September 10, 2017 EDIT:
If you have come here from a Facebook page called “I Love Quilting” and are looking for the free pattern for this block, I am sorry to say the pattern is no longer free.
The owner of that Facebook page took the liberty of reposting my picture on their page without my knowledge or permission, and didn’t bother to check their facts about this “free” pattern. It was free four years ago, when I first made the block and blogged about it.
However, you may still purchase this lovely Bobbie Ashley pattern for $7.95 on Craftsy.
I apologize for any aggravation this has caused.
And now back to the blog....
My latest blocks for the birthday block exchange, that’s what! And I have to say, I absolutely LOVE them!I’ve never been much of a black and white fan, but lately I’ve been noticing that black and white, even if it’s just a small touch, adds quite a bit of zing to a quilt. So when this month’s Birthday Block Swap partner requested black, white, and red, I accepted the challenge with anticipation.
I’ve had a fat quarter of that adorable mushroom house print for a while, and this was the perfect project to use it in. LOVE it. And yes, I did make the striped print match in the corners on purpose. My husband teases me about it, but sometimes being
anal detail-oriented has it’s benefits. I like paying attention to the little things.
But this is the block that has stolen my heart. I love, love, love it. It’s actually a
free download from RJR. (Edited to add that after nearly 4 years, RJR has finally taken it down from their website, but you can purchase it from the designer here.) Is it not absolutely gorgeous?
One teensy, tiny problem I discovered while pressing and starching. Gasp – one of those red fabrics was a bleeder!
A cautionary tale, to be sure. That fabric is good quality quilting cotton – designed by Alex Anderson, manufactured by P&B Textiles, and yes, it was prewashed. It still bled. I took a deep breath, snagged a couple of color catchers from the laundry room, and filled the sink with hot water. I put one color catcher on top of each petal and let it sit for about 30 minutes. I squished, pushed, and crunched the color catcher on top of the fabric. I swished the fabric a bit more, then I drained the sink. Filled it up again and added one fresh color catcher. Let it soak. This time the water was clear and the color catcher stayed white. I rubbed and squished it some more on the bleeding reds and it stayed white. So I drained it, let the block air-dry, then pressed it. I’m confident it’s done bleeding.
I usually don’t trust color catchers to catch everything in the wash, but I didn’t have anything else to use. My guidance regarding bleeding fabrics comes from Vicki Welsh. She hand-dyes her own fabrics and did a little experiment with bleeding dyes – go ahead and read about it here, I’ll wait. It’s totally worth your time.
Nowadays, I would (as recommended by Vicki) soak the snot out of that red fabric, instead of just washing it. However, I acquired this fabric before I stumbled across Vicki’s experiment. Fortunately, the color catchers worked. The back of the block is dyed where those fabrics bled, but the front looks crisp and perfect.