Block’s Away!

Ambition is an essential part of life I think, because without it you have no goals to try to achieve, no dreams to fulfill, no burning desires to satisfy. I’m not big on ambition a lot of the time, or at least, I’m usually totally rubbish at telling people about what I really, really want to achieve, or to do or to accomplish.

But this week, I’ve shared my ambition to make a Dresden quilt, which to some may seem a very modest ambition, one that could be achieved fairly simply, with a little application and some time. To others, it seems almost as unreachable as the midday sun, beyond imagination or at least, beyond the limits of an ordinary lifetime. Ok, so it’s going to take me longer than I had originally thought, this Dresden quilt. I hadn’t realised until this evening that I was being a bit ambitious to attempt this. I think I just thought – ‘Ooh, that looks pretty! Also, it kinda looks like flowers, and everyone knows how obsessed with flowers I am! I’m gonna get me one of those…’

I’ve spent all of today finishing pressing those blade points. All four hundred and twenty of them, plus a few to spare. I even made little cardboard corners with the mid-line marked at forty-five degrees so that the points are all the same (perfectionism is very, very boring in reality!) and when I pressed each of the little points, I was secure in the knowledge that they would all be uniformly shaped and sized. Ahem. Hopefully. If I can manage to sew in a straight line.

Once pressed, I began to have all of the *FUN* I’ve been promising myself! That was, until I realised that each of my Dresden roundels will require twenty-one blades, rather than the twenty I had planned for. It’s a jolly good job I had made plenty of spare blades now, isn’t it? The first round was unlikely to fit without the extra blade and so this required a rapid rethink of the make up of each block.

20 is a lovely number, stitchily speaking, as it is divisible by 2, 4, 5 and 10 giving a good variety of possibilities when constructing blocks so that it isn’t just exactly the same all over. 21 is not such a good number, as this of course is only divisible by 3 and 7. I’d cut out, stitched the tops and most importantly PRESSED blades on the assumption that there would be twenty to a block. Complex factorising-focused mental maths followed, when it hit me that I was OVER THINKING the problem. How very unusual for me! I could work it out by just making up block of 21 with seven sets of three of the same colours and the left over ones could make up some interesting blocks in ten pairs with an odd, different, blade thrown in to un-balance the perfection. That way, the whole thing will look less ‘samey’ and thus marginally more ‘creative’. That’s my theory and I am sticking very firmly to it, like treacle.

So, that decision made everything so much simpler and indeed I did have a very enjoyable afternoon, picking sets of three that complement each other effectively or that just make the whole thing ‘zing’. The first block is now stitched together and the second is well on its way… I hope the learning curve levels out sometime soon … 🙂

Block one ready and reporting for action!
Block one ready and reporting for action!
Block 2 testing the background
Block 2 testing the background


2 Replies to “Block’s Away!”

  1. I should add, block 2 is actually going to be the only block that has all the different colours/fabrics represented – there are 21 blades and they are all different. I like uniqueness 🙂


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