Friday, January 25, 2013

Turning over a new leaf

A few months ago, our son and daughter-in-law taught a class at church called Everyday Justice. It was designed to make us think about how the choices we make in the things we purchase make a difference to people around the world. I had never really thought much about it. Sure, I try to recycle as much as I can, but Fair Trade coffee and chocolate? Not so much. It really opened my eyes to a lot of things. Especially the week we talked about clothing and children working in sweatshops to make things we wear.

That week, however, I started doing research on some of the fabrics I purchase to make my quilts. That is where the largest chunk of my discretionary income goes. I was familiar with Daisy Janie fabric but once I read all the information I was so impressed.

I was thrilled when I got a chance to play with Jan DiCintio's new fabric line, New Leaf. t's a beautiful collection made of 100% GOTS certified organic cotton (you can read more about that here), and the colors are bright and saturated. Jan asked us to use the thought of "turning over a new leaf" as our inspiration.

There was a sketch of a block on my desk, an older block and I don't recall the name of it. The pattern was for an 8" finished block but  I changed the dimensions to make a 12" block.

But did I take process pictures? Totally forgot....I don't think that will be a problem, however.

The center of the block is a 36-patch, so for that you need:

18 - 1 1/2" squares of white
18 - 1 1/2" squares of print

You could easily strip piece them but since I wanted to use a variety, I sewed them together individually. If I were to make a whole quilt top with this block, I would definitely strip piece them.

For the rest of the block you need:

4 - 6 1/2" x 3 1/2" rectangles of white
4 - 3 1/2" squares of white
12 scraps to make the leaves

Piece the center 36-patch.
Sew a 6 1/2" x 3 1/2" rectangle to two sides of the block.
Sew a 3 1/2" square to each end of the remaining two rectangles of white, and then sew these units to the remaining sides of the 36-patch.

Then make 12 leaf shapes. (I tried to link the leaf template pdf here but did something wrong. It is 3 inches from tip to tip and 1 3/8" at its widest point--sorry--I'll work on figure that pdf thing out).
Using your favorite double-sided fusible (I used Steam a Seam, but I wish I would have used Steam a Seam Lite because the leaves were a little stiff), I made the leaves and then fused them to the block, kind of eyeballing the placement. You will want the tips of the leaves that make the circle to touch each other. Then I used my machine to button stitch around each leaf.

Thanks for stopping by on the blog hop, and thanks to Jan for letting me play along with this beautiful fabric!

Be sure to check out all the other stops along the way:

New Leaf Bee Block Blog Hop Schedule
Mon, 1/14 - Becky Moyer, My Fabric Obsession
Tues, 1/15 - Lynn Harris, The Little Red Hen
Wed, 1/16 - Candy Glendening, Candied Fabrics
Thurs, 1/17 - Holly DeGroot, Bijou Lovely
Fri, 1/18 - Melanie Thornton, Melanie Dramatic

Mon, 1/21 - Emily Cier, Carolina Patchworks
Tues, 1/22 - Rachael Gander, Imagine Gnats
Wed, 1/23 - Maureen Cracknell, Maureen Cracknell Handmade
Thurs, 1/24 - Leanne, She Can Quilt
Fri, 1/25 - Cindy Wiens, Live a Colorful Life

Mon 1/28 - Cheryl Arkison, Dining Room Empire
Tues, 1/29 - Jacquie Gering, Tallgrass Prairie Studio
Wed, 1/30 - Shanna Bailey, Fiber of All Sorts
Thurs, 1/31 - Katy Jones, Monkey Do

And if you are playing along with the FQ word scramble, my letter is I.


05 08
Susan said... #

I love this block! Could be nice for a bee?! ( nudge, nudge, wink, wink!). This fabric looks incredible.

Katy Cameron said... #

Cool block, and I love the idea of using things that are fair trade and organic

Amy Friend said... #

It's a beautiful block!

Mama Pea said... #

Beautiful fabrics and beautiful blocks. I agree with Patchwork and would be a fun bee block. Well done, Cindy. I hope you are feeling better!

Leanne said... #

That is such a pretty block!

Rene' said... #

I love your block Cindy! Jan's new fabric line is so gorgeous with the bright saturated fabrics. I know how important using organic cottons is to you so I am happy you had the chance to participate in Daisy Janie's bee block blog hop! Hope you are feeling better.

JHNickodemus said... #

Ah! Love it! I've been waiting for this one ever since that sneak peek!

Needled Mom said... #

That is beautiful! I love the colors too.

Carla said... #

Very nice! The fabrics look so crisp

Archie The Wonder Dog said... #

It's a beautiful block made from beautiful fabrics!

CitricSugar said... #

The block is beautiful!

I still haven't replied to that email you sent about this issue. How terrible of me! It's a toughie for me because if I think about it too much, I might be compelled to give up my hobby. But the very truth is that everything we do, buy, use, etc, has a impact on the environment and other people. I've gotten better in the last decade at making more conscious choices (especially in eating and persona care products) and as a result, I stick to natural fibres (organic when available), am diligent about keeping scraps, and try to buy from ethical companies but it's so tricky to track something right back to its source… I'm deeply ambivalent about the whole thing so it's really nice to see companies instigating change - especially when their fabrics are so pretty!

Unknown said... #

I LOVE It---Thanks for sharing some new inspiration--its just beautiful!

Anonymous said... #

That's so beautiful! Makes a wonderful mini quilt, pillow or lots of them for amazing big quilt! Lovely fabrics, too! x Teje

Erin Quinn said... #

This is a gorgeous block. Would make a stunning quilt.

Mary said... #

What a great block, Cindy!

Cheryl Arkison said... #

Oh, Cindy, that's a gorgeous block!

Diann said... #

It's a beautiful block, but it would take me forever!

QuiltSue said... #

That is just beautiful. I love it.

luckycharm said... #

Beautiful block! The colors are so vibriant, perfect for the block layout.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said... #

That is a beautiful block! Thanks, too, for making us think more about how our hobby impacts the world.

leanne said... #

really great block - thanks so much - I'm definitely going to keep these blocks to do a quilt - they're fabulous :)

artsycraftsyivy said... #

Beautiful block! And whew, that's a relief! I thought you were going to tell us our favorite modern fabrics are made in sweatshops! :O :)