Sunday, April 1, 2012

April showers? Heck no!

April is my month for do. Good Stitches!  I'm keeping it simple with a string block.  Ashley has a great tutorial over on her blog.  We will be using a solid white, 1/2" string (finished) with warm colors on one side and cool colors on the other.
photo courtesy of the fabulous JeniB
 Jeni has a fantastic post about warm vs cool - it's part of a super-amazing series on the Art of Choosing.    Go check it out! 

Even though my month is April, for colors think May flowers and summer fun.  I found my initial inspiration at Pink Castle Fabrics:
If you can look at these beauties and not be inspired, you might want to seek immediate medical attention.  (Just sayin'!)

Out of good ole fashioned laziness, I made a few modifications to Ashely's method when I made my blocks.  I started with a pack of super-cheapo drawing paper (I got an entire pack at the dollar store!  WHAT!?!) but any sort of tear-able paper will work.  Here's how I did it.

Trim paper to 12" square.
Line up the 1/4" mark on your ruler with opposite corners of the square and draw a line.
Repeat on the other side of the corners so that you have two lines, 1/2" apart (bold lines in the example below).  Then go nuts and draw as many parallel lines as your heart desires.  (Use variable strip widths but keep seams wonk, yo!)
Now you can breathe a sigh of relief...the hardest part is over.

I started with my white string piece covering those big bold lines above - my strip was about 1.5" wide so I didn't have to be too precise with my positioning...this is the lazy way, remember?  Since I didn't even want to bother with straight lines when I cut my fabric, I used standard paper piecing methods to sew my block together, trimming seam allowances as I went.  (Ashley's paper was on the bottom during sewing and she used the edges of her fabric as stitch guides, but mine was on the top so I could use my drawn lines as stitch guides.  Like this:)
Since my seam allowances were not uniform, I trimmed them down after I finished each seam.  If you need more info on this, let me know and I'll find a link or take some more photos...).  Just keep adding strips until the paper square is covered.  Flip the block so that your paper is on top and trim the excess fabric using the paper as a guide.  Go ahead and smile at your happy block.

I already made three!  (The fourth one is really calling my name though...)
I can't wait to see everyone's blocks and I'm already looking forward to May when I can start putting them all together!  Happy sewing Empower peeps!  I hope you have fun with this one!


  1. Love all the colours you picked! Nicely done :)

  2. Can't wait to see this one finished!

    Make sure you recruit help for the paper removal! :-) I spend much of last night pulling paper off my spiderwebs blocks.... The hardest ones were the ones I forgot to set my stitch length to super-short.


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