The Sewing Place

Different sized blocks - what to do?

SingingSinger

Different sized blocks - what to do?
« on: January 16, 2021, 14:13:39 PM »
Bear with me as a newbie to the the Darkside! Before Christmas I decided to make a load of rail fence blocks to use up fabrics I had left over from my swimming pool quilt. I've also made some Churn Dash blocks following Jenny from Missouri Star's method on YouTube. I really like how these have come out and am very pleased with them.

What I'd like to do is make a quilt from this mishmash of blocks but the rail fence blocks are much smaller than the churn dash ones, and the churn dash blocks are different sizes to each other. Can this be done or is this a crazy idea?
Mostly a dressmaker with a few other crafts thrown in. Teetering on the Darkside. Owner of vintage machines Bernina 730 Record, Singer 201K and Elna Lotus SP (and Brother Innovis 350SE and Pfaff Ambition 620)

Efemera

Re: Different sized blocks - what to do?
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2021, 15:00:42 PM »
Depending on the size difference you could trim them all the same size or you could add borders to the smaller ones..it’s your quilt you can do what you want.

Pearl

Re: Different sized blocks - what to do?
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2021, 15:07:28 PM »
Do you intend to make more blocks, @SingingSinger ?  Like this kind of thing?

  (image from Keepsake Quilting)

If so, you can use sashing  to make your churn dash blocks the same size as each other and filler blocks to make your quilt in rectangular sections like this:-



It doesn't have to be this complicated a plan.  All you need is a piece of graph paper.

Looking forward to seeing what you decide to do. 

SingingSinger

Re: Different sized blocks - what to do?
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2021, 15:34:59 PM »
Do you intend to make more blocks, @SingingSinger ?  Like this kind of thing?

If so, you can use sashing  to make your churn dash blocks the same size as each other and filler blocks to make your quilt in rectangular sections like this:-

It doesn't have to be this complicated a plan.  All you need is a piece of graph paper.

Looking forward to seeing what you decide to do.

Ooooh, good idea! I would like to try some more blocks. Maybe variations on the churn dash, like Shoo Fly. And I have my January BOM although the colours are very different. I'll get the graph paper out this afternoon and play about with ideas. Thanks @Pearl   :D
Mostly a dressmaker with a few other crafts thrown in. Teetering on the Darkside. Owner of vintage machines Bernina 730 Record, Singer 201K and Elna Lotus SP (and Brother Innovis 350SE and Pfaff Ambition 620)

BrendaP

Re: Different sized blocks - what to do?
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2021, 18:10:28 PM »
Trimming the churn dash blocks down will destroy the nice points in the corners.  Better to add plain borders around them and then trim so that they are all the same size.

Using them with the rail fence blocks depends on how much difference in size there is.  It might be that three railfence = two churn dash or something similar

@Pearl 's suggestion of mixing several different blocks into one bigger design is good.  It could be an opportunity to try out several different blocks, and just fit them together as best they will go with plain squares/rectangles to fill in any gaps.  I'm sure that's how some early quilts were put together.
Brenda.  My machines are: Corona, a 1953 Singer 201K-3, Caroline, a 1940 Singer 201K-3, Thirza, 1949 Singer 221K, Azilia, 1957 Singer 201K-MK2 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.

Lowena

Re: Different sized blocks - what to do?
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2021, 19:19:03 PM »
Sashing, of various widths covers a multitude of sins  :D
Triumph of hope over experience :D

SingingSinger

Re: Different sized blocks - what to do?
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2021, 19:23:33 PM »
Thanks everyone. I've had a fun afternoon working out where to put sashing and making a filling strip of 'flying geese'. I need more blocks still but I'm liking the effect so far  :D Is there any other design like flying geese that would be good for filling in gaps?
Mostly a dressmaker with a few other crafts thrown in. Teetering on the Darkside. Owner of vintage machines Bernina 730 Record, Singer 201K and Elna Lotus SP (and Brother Innovis 350SE and Pfaff Ambition 620)

Pearl

Re: Different sized blocks - what to do?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2021, 19:42:11 PM »
You could use half square triangles or nine patches to make filling strips.

If you look at Jen Kingwell’s quilt Long Time Gone, you can see the blocks she uses to fill gaps.  You may also want to look at Katharine Guerrier’s quilts. 


Lowena

Re: Different sized blocks - what to do?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2021, 22:01:46 PM »
Rail fence blocks can be adapted for size
Triumph of hope over experience :D

SingingSinger

Re: Different sized blocks - what to do?
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2021, 16:57:54 PM »
I'm finally making some progress! I seem to need to do a lot of pondering, moving blocks around, then going away and coming back to it. Is that normal?  :D

I've joined blocks together with sashing, strips of HSTs, strips of flying geese and strips of small squares to make two wide strips about 16in by 35" and they look OK, I think. One more of these using the remaining blocks should complete the quilt top. It's hard to tell whether I'll like it but I'm learning things as I go, which is good.  :thumbsup:
Mostly a dressmaker with a few other crafts thrown in. Teetering on the Darkside. Owner of vintage machines Bernina 730 Record, Singer 201K and Elna Lotus SP (and Brother Innovis 350SE and Pfaff Ambition 620)

Flobear

Re: Different sized blocks - what to do?
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2021, 17:05:03 PM »
Yes, that's normal @SingingSinger . Has anyone suggested you photograph your layouts on a phone or other device so you can remember your various ideas? It's one of the most useful things I've learnt since being enticed to the Dark Side. Also, you can view your layout in monochrome which gives  good idea of how the intensities of colour look in your arrngements.
A sewing room full of boxes - what's not to like?

SingingSinger

Re: Different sized blocks - what to do?
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2021, 17:42:42 PM »
Thanks @Flobear :D I did this for my first (and only) quilt and it did help. Somehow I'd not thought to do it for this one but good idea and thanks for the reminder!!  :D  :thumbsup:
Mostly a dressmaker with a few other crafts thrown in. Teetering on the Darkside. Owner of vintage machines Bernina 730 Record, Singer 201K and Elna Lotus SP (and Brother Innovis 350SE and Pfaff Ambition 620)

Lowena

Re: Different sized blocks - what to do?
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2021, 17:52:12 PM »
I'm hopeless with photos as @Pearl and @Iminei will agree. :|
Just keep fiddling about until you get a layout you like.
I am sorry I can't be more help but I usually follow a published pattern.
Even after 8yrs I don't trust myself to design anything  :|
Triumph of hope over experience :D

Deafoldbat

Re: Different sized blocks - what to do?
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2021, 19:26:55 PM »
Quote
  I seem to need to do a lot of pondering, moving blocks around, then going away and coming back to it. Is that normal? 

@SingingSinger Perfectly normal. Taking pictures reduces the scale and helps you spot which colours leap out and need redistributing, and also helps if you move things then don't like it but can't remember what/where you moved.
You will still find, after it is all 'settled' and sewn together that there will be something you hadn't spotted, at which point you unpick and start again - or shrug and carry on as by that time it will probably be layered, quilted and bound!

SingingSinger

Re: Different sized blocks - what to do?
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2021, 18:08:29 PM »
I've finished the quilt top. It is a bit random and busy, rather than designed, but I kind of like it. And it's used up a lot of fabric oddments  :)

I've sandwiched it so now I just need to learn how to quilt! My first and only quilt I just stitched in the ditch around the squares but I'd like to learn how to do something a bit fancier.  :D

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« Last Edit: February 14, 2021, 18:13:17 PM by SingingSinger »
Mostly a dressmaker with a few other crafts thrown in. Teetering on the Darkside. Owner of vintage machines Bernina 730 Record, Singer 201K and Elna Lotus SP (and Brother Innovis 350SE and Pfaff Ambition 620)