Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Moda Blockheads Week 20 is my week, 'Devil's Claws'

Wasn't it my turn, like yesterday???  How are you all doing with your blocks? Staying caught up, I hope.  So far so good for me. I've needed to do some advance prep for blocks when going out of town and to my surprise, I'm getting them done and scheduling a post that actually appears when it should. I'll be preparing early and scheduling posts for publication during a few other adventures this summer.

Question of the week...
Do you wash - clean your quilts?  
I have cats, cats do bad things on occasion. Besides a daily removal of cat hair from the quilt on the bed, the table, or the couch, I've come home to cat gak on a quilt which necessitates washing, pronto. I wash with a delicate cycle using color catchers, these cloth like sheets, that are made by Shout and found with laundry supplies in the grocery store.  Here's the good thing though, that is just a precaution, because I pre wash my fabric which takes care of any color running issues and  leaves shrinkage from the batting the only issue in the dryer.  I wash in cold water and dry on low, or an air dry cycle with towels added to keep everything moving and dry quicker.  I don't have carpenting or an extra big bed to lay the quilt flat to dry so I mostly rely on the dryer.
I have had to wash a quilt after a program, or if its dirty from a variety of sources and a variety of reasons, not just bad cats.  Mostly, however, I tumble my quilts in the dryer on an air dry cycle to remove dust and to freshen.  The closeline is long gone, or I would 'air' my quilts on the line.

Devil's Claws from Fredericksburg, Texas and Lubbock, Texas
These dried okra/alien creature looking things are native to arid parts of the country.  As pioneers traveled so did these claws, hitchhiking on shoes and boots, pants legs, skirt and dress hems which they shredded.  The plant is pretty and has pretty blooms, and ugly, painfully sharp fruit. 
Aptly named!

                                      My antique Devil's Claws quilt, also known as Brown Goose. 
This quilt is featured in my book, Lizzie's Legacy.

BlockHeads Week 20
This block, Devil's Claws, is one of my favorite blocks.  I have had no problem making this block, but you may find it challenging, so I'm going to give you tips and a couple of alternate ways to piece in case you have trouble.  Please don't be discouraged by this preemptive statement.  I'm here to help, it's my block.  You will find the 'click here' for the pattern after my examples.

Welcome to my classroom....

Following the pattern, cut as indicated. Measurements are exact. (I made some blocks with starched fabrics and some blocks without...this is the one time I think I prefered a very lightly starched or no starch fabric)
Step 1.  Make the hourglass center from A and B triangles.  
Unit should measure 3 1/2" when trimmed.

Step 2.  Make 2 Flying geese units.  Instructions are for cutting triangles, so carefully match points on the right and have a dog ear visible. Put your needle down at the the V and sew 1/4" seam.
 Press to the dark.  Repeat process on other side. 
Using a 1.5" x 3" Bloc_Loc ruler or other small ruler, measure unit.  It should measure  2" x 3 1/2". Trim or correct with a scant seam (one or two thread widths) as needed.


 Step 3.  Sew B dark triangles to A light triangle.  Pin triangle points at 1/4", careful not to stretch bias when sewing or pressing.  Press to dark triangles.
Add C light triangles to corners last, again careful not to stretch bias. Press to light triangle.  
Unit should measure 2" x 6 1/2" 

Step 4.  Sew flying geese units to hourglass.  Press to hourglass.
Pin Step 3 unit to center unit at center and corners.  Corners should nest together. Stitch and press away from center.

 Click Here  for the pattern 
and look below for 2 other sewing options.

Option 1:  Make hourglass center the same as in pattern, using 1 dark square and 1 light square. Trim same as directed above.  Make 2 flying geese units with light geese and 4 flying geese units with dark geese.  I used the connector method from last week's block.  Rectangles are 2 x 3 1/2", squares are 2" Sew diagonally across square, press to corner and trim away excess. Save the excess triangles you trim away for use i the 3" mini block. Press to sky and trim to
2" x 3 1/2". Make one to test.  If too small, cut rectangles 2 1/8" x 3 5/8" and squares 2 1/8".   Measure and trim to 2" x 3 1/2".
Join center section as is pattern, press to hourglass. Section should measure 3 1/2" x 6 1/2".
Press seam open when joining geese in top and bottom row. Outer rows should measure 2 x 6 1/2"
then sew rows together,

Option 2:  Make hourglass unit and 12 - 1 1/2" finished half square triangles. Use your leftover triangles from the 6" block, or Use 1 1/2"" triangle paper or, cut 6 light squares and 6 dark squares 2 1/2".   Make HSTs and trim each unit to 1 1/4". Arrange as shown, sewing units together in pairs, press some HST seams to light and others to the dark so that seam will nest together.

To make a Mimi Penny 3" block as above or one with  rearranged triangles, Make hourglass unit  from one light and one dark 2 7/8" squares. Trim finished unit to 2".  Make 12 - 3/4" finished half square triangles. Use 3/4" triangle paper or cut 6 light squares and 6 dark squares 1 3/4" , make HSTs and trim each unit to 1 1/4". Arrange as shown, sewing units together in pairs, press some HST seams to light and others to the dark so that seam will nest together.

This double pink is on the back of the antique. I could not resist working in a few chocolate and tobacco prints from Grace's Garden, my line that will arrive in October. 

The red print is from Lizzie's Legacy, and the gold from Rachel Remembered.

As with most blocks, take your time and go slow, cut accurately, pin, and press well.

If you need to catch up of past blocks you can find them here,
or in the Files on the Moda BlockHeads Facebook page

Now, go see what the rest of the blockhead designers have made. Links to their sites are below.

Until next time
~ Betsy

Lynne - 
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Betsy - 
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Lisa B - 
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Jan - 
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Jo - 
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Moda - 
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  1. Thanks for another great block! And, I do wash all my quilt, even those with wool battings. I use most of my quilts so washing is essential. I'm doing well at keeping up with my "potholder" blocks but not so good about posting them to the Facebook page. Have a great day!

  2. Thanks for sharing about those plants. I had not seen them before but they are impressive looking. I love hearing about their impact on our ancestors. Devilishly great block - love it too!

  3. I love your blocks thanks for sharing!

  4. The names for old quilt blocks have always interested me, and I've not seen this one. It reminds me of traveling to see relatives in
    western Kansas and Oklahoma when I was young (early 50s). There was still a lot of sand there, and the Devils Claws, Tumble Weeds, and Goatsheads fascinated me.
    Thank you for your beautiful block and for the memories!

  5. It was interesting to see the original "Devil Claws". They had to hurt. But when I look at your block done in 2 colors, dark on a light background, I see seahorses looking at one another. I know crazy but use your imagination. ��