Thursday, 18 February 2016

February Block Lotto

This month we will be starting with an easy improv block to get our creativity going! As such, there aren't too many measurements here, and the block itself comes together really quickly.

Our colour palette is a background of very light grey, or low-volume grey+white fabric (think of the light grey Victoria sky!) with pops of bright citrusy orange. You can use solids, prints, tone-on-tones, in any combination you like. If you do not have any light grey, but you have a very light neutral/low-volume print, you can substitute that if you like. If you don't have any orange, an intense yellow, or an orange-y red would do. 

Start by cutting one 8" square of your light grey background fabric, and 2 strips of your orange, to insert into the block. You can cut your strips any width, I used strips about  1 1/4" to 2 1/2" wide. This is part of the improv, so vary them as much as you like for each block you sew. You could even make them slightly wonky, so they are narrower at one end than the other.

Cut up your grey square as shown in the diagram above. You want to make sure the point of the bottom "house shape" you create is at least 1/2" from the top of your square so that you don't lose any points. Other than that, there are no rules. Make your cuts as steep, shallow, symmetrical or wonky as you like. The point where they intersect doesn't have to be in the centre of the block. IF YOU USE SOLID GREY: it might be helpful to have your pieces lined up like the picture above by your sewing machine, so you don't get confused about how your block goes back together!

Sew on your orange strips of fabric, and trim them to line up with the edges of the grey fabric. Then sew on the right hand top corner grey fabric, and lastly, add the remaining grey triangle.

Press all your seams to the orange, so they don't show through. Trim your final block to 7" wide. You should also square up the bottom and top edges, but you don't have to make your finished block a square. Depending on the width of your orange strips, each block you make will be slightly taller or shorter. This is the goal of improv! The finished blocks will be sewn into strips, and they do not have to line up with anything. The variation is what is going to make the finished quilt dynamic and interesting.

Here are a few blocks I threw together this afternoon to write up this post. You can see that they are all a little different, some are taller, some shorter, but they are all clearly sisters. I encourage you to play around with this block and make a few with some different angles or widths of orange strips. If you feel really brave, you could put your ruler in the cupboard till its time to square up and free-hand the whole thing with your rotary cutter or scissors.

Bring your blocks with you to the MARCH 17, 2016 meeting. I can't wait to see them :)

This months block was inspired by the MQG February 2016 Quilt of the Month, "Rally" by Melanie Tuazon. If you are a member of the MQG Victoria, then you are also a member of the larger MQG and you can login online on their website in order to download the original pattern here. This includes instructions for laying out a whole quilt with negative space into a larger chevron pattern, which might be interesting to whoever wins the lotto! 


  1. Gabrielle,

    This is SUCH FUN! Like potato chips, one is just not enough. I especially appreciate that you tweaked this block to standardize the width but not the length!

    1. I am so glad you are enjoying it Ruth!

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  2. Love it: "like potato chips, one is not enough". Great block Gabrielle!