Friday, January 30, 2015

Variations on a Theme of .... Snowballs

For some reason I seem to be finding several ideas lately involving snowball blocks.  Not sure why, but they keep coming up.  So I thought I'd share these new ones as well as some old ones.  Snowball blocks lend themselves well to novelty quilts because of the nice big area to showcase the fabric.  I didn't like them all that much until I discovered my trusty Perfect Corner Ruler (no affiliation, etc. etc.) but I am liking them quite a bit now.

This pattern gets lost a little bit in with the novelty fabrics.  It shows the fabrics well, but you can't really see the sense of the pattern.

This one works a little better, but still not my favorite.  I think the blue is too distracting in the alternate blocks.

This one is especially fun and even a little difficult to see the snowball block.  I had a little trouble picking out the two background/sashing colors.  I needed enough contrast with the novelties so that the interconnecting ribbon effect would be easily seen.  Red and blue worked very well and I love the optical illusion.  6" snowball blocks with are alternated with sashed 4" squares.  The color placement is very critical.  Half of each type of block have red on top and bottom, the other half have blue.  By the way, that was the same red and blue from my son's attic window quilt, some 10 years later.  And I still didn't like sewing with the poly.  Hmmm, I need to make another one of these sometime.  I got the idea for this quilt from a pattern by Darlene Jewell-Walhood and modified it for use with novelty fabrics and the size blocks I wanted.

Interlocking Ribbons

Novelty Beads
 This is my most recent snowball quilt.  It may eventually have a border but I'm still deciding.  It is for a friend's first grandchild.  I've added pictures of items specific to the mom and dad, but I'm still looking for something related to their college mascot, a lumberjack.  The baby isn't due until April so I've still got some time.  In a pinch it may get a red and black plaid border.  The pattern is very simple, just a basic snowball block set in offset columns.  There is a secondary pattern of stars created by the triangles.  I'm a little disappointed they don't stand out more.  I could have used black triangles, but then I wouldn't have been able to use black novelties which is challenging as I've got more of that color than any other.  Still I like how it turned out and it was pretty simple to put together.  The hardest part was figuring out how to balance the colors and contrast.
Here is one last snowball quilt, but it really isn't a snowball.  The way this is constructed is using squares of fabric folded and sewn into the seams.  When the block is pressed open it creates the squares with little pockets.  I didn't enjoy sewing it very much, mostly because I had to use lots of pins and kept sticking myself, but it does make a fun quilt for a little one with those 3 dimensional squares.  This quilt pattern called Hugs and Kisses came from a wonderful book called Picture Play Quilts by Ami Simms.  I love this book and plan to talk more about it in a future post about Influences.
Hugs and Kisses
All these quilts give a good overview of how versatile snowball blocks are and how well they work with novelty fabrics.  I have another idea floating around using 9 patches and snowballs  (from Marcia Hahn's that I'll post once it's sewn.  Right now it's only an EQ file.  Always plenty of ideas still floating around in my head and on my computer.  Probably why I don't have all that many repeated patterns, I haven't run out of ideas yet. At least for quilts.  For dinner, I have no ideas at all.

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