|Alternate Pieced Block: 54-40 or Fight|
So as I'm nearing the end of the block construction phase for my Jingle BOM (designed by Erin Russek of One Piece at a Time, patterns and instructions found here), I've been looking at the finished blocks up on my design wall, trying to picture the finished quilt with the setting triangles and borders, and feeling... underenthused. As I've been hand stitching that center medallion applique, I've been playing out different scenarios for this quilt in the back of my mind. There will need to be pieced setting triangles, or pieced borders, or both. And there is at least one pieced block up on that wall that I REALLY do not like.
So I hauled out a bunch of quilt books and hunted through them for a different block that I would like better, and came up with the oddly-named 54-40 or Fight block (which got its name from James Polk's 1844 Presidential campaign slogan, capitalizing on "Oregon Fever" and Manifest Destiny). Just a tidbit of history trivia for you there; can't help myself.
|Completed Jingle Blocks, Including the Ugly Block|
I found this block in two of my quilting books, both of which recommended using templates for the triangle-in-a-square units, and neither of which included instructions for a 9" finished block, the size needed for this project. I have no idea how to make or use a template and was not in the mood to go that route, but I do own a set of Nifty Notions Cut for the Cure specialty rulers that includes two rulers ideally suited for this block, the Half Rectangle Triangle and the Bias Triangle rulers. Since I'm making a 9" finished block and my triangle-in-a-square units need to finish at 3" square, I added 1/2" for the seam allowances and cut myself a 3 1/2" strip of green fabric and a 3 1/2" strip of cream and gold background fabric. I used the Half Rectangle ruler to quickly and painlessly cut pairs of star point triangles from the green strip, and I used the Bias Triangle ruler to just as quickly cut the background triangles from the other strip. There's even a little notch on the ruler to help you perfectly align the triangles for stitching, and from that point this unit goes together as easily as a Flying Geese unit. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this block! I also love that I have learned enough about block grids and rulers that I was able to just look at the block and start cutting, without having to find instructions for my block size or do any convoluted math.
I do still have one more pieced block to complete per Erin's pattern, one that I actually do think that I'll like, so the Ugly Block is staying on the wall for the time being. Maybe I'll get adventurous and replace or tweak some of the other blocks as well.