Monday, May 15, 2006

Final Contest Block - Letha's Electric Fan

I decided to make one more block for the Marshfield Faire Peggy Beals Block Contest as long as I had the foundations needlepunched for Letha's Electric Fan (See EQ5 version here). It actually went quite well, my experience with Mariner Compass blocks holding me in good stead. I also made quick decisions about fabric selections - quick not being my forte, but happening none the less. Maybe it was because I wasn't feeling well today so didn't have the energy or tolerance for a lot of fussing, or maybe it was because I decided beforehand to use 1930's reproduction fabrics chosen from a couple of medleys. Thirties fabrics tend to blend together, not showing much contrast from one to the other because of the size of the prints and the many colors included in each.

Here is the fabric that I thought I'd use for the center circle. I thought it worked well with the yellow I wanted to use for the blades. It served as a guide to pick the 5 different prints used in the arc around the fan blades. I wasn't terribly surprised, though, that I didn't think it worked at all once the block was together. This is something I learned from Judy Mathieson in her Mariner's Compass class - to leave the selection of the center circle to last and audition various fabrics through the hole remaining after the block is sewn together. From the medley packs there looked to be several good choices, at least when all was laid flat on the table for auditioning. I decided I could get a better feel if I pinned the block to my design wall and viewed the choices from a distance. Suddenly, those good choices weren't working either. Normally I would not repeat a fabric from the arc in the center, but decided to try that anyway. The green seemed the winner, so I cut a circle, ironed the edges over a circle of freezer paper, positioned with a little glue baste and hand appliqued it in place.

The background is unbleached muslin, very appropriate for a block using 1930's fabric, and the outside edges of those pieces were cut with extra seam allowance. Sewing curves always leaves room for not quite square edges so the extra allowed me wiggle room for squaring up. To my delight, the block laid quite flat. Oh, yes, and you might notice that my blades spin the opposite direction from the EQ version. I over-thought the needlepunching process - erroneously thinking I had to reverse my pattern before punching. Not so when using freezer paper.

1 comment:

margaret said...

So fun, the fan! you can almost hear it whirring ...