January 31, 2017

January Blocks Roundup of 52 Weeks with The Quilter’s Planner


January Quilter's Planner Blocks | Shannon Fraser Designs | Modern Quilting | Free Quilting Block Patterns

I love challenging myself with new techniques and some of the quilt blocks featured this past month in the 52 Weeks with the Quilter’s Planner sew along were no exception.

First up was the Unnamed block designed by Jane Armstrong of Jolly and Delilah. I loved the movement of one side of the block balanced by the open space of the other. The trickiest part was squaring up the block to ensure I had the central line positioned correctly and didn’t lop off the points.

January Quilter's Planner Blocks | Shannon Fraser Designs | Modern Quilting | Free Quilting Block Patterns

My favourite to piece was Doves in the Daylight by Michelle Bartholomew of Michelle Bartholomew Handmade Quilts. Side bar – if you don’t already subscribe to Michelle’s monthly newsletter…what are you waiting for?! I particularly love the quilter’s spotlight she features. So fun! Anyways, I digress. This block has tiny squares too, and you have to square several HSTs, but as I started laying it out it just made me happy. And anytime I’m happy piecing a block is a win in my books!

Doves in the Daylight | January Quilter's Planner Blocks | Shannon Fraser Designs | Modern Quilting | Free Quilting Block Patterns

I had to walk away and think about the Sand Dollar Star block a few times. I was having a mental block reading the pattern as to how the paper pieced circle and outer border all came together. Seriously, I was so confused. I kept saying to myself “it can’t be this difficult”! I got there in the end. And when I did, it was a total “duh” moment. Ever have those while quilting? I felt a little silly for a moment, and then brushed it off saying “I’m allowed my quilty confused moments” 😉

Sand Dollar Star | January Quilter's Planner Blocks | Shannon Fraser Designs | Modern Quilting | Free Quilting Block Patterns

The Pacific Sunset block designed by Andrea Bertone of The Sewing Fools looked really cool. I particularly liked the solid colours featured in the planner. Since I’ve been sticking with my scraps, I didn’t have the option of using only solids, which would have been my preference. These blocks are tiny. I mean teeny tiny! The little squares are only 1.5”.

Pacific Sunset | January Quilter's Planner Blocks | Shannon Fraser Designs | Modern Quilting | Free Quilting Block Patterns

As such, I feel the prints kind of get lost along the way. The pattern shows a lot more movement/ delineation between the various coloured blocks. Mine didn’t seem to show this as clearly. I triple checked the cutting instructions and I’m not sure where it wrong. But I found that when I started adding the white panels in between the rows, I ended up losing the floating white blocks at the bottom. By the time I had to trim her up, I was lopping off a good chunk of that white. Not sure what happened there. 

Pacific Sunset | January Quilter's Planner Blocks | Shannon Fraser Designs | Modern Quilting | Free Quilting Block Patterns

I noticed on Instagram a few of you had some issues as well. So, if you decide to tackle this one – beware!! What I did love was joining the block by column instead of by rows. I almost felt like I was rebelling against the standard quilt block making approach 😉 Yes, this is what I think of while stitching away!

Last but not least is the Chronograph block designed by Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs. The first time I made hourglass blocks was for my Playtime quilt, so I was happy to revisit them here. 

Hourglass Blocks | January Quilter's Planner Blocks | Shannon Fraser Designs | Modern Quilting | Free Quilting Block Patterns

And I quite liked the checkered effect of the solid prints that are placed between the hourglass blocks. For some reason the block reminded me of the game Snakes and Ladder?!

Chronograph | January Quilter's Planner Blocks | Shannon Fraser Designs | Modern Quilting | Free Quilting Block Patterns

In keeping with my 2017 goal of working my stash off, I’ve selected my Alchemy scraps leftover from the Whimsical Quilt I made back in 2015, some indigo linen and white fabric to tackle these blocks. I absolutely love the Alchemy line from Camelot Fabrics and I’m keeping my fingers crossed I have enough to see me through this challenge; otherwise, I’m going to have do some fabric scrap bin digging to see what else I can use up J

If you don’t have a copy of The Quilter’s Planner, you can still follow along and tackle the 52 blocks by clicking here.  Angie from Gnome Angels is hosting this year-long sew along and, if you need a little more motivation, there are plenty of prizes to win too! 

January Quilter's Planner Blocks | Shannon Fraser Designs | Modern Quilting | Free Quilting Block Patterns

I’m constantly checking out the #52weekswiththequiltersplanner on Instagram to see everyone’s interpretation. I love how diverse our use of fabrics end up being. So fun to see! If you decide to tackle these blocks, do tag me so I can see what fabrics you end up using!!

Now to see what quilty challenges February has in store!

Happy quilting!

xo

Shannon 

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2 comments:

  1. I love your blocks Shannon! I had to smile because I have run into the exact same challenges you did while making these blocks. Oh and you are so right - Cheryl's block does remind me of Snakes & Ladders! :-)

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    1. Thank you, Izzy!! That makes me feel so much better about the challenges I encountered…I was starting to think I was losing my pattern reading capabilities ;)

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