Friday, 26 July 2013

Contrary Husband

This is the block in honour of my father. If my mother were still alive, she would have said that Contrary Husband is very appropriate. Dad might have looked a little sheepish, and then he would have laughed. And he would have appreciated the fact that I included fabrics in this block that feature some of his favourite things. Originally I was planning on doing it all in red, as that was my father's favourite colour, and the centre square is one solid square in the original pattern. But then I found the tool fabric, then the airplane fabric and I was going to do 2 smaller squares of each. Then I came across the RV fabric and that had to be added as well. Then I thought about what would be a fourth thing that had been a favourite of Dad's. And I thought of the newspaper. This newspaper fabric is from my "cat stash" because it's actually "The Kitty Chronicle" or some such thing. 
Mystery has to be in the middle of everything I do.
The centre of the Contrary Husband block

I was planning on drafting this block myself, but when I googled it, I found this: Contrary Husband templates and the Contrary Husband Template Guide. Why create extra work for myself? If you choose to use these templates, I suggest that you download them and then print them. I found when I printed them directly from the internet, the 2 inch test line was only 1-7/8". When I downloaded and then printed, they printed true to size. Alternatively, if you are having troubles getting them to print true, you can photocopy the smaller one at 106% enlargement, if you have access to a photocopier.  These templates make the centre square out of 4 triangles, which eliminates the need for Y-seams, by assembling the whole block as four triangles. Or you can use the directions given by another blogger here in order to avoid Y-seams, but these directions are for an 8" finished block, not a 12".  
In my block, however, my centre square was made from 4 smaller squares, so I couldn't use the first method. Nor did I feel like messing with making adjustments to the measurements for the second method to enlarge it to a 12 inch block. So, I created my own method, more or less. I used the templates to create the red pieces. For the black background pieces, I aligned the centre of the triangle template along a straight edge of the fabric, then moved it 1/4 inch away from the edge and cut along the template, including the extra 1/4 inch. I made 8 of these and sewed one on each end of the red pieces. (Sorry, I neglected to take pictures). Then I sewed one of these units along each side of the centre square. That gave me only the final seam as a Y-seam. Hmm, there was a lesson in the 2013 BOM that featured partial seams and I think I could have used that rather than a Y-seam if I remembered how to do it. But I didn't and I wanted to finish the block without taking the time to look it up. I survived one Y-seam. LOL!
So here, in honour of my father, is the Contrary Husband block: