Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A return to tradition

In yesterday's post, I talked about working this week on fan blocks, or at least blocks that would fit a contest theme of fans. And I was feeling pretty ho-hum about it. My mind was stuck on the typical Grandmother's fan, that quarter circle of fan blades set in the corner of the square. Last night I quickly leafed through a couple of books which confirmed that yes, when you say fan, that's the pattern that pops up. So today, I turned to my trusty Electric Quilt software to do a search of block names including the word fan, hoping to find an interesting variation or positioning.

Right away, among the numerous varieties of single fans set in one corner, I found Daisy Fan which appealed. Here each fan has just 3 blades and by setting one in each corner of the block, they delineate an interesting center shape. I'm thinking, quick and easy to piece, quick and easy to machine or hand applique to the block base. I even have rotary cutting templates for the blades. A definite candidate.

I'm also starting to see blocks that have no curved pieces. Could I be that lucky? It would seem that some quilter along the way saw fans in simple triangles and named this one Electric Fan. A snap to cut and piece, I will surely make one of these, if only to use as a warm-up.

Then I spot Letha's Electric Fan. Wow - really different and interesting. More work for sure, but I know I can print out templates for the curved sections and a separate paper piecing template for that strip of odd shaped rectangles. Shouldn't shy away from a challenge - this one is demanding to be considered, so I print out the appropriate patterns.

I go back to considering those blocks with straight seams and find this stunner, another one named Electric Fan. Oh, too many pieces, I think, too many sharp angles. On the other hand, if it can be broken down into paper piecing units, it would make a wonderful block to submit. EQ5 agrees that a quadrant can be broken into 3 sections for paper piecing and each quadrant of the block is the same, so I print out the foundations "just in case." Even if I don't make one for this contest, I think I'd like to fool around with it at some point.

Finally, I noticed yet another Electric Fan that is a combination of half-square triangle units, squares and drunkard's path units. Not too complicated, and the few curved units add interest. Again, I have some rotary cutting templates for the drunkard's path pieces that would make those quick to cut, so I might give this one a try.

So much for ho-hum fan blocks. I think I found plenty to play with that will hold my interest.

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