28 January, 2013

New Leaf Block and Blog Hop

Welcome to my stop on the New Leaf Blog Hop. What is New Leaf, you ask? This is the fantastic new line from Jan DiCintio at Daisy Janie. Bright, warm, saturated colours printed on 100% certified GOTS Organic certified fabric. All gorgeous.

I've been blown away by Jan and the rest of the organic fabric designers. Not only are they committed to sourcing and then supplying us quilters and sewists with a product that is more sustainable, they are showcasing beautiful fabric. It is rather like the organic food movement - it isn't just about hemp hearts and granola, but now a colourful array of vegetables and fruits that are readily available.

My previous professional life was focused on environmental issues, climate change and energy efficiency specifically. That background is a part of me and the lessons learned then do translate to what I do now. One of those ways is with the choice for organic fabric. Do I exclusively buy organic fabric? Not yet, but I've been blown away by the designs coming from the organic manufacturers so that day may not be far off.

I believe that every time you make the committed choice for certified organic you are doing a good thing. For the manufacturer, for yourself, for the people working with the fabric, for the recipient of the quilt. It may not be every time you buy fabric, but all movements start with one step. Besides, the fabric is gorgeous!

For this block Jan asked us to be inspired by the concept of Renewal, of Turning Over a New Leaf. Here are my back of the envelope sketches. Like many others on the blog hop, I really wanted to showcase that one large scale print. I had an image of the world unfurling in my head, writ more graphic.

So, I fussy cut from both the large-scale prints and cut the rest into strips. I also made myself the oh-so-fancy paper templates. First I measured how large the center square needed to be, based on the fabric itself. Then I drew the corner templates to get up to a finished size of 12'' by 12''. 

At this point I could have done this by paper piecing, or using a muslin foundation. Both would work quite well. I chose to minimize the amount of materials used and stuck with sewing then trimming to my scrap paper template.

Four corner blocks and a fussy cut center ready to go. Yes, there are Y-seams ahead.

I sewed each side to the center square, making sure to mark and stop at the 1/4'' mark. Then I removed the block from the machine and rejigged the block to sew the short seam from the center out. Scary, on paper, but not that difficult if you slow down.

You can see the finished block is a combination of improv with the random strip piecing and precision with that inset block. The fabric soft and no different to work with than the quilting cottons you may be used to. I do hope it works well with the rest of the blocks Jan receives.

Speaking of the other blocks, this is a blog hop, so make sure you check out all the other stops. So many great ideas for showcasing this gorgeous fabric.

New Leaf Bee Block Blog Hop Schedule

Mon, 1/14 - Becky Moyer, My Fabric Obsession
Tues, 1/15 - Lynn Harris, The Little Red Hen
Wed, 1/16 - Candy Glendening, Candied Fabrics
Thurs, 1/17 - Holly DeGroot, Bijou Lovely
Fri, 1/18 - Melanie Thornton, Melanie Dramatic

Mon, 1/21 - Emily Cier, Carolina Patchworks
Tues, 1/22 - Rachael Gander, Imagine Gnats
Wed, 1/23 - Maureen Cracknell, Maureen Cracknell Handmade
Thurs, 1/24 - Leanne, She Can Quilt
Fri, 1/25 - Cindy Wiens, Live a Colorful Life

Mon 1/28 - Cheryl Arkison, Dining Room Empire
Tues, 1/29 - Jacquie Gering, Tallgrass Prairie Studio
Wed, 1/30 - Shanna Bailey, Fiber of All Sorts
Thurs, 1/31 - Katy Jones, Monkey Do

At each stop on the tour there is a secret letter. Gather all your secret letters For a chance to win a Fat Quarter bundle of New Leaf.

The secret letter today is O.

Visit all the stops on the blog hop, gather the letters, then unscramble the letters to make a word that relates to the inspirational theme of the tour. Email your answer to info {at} daisyjanie {dot} com  for a chance to win.

Thanks for coming by. I do hope you will be inspired.


Lee D said...

those are so your colours.What a fun line of fabrics. Love the strings in the block. I see a whole quilt coming!

Anonymous said...

My favorite block yet from this blog hop! Really fabulous!

Diann said...

Wow, what a bold block. I love it.

Live a Colorful Life said...

This is a beautiful block--and such a fabulous use of the larger scale prints. The colors in this line just make me so happy.

Unknown said...

Lovely block.

Leanne said...

This is a fun block, it sure works nicely with this beautiful fabric.

CitricSugar said...

It's gorgeous, Cheryl! I think your construction shows the fabrics off to their best advantage.

tropicslady said...

That is such a gorgeous block!

java diva said...

I love this block, I can't wait to make it, looks fun. TFS

Catskill Quilter said...

I am over the moon! At last I know what a Y seam is, and I think I understand it! I will try it out tomorrow -- thanks for your clear explanation! (Is there any wonder we all love these hops?)

leanne said...

love your block - its fabulous - and I love that Jan has organic cottons - makes me feel good everytime I buy some :)

rachael {imagine gnats} said...

love the mix of structure and precision with the improv piecing!

Mara said...

Thanks so much for the tutorial, I like the block you made.