Late afternoon skies crackle with lightning flashes and the rumble and booms from pop-up thunderstorms. Often, nighttime is filled with those same sounds and sights, although it could just as easily be from fireworks set off in a flurry of patriotic revelry as it could be the storms.
July is the month of picnics, family reunions, lazy beach days, and festivals and celebrations honoring our nation's history. All of which are perfect opportunities to spread a quilt on the ground, surround yourself with those you love and laugh with, and create memories.
Because it's summer, the block lottery for the month embraces all of those things mentioned above - intensely colored blooming stars that remind you of fireworks, or perhaps, a garden of crayon box colored zinnias, centered within a border of either red and white HSTs or blue and white HSTs that immediately make you think of the Fourth of July.
It is another block that allows you to burn up (Catch that heat and fireworks reference?) some of your modern scrappy prints which are hanging around.
The aesthetic is modern. Always. Please use quilt shop quality fabrics for your blocks. Sew with care and intention, as well as attention to detail. Susan and I are here to help with any questions. You can also read about ECMQG's block lottery guidelines here.
The free tutorial, found here on the Craftsy website, from Erin and Jeanette, aka the Piper's Girls, is so well written and easy-to-follow, I am only showing you the pictures I took during the construction of two blocks. I'll also give you a few tips I think might be useful. This is a fun 10.5" block. It only looks complicated.
1 - Start with a selection of modern red and white prints, some Kona White, and a bunch of brightly colored scraps.
2 - Follow the cutting instructions and sewing directions per the tutorial. I did find it easier to cut and piece two blocks at once. I was able to chain piece to save time, and I was able to add more variety to the block centers.
Here is where I depart from the instructions: When pressing your A & B blocks, PRESS IN THE SAME DIRECTION v towards the dark fabric. If you do it this way, your seams will nest.
Also, I found a SCANT 1/4" seam makes for an extremely accurate block. When I used a normal 1/4" seam, my rows were a wee bit on the short side.
The last thing, which is a departure from how we've done the block lottery in the past, PLEASE LEAVE YOUR BLOCKS UNTRIMMED. Starched and pressed is fine. Untrimmed allows the winner(s) a little more wiggle room to play with your beautiful blocks.
Happy Sewing! Happy Summer!
ECMQG Block Lottery Committee 2015
PS. Craftsy is a free site, that MAY require registration to access the pattern. If you are not currently a member, your screen may look like this when you click the pattern link.