One day, when I'd been quilting for about 4 years, I decided I wanted to make a quilt using baby blocks (or tumbling blocks, as I always call them). This seemed like a simple enough idea, but I wanted to mix it up a bit by making a design that looked like the blocks were falling. So, one weekend I dug through my scrap bins, and pulled out a bunch of fabric combinations that I could use for the blocks. I decided to make each block in 3 shades of a colour, and arrange the multiple colours randomly in the layout.
Y-seams? No problem. I figured I could handle that. I'd done at least one quilt with mitered corners by then, I think. So I cut a bunch of my scraps into little 2 inch diamonds, and laid some out on my design wall. My vision had the blocks on a dark background, but the fabric I pulled for that did not work at all, as you can see. So I figured I'd be working with white. Despite that, I went ahead and started assembling. First I made a bunch of baby blocks. Joining 3 diamonds from a colour set, carefully keeping the orientation of light/med/dark the same for each block. I knew if I tried to do this by hand I'd never finish, so I went ahead and pieced all those fun y-seams on my sewing machine.
When I'd finished about 75 blocks, I put them up on my design wall, to have a look at the overall design I was aiming for. I figured out 2 things at this point. They REALLY needed a dark background. And I probably had enough blocks to do what I wanted. So I picked up a black fabric for the background - a bit darker than the original fabric I'd pulled up top - and decided I just needed to ensure that my really dark blocks didn't directly touch the background. Simple enough.
Then I looked at my lovely falling blocks. I thought at first I could keep the orientation/location such that I could piece them between black hexagons, and keep things simple. But I quickly decided that this would make the quilt too rigid. I needed it to flow more, so I 'd have to deal with some free-form falling blocks to make that happen. I did not want to applique them, because I felt that would detract from the look of the quilt. So I did some free form piecing, instead. This worked reasonably well. I simply added black background around each falling block, until I could trim that to the right angle to allow me to join the pieces into the quilt.
This worked great, until I got to the lower right, where I wanted blocks to overlap each other. Things got a bit trickier there. I made it work, piecing blocks on top of eaach other. There were some pretty hairy corners to deal with, but I persevered (because I didn't know enough to realize how difficult I was making my life). And I even kept the line for the border pieces running through behind the block set in the lower right. That was maybe a wasted effort, since you can barely see where the border pieces are, but I was pretty proud when it was done.
I quilted the blocks in the ditch, did some stipple in the background, and left the borders unquilted. Definitely some choices I would change if I was doing that again, but at the time I was still pretty new to free-motion quilting.
This is still one of my favourite quilts, and it hangs in my bedroom over my bed. I received lots of compliments online and requests for a pattern, so I finally wrote that out this year, and posted it for sale on Craftsy. And this year, I entered this quilt in the Richmond Fair, where it received 2nd prize in a wallhanging category.
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