Today is my stop on the 318 Patchwork Patterns blog hop. If you haven’t heard of this fabulous book before, then you are in for a treat. After being out of print for many years and only available in Japanese, this collection of 318 patterns is now being republished and available in English.
During the blog hop you will see all sorts of different blocks from the book. But I took advantage of the timing of this blog hop and jumped straight for the Halloween blocks. There is something so charming about them. I chose 4 of the 6 blocks to make into my bunting.
The blocks are technically made for hand sewing but many people choose to paper piece them. However that can require some extra work because that is not technically how the blocks are designed. A little redrawing of lines and some numbering will be necessary if you want to paper piece these. (* I ended up redrawing some of the lines above so don’t follow that picture too closely.) Also, it should be noted that the blocks are presented in very small format. So you will want to enlarge the blocks. 200% I believe gives you a 6″ block. But I chose 300% which gave me about a 7.5″ block. Those pieces were still plenty small. 😉
Another nice tip is to make a map of sorts of the fabrics you plan on using for your block and color your block so that you can easily see what the tiny pieces should be once the block is all cut up. I make a little guide for myself with scraps of the fabrics and a list of what they will be used for. Then I break out the colored pencils and give myself a rough guide. And then I made four blocks!
I’m not particularly fast nor ridiculously slow…so I say that each block takes me about an evening to make. Especially if you include all the prep work of enlarging the block, drawing and numbering for paper piecing, and selecting fabrics. But the beauty of paper pieced blocks cannot be denied. They are picture perfect…with some careful attention to matching seams.
I didn’t want another wall hanging or quilt, so I decided to make something a little different and went with a decorative bunting. I used a woven interfacing to line the back of each pieced block to provide stability and then sewed them into a little “pocket” with the orange polka dot fabric. I wanted the back to be completely finished. I interspersed my pieced blocks with some fun burlap that I added raw edge appliqued letters to. A simple “BOO” says it all. Then I sewed them at evenly spaced intervals to a double fold bias tape (one package did the trick).
And tada! A holiday bunting that I will definitely use for years to come!
For me it is all in the details. A bit of hand embroidery. Carefully fussy cut fabrics lined up to match. And using just the right fabric for each little part. Oh and by the way, this fabulous line of fabric is called Witch Hazel and is available now from Riley Blake fabrics. In fact you can probably find it on sale since we are so close to halloween.