deborah says it starts with the basics of how to choose a clothing pattern and select your size, then works through cutting it out, putting it together, and finishing--with notes in between about when to follow the instructions (and how) and when you can go off-road and do it your own way. If you've seen Deborah's book, you know she's an awesome teacher. You can read more about how the course will work right here.