This week is Cotton Boll. When I first read the instructions for this one was I was a little confused. You had to cut rectangles and sew triangles onto the sides of them, or use the template to cut out the shape. I thought a template sounded like too much fuss, so I was going to go with the rectangle option, but then it didn't say how to place the triangles against the rectangles.
Lucky for me, Barbara Brackman is based in the US, so her 'Saturday' block actually comes out very early Sunday morning our time. By this time, a few of the other bloggers who I follow have already made theirs so I get to see some of the trials and tribulations before I even start.
Mary at Quilting in OZ made the block a different way. She cut four squares instead of rectangles, attached squares into the corners, instead of triangles, and then trimmed the underneath. I decided this was a much easier method, so off I went to find my fabric.
This week's fabric is from my stash, but it's the fabrics I selected to try my hand at making a hexagon flower. Mary's method requires more fabric than Barbara's because you cut off excess. Mary used 8 x 3" blocks. The yellow fabric I wanted to use was left over from something my mum made once when she visited, and I also had used some of it for leaves on my music quilt. Only a small portion of a fat 1/4 was left. And not enough to get 8 x 3" squares out of it :( I was going to have to do the block Barbara's way after all, which took a little more brain power.
Then I thought about the maths, and I thought about the maths another way, and then I thought about the improvisation that is "traditional" in quilting... and I decided I didn't need to have 8 x 3" squares exactly! Once the quilt was made, no one was going to know how big those triangles on the corners were supposed to be. So I measured up my fabric and discovered I could get 8 x 2 1/2" squares. That would do me just nicely!
As for the story behind this week's block, I'll quote Jeanne from Spiral directly because she says it better than I could:
Barbara Brackman's article this week refers to the shortage of cotton fabric in the South during the Civil War. Not that there's a shortage of fabric hereabouts :)
Here is a picture of the hexie and the civil war block together. I love how the two work together. I don't think I've actually made a quilt with the same fabric arranged in different shapes. I want to do that now!