Freeform Block of the Month – Month 4

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This is part four of a series on the Freeform Block of the Month. Click here to read the intro and parts one, two, and three.

Freeform Block of the Month, designed by Jean Nolte

Freeform, designed by Jean Nolte

It’s a new year and I’m still going strong on my Freeform Block of the Month project! I wasn’t able to get my blocks sewn yet, but thanks to a few design decisions I’ve made I should be able to get them done pretty quickly, hopefully before the next packet of fabric arrives. I went pretty far off script (off pattern?) this month, going so far as to make a whole new template! Let me tell you all about it.

Just two fabrics this month!

Just two fabrics this month!

Throwback to Month 1. Notice the Compass Blocks looking like X’s rather than +’s.

Throwback to Month 1. Notice the Compass Blocks looking like X’s rather than +’s.

First, though, the fabrics from Paintbrush Studios. We got a pretty new purple print, plus our old friend, the green splatter print. Very nice! Then. So. This is where I start forging my own way, and I have to take you all the way back to the first month to explain my thought process. You may remember in the first installment that I switched the color placement in the Compass Block, which was the block with curved seams. In the first month, the original block ends up looking like a + shape, due to the color placement. I switched that up so the block made an X shape instead. Here’s what that looked like.

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So this month, the Compass Block as presented makes an X shape. But I’ve already done an X shape; I wanted to make it a + shape. I think that will be a nice strong block that will look great on the outer edge of the quilt.

Here’s what this Freeform Block of the Month block is supposed to look like this month. X shape. Mine will be + shape.

Here’s what the block is supposed to look like this month. X shape. Mine will be + shape.

But, if I switch the purple and green placement, then I would have to sew 2 green patches together with a curved seam. No thank you! If I wanted to make the color change, I’d have to make a new template that eliminates that seam. So that’s what I did. I turned the Compass Block into a Kaleidoscope Block by creating a new template, and here’s how I did it.

Tracing the A template. Make sure to trace that curved sew line, not the cut line!

Tracing the A template. Make sure to trace that curved sew line, not the cut line!

I traced the A template onto a piece of template plastic. But instead of tracing the whole thing, I traced the straight cut lines and the curved sew line. I lightly penciled in the straight sew lines, but didn’t bother with the curved cut line since I won’t be needing that. You can see better what I did when I remove the A template.

Trace only what’s needed to keep things simple.

Trace only what’s needed to keep things simple.

Next, I traced the B template on the same piece of template plastic, aligning the curved sew lines. It’s important to align these as well as possible to get the most accurate new template.

Align the sew lines to make the new template.

Align the sew lines to make the new template.

Don’t mind the shadows cast by the sew lines in my photo, I made sure that the lines are perfectly matching though it’s tricky to tell with all these clear items piled on top of one another. It’s easy in person. Once you get the sew lines perfectly aligned, just trace the straight cut lines of the B template to complete the new template.

Brand new template!

Brand new template!

And there you have it! I’m ready to cut the green fabric with my new template! I didn’t mark the grain line on the template, but I made sure that the short straight lines that meet in a right angle run parallel to the straight or cross grain as I cut. I was able to get these new patches cut from 6” wide strips as outlined in the instructions.

make sure the new template aligns with the C patch!

Make sure the new template aligns with the C patch!

I checked my new template against the C patch it will have to join to by aligning the sew lines, and it’s perfect. So I went ahead and cut out all my patches.

Ready for chain piecing.

Ready for chain piecing.

I think I can chain piece these patches pretty quickly, now that I’ve eliminated that curved seam. So you’ll have to wait until next month to see how they look on the design wall with all the other blocks, but I’m pretty sure I can knock them out before the next batch of fabric arrives. If anyone needs me, I’ll be stitching these blocks and having a great time doing it!

Happy Quilting!
Gigi

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