Wednesday, August 22, 2012

One Block Wonder

OBW Fabrics awaiting a class...

I’ve been in awe of Maxine Rosenthal’s One Block Wonder quilts, book and technique!  So much so that I purchased all 3 of her books, a set of mirrors to preview potential OBW fabrics, and 4+ yards each of two different printed fabrics that would make awesome OBW quilts.  I understood the basic construction of the quilt, but nervous about how to layer the fabric to ensure perfectly stacked layers that could be then cut into identical 60-degree triangles to achieve the kaleidoscope effect.  So I waited for a LQS to offer a class and waited, waited and waited.  Finally a not so local quilt shop (40 minute drive) posted a 2 part OBW class on their website and I immediately signed up.  To no surprise, I already had everything on the class supply list so all I had to do is wait for the big day to arrive and have all the OBW mysteries unveiled…

For this first class, we prepared our fabrics to be cut into sets of 6 identical 3.75" equilateral triangles ready to be sewn into hexagons creating a kaleidoscopic effect.  Each class attendee brought very different fabrics, so it will be fun to see how this same technique will yield totally different quilts!  Interestingly enough--even people starting with the same fabric will end up with totally different quilts depending on how they cut the fabrics, assemble the hexagons and lay it all out!  Our homework assignment was to finish cutting up all the triangles and assemble them into half hexagons (that way we don't have to sew any Y-seams!).  Its so much fun manipulating the angle of the triangles to create 3 very different kaleidoscope images...and watching them bloom in front of you!  Instant reward!
Sample homework hexagons using Butterfly Carnival fabric (top left image)
The instructors did warn us that OBW quilts are addicting!  Both have each made 40+ quilts and purchased enough fabric for another 40+ OBW quilts.  I even overheard a fellow quilt shopper inquire about what class was in progress and then muttering something about addictions/disease when she heard it was a OBW class!  Well, I think I am developing an addiction as I may have cut up a second OBW fabric and started to assemble hexagons...
Overachiever:  Second OBW featuring Koi Carp & Waterlilies by Free Spirit/Westminister Fabrics
So now I've got 108 sets of Butterfly hexagons to sew together and 105 sets of Koi Fish!  Fortunately I have 10+ days, including a BAMQG Sew Day, until the next class where we lay out all our hexagons and start assembling our quilt top!  I can't wait!

And I may have to visit a LQS or two in search of additional OBW candidate fabrics...



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