I honestly did not set out to make a quilt block that looks like a Transformer. It's actually supposed to be a tulip. A Tennessee Tulip, to be precise. But my choice of fabrics for this Sew Along resulted in this block looking more like a Transformer than a tulip.
See what I mean? I have therefore nicknamed this block Tulip the Decepticon. It's Brackman 785.7, if you know what that means. Brackman, as in Barbara Brackman, the author of the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. I finally own my own copy, the newest third edition, just out last year. As someone who loves trying new blocks, this comprehensive volume has been on my Amazon wishlist for quite some time. But then I found out that Electric Quilt was bringing out a new edition. Why pay $150 for a used second edition when I can get a brand new third edition for far less than that? Yay! In addition, they also brought out an updated version of the BlockBase software, Blockbase+. Double yay! So, instead of drafting the blocks myself from 2" line drawings, I have software that will print out rotary cutting instructions, foundation pieces and/or templates in whatever size block I want. That makes me a very happy quilter!
And then I found out that Electric Quilt was having a sew along to teach participants how to use the BlockBase+ software. What better way to learn the software that learning by doing? So, I joined in.
This are the fabrics I chose for the project. And here's the first block, Brackman 1273.Bird's Nest, which I christened Rat's Nest, because it was such a mess. Still people loved the block just because the fabric is so pretty.
Since some blocks have many names, and some names refer to several different blocks, Barbara Brackman assigned each block a number. That way it's much easier to keep track of which block is being referred to.
But before I started this sew along, Bernina started an Old Block Quilt Along. I don't usually join in on these things because I generally have more than enough projects on the go. But I love old, traditional blocks, and I love trying new blocks. Besides, at the end of the year, I could win a Bernina! What's not to love about that? Owning a newer Janome, and a Brother (plus my vintage Singer...), I figured I would give the Bernina to my daughter if I won it. She just had a cheaper Singer, but then she told me that she bought herself a heavy duty Singer, plus she will someday get my mother's Janome, which is currently in my possession, and I figured I will keep the Bernina if I win it. I can't have my daughter owning more sewing machines than me. LOL!
So, here are the fabrics I purchased to use in the Bernina project:
These fabrics are stunning and I think I could make the ugliest quilt blocks around and people would still love them just because of how beautiful the fabrics are.
Cross and Star. So, having caught up on the Bernina project, I then had to catch up on the BlockBase+ one.
The Bernina Quilt Along is one or two blocks a month over a year, for a total of 20 blocks (I think) and the quilt will be a maximum of 60"x80". The blocks are different sizes, so it will be interesting to see how they are all arranged together.
The BlockBase+ Sew Along, on the other hand, has only 8 blocks, one block every 2 weeks. The participants can chose what size to make the blocks. I chose a uniform 12" for all of the blocks and decided to add more blocks to make it at least a throw size.
Morning Star. Still having to keep up with the Bernina project.
Brackman 3953. This one used a combination of foundation paper piecing, regular piecing and applique. And I think it's a truly amazing block. I likely would have never attempted some of these more challenging blocks if I didn't have BlockBase+, but this is one I chose to include.
Meanwhile, I've got several quilts that are works in progress and I want to get them finished, so I'll get to those projects and put these blocks on the back burner for now.