Thursday, April 7, 2011

Supernova Quilt-Along: Finishing the Supernova Blocks

Welcome back to the Supernova Quilt-Along! Before we get started, let me say that this has been a ridiculous amount of fun for me. I love seeing the gorgeous Supernova blocks that you all have put together and posted in the Flickr group. There are some amazing quilts coming together, if I do say so myself! Here are just a FEW of my favorites:

1. "Landing Strip" Supernova 1, 2. supernova mosaic, 3. SuperNova, 4. Supernova subblocks, 5. supernova2, 6. IMG_3536, 7. Supernova block #1, 8. SN Design wall, 9. March 039, 10. Piecing Sub Blocks - Supernova Quilt Along 1-9, 11. Supernova Piecing, 12. Supernova blocks

And it's not too late to join in. Click here to find links to all the posts. In fact, you can follow along with the series at any time later on, whenever the mood strikes you.

Anyway, it looks like you ladies participating in the Flickr group are itching to finish these blocks—if you haven't done so already! So here we go:

1. Start with the four pieced sub-units for your first block, shown here.

2. Of the pieces you originally cut for your first block, you should have 13 3" squares left—four each of three prints, and one of one additional print. Here are mine.

3. Lay out your remaining 3" squares with the sub-units you pieced last week. The print square with no remaining mates will be at the center of your block. Arrange the remaining squares in rows between the sub-units, as shown in the photo above. You want the three remaining prints to work their way out, in the same order as the print progressions that you photographed during the planning and cutting phase.

4. You're now seeing exactly what your completed block will look like when you finish piecing it. This is your last chance to evaluate the design and colors of your block, if you choose. I was planning to have you do some strip-piecing during this phase of the quilt-along, but I changed my mind about that, because I wanted to give you a small amount of design flexibility at this stage. So, if you like how your block looks, great! But if you want to tweak it, you can do that too—you could swap the order of your squares around, swap squares between blocks, or you could even cut a few new squares if you have the fabric and you're really motivated.

I like to tweak, right up to the last minute. : ) So I decided I wanted a bit more contrast in the center of my block. I found a scrap of orange polka dots in my stash that I hadn't originally planned on including in this quilt, and cut four more 3" squares from that. Then I moved the orange/yellow squares toward the center, replacing the yellow lattice print, and ended up with the new layout shown above. Don't worry, those yellow lattice-print squares won't go to waste—in fact, I'm planning to incorporate them into the back of the quilt. Obviously I know changing out your fabric so late in the game isn't doable for everyone. But this is a design-intensive quilt, and it can be difficult to make hard-and-fast fabric choices prior to seeing the block in this way.

In general, regardless of what type of quilt you're working on or the fabric you're using, I would encourage you to always keep evaluating your design and stay flexible with it right up to the point of no return—whatever that point may be with you. Sometimes the difference between an okay design and a great one is just a matter of a few small tweaks like the one I made above.

5. So now you're ready to piece together your block! From here on out, it's cake, I promise! Start by piecing together your 3" squares as shown above. You'll piece two units of three squares each, and one longer unit of 7 squares (including the center square).

6. Join each of the smaller three-square units in between two of the 8" square sub-units, as shown above.

7. Join the top, middle strip, and bottom sections. There you have it, a completed Supernova block. Your block should measure 18" square (14.5" if you're using a jelly roll). One block down, eight more to go!

And that's it for this week—hope your Supernova blocks are coming together beautifully. Next week, we'll be assembling our blocks and adding the borders for a completed quilt top. Those of you who would like to work ahead, please feel free to do so. I can't wait to see what you come up with!

14 comments:

Adele said...

I cannot wait to start my Supernova quilt. I'm making one for my Dad, who has patiently waited whilst I made quilts for Mum, sisters, kids, cousins, aunties, neighbours...... He will love it. Thanks for a great quilt-along. I will post pics on Flickr :)

felicity said...

Thanks for featuring one of my blocks, lady! And thanks for some easy piecing this week. Maybe I'll be caught up next week. I do have some Castle Peeps incentive to keep me on track!

Becky said...

I love the tweek you made on yours. I've been doing the same with mine. It hangs in the dining room (aka - the way out of the house) and every time I pass it I see something else I want to change! Better start putting it together before I make a whole separate quilt! :)

Elizabeth D. said...

Yay!! I think the little change you made to your blocks really did make a big difference, and I'm glad you encouraged that, because after my initial layouts, I've done a good bit of tweaking myself :) I can't wait to get all of these blocks all put together!

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

looking good there...

Linz said...

Yay! I took a few minutes last night to layout some of my blocks and tweek until I liked what I was looking at! I am so excited to finish the blocks! But, I do still have a few sub sets to finish! Better get moving!! :) You block looks great!!

capitolaquilter said...

I love the fluid approach you take to the process of quilting and appreciate the tag along to see how the design develops. Making tweaks is kind of my MO so it's refreshing to know it's encouraged! Sometimes I feel bad abandoning my original commitment, and having a pile of rejects. Still need to catch up on the last steps but am very excited for the weekend to take it to step two!
BTW: I had thought from looking at your original quilt the light to dark was opposite in this step from the last step. I'm sure we can do either since you're so flexible but wanted to ask.

Amy said...

yay, thank you.I am excited to get the blocks put together.

Di said...

Just found your blog. Can't believe the fun I've been missing out on! Loving the supernova block.

CityHouseStudio said...

This looks like fun . . . can't wait to get these put together! I love the addition of your orange polka dots!

Leanne said...

Thank you for such easy to follow instructions. I have finished three now and I love them.

bionic robinson said...

Lee, you are so, so incredible. I can't believe you've put together such amazing, clear and fun instructions for us! I am hoping to catch up this weekend/week!

capitolaquilter said...

Lee, Do we have to wait until next posting to see your progress? Can't wait to find out how the stack of fabric translates. I'm so excited to have just finished sewing my 9th block.

Blue.Ridge.Girl said...

This quilt is just the most fun to make! I love how all of the colors play together in a variety of ways...both within one block and when next to others. Thanks, too, for the great directions and pictures, they are so easy to follow :o)

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