Monday, April 13, 2009

Getting Back to One Block Wonder

Last April, my guild Common Threads Quilters had a Saturday workshop. One of the members, Sherry Cowley taught us how to do One Block Wonder from Maxine Rosenthal's book. The thing that amazed me the most about this technique was that you could use a really hideous fabric and it could turn into something quite interesting and visually appealing. You need to use a fabric that has a large, graphic print and you need to buy enough yardage for 6 repeats of the pattern. You cut the fabric into repeats and pile them up one on top of the other with the patterns exactly lined up. Then those pieces are cut into strips across the width of the fabric. Those strips are cut into equilateral triangles so you have six triangles that are cut from the exact same place on the printed pattern of the fabric. These triangles are sewn into half hexagons, three triangles per half.

The design on the fabric comes together in the center of the hexagons to form a kaleidoscope effect. You design the layout of the quilt with these half hexagons pinned together. When you have your layout, you unpin the halves and sew them together in vertical strips. When the strips are sewn together the hexagons with the kaleidoscope centers come together and the wonder happens.

This is the fabric I chose for mine. I thought the blues and greens would look nice in one of the bedrooms at the shore house. Some people used Asian fabrics that came out very interesting. If I did this again, I think I would choose a fabric with a bit more contrast for greater visual impact in the kaleidoscopes.

These are the pinned half triangles laid out on a table ready to be sewn into strips. I often feel guilty about leaving a project sit for so long as I did with this one. The pieces have been sitting in a plastic bag since last August. However, I have decided this can be a good thing. By leaving it alone for a while, I'm coming to it with a renewed sense of motivation rather than responsibility. Also, I picked this fabric out in the Spring and chose it for a summertime environment. Now that Spring is in the air again, I have much more motivation to work with it.


  1. Oh wow, the famous one block wonder. I can't wait to see the whole quilt done!

  2. I am going to have to try this. I love it.