Sunday, April 8, 2012

Octagonal Orb


I mentioned in my last post that I have joined my first online quilting bee. This particular bee has 10 members, and each member has claimed one month between now and February 2013. Each member chooses a quilt block when it is her month, then sends the block instructions and fabric to each of the other members. My month is not until January but of course I'm already considering my options! I really love this Octagonal Orb block by Elizabeth Hartman, but with some feedback from bee members I wondered if it would be a good choice.


So this weekend I made a test block, and while I looooooove the results and the block was totally do-able, here are my thoughts on why I probably won't choose this as my bee block:
  • this block uses a lot of pieces - 82 cut pieces to be exact! I don't think it would be fair to bee members to expect that of them.
  • I think it would be quite tricky to figure out exactly how much of the print fabric would be necessary to send to each participant, given the large number of pieces of various shapes and sizes.
  • having now made one of these blocks, and realizing that with this type of construction it is necessary to trim here and there to make the edges line up while assembling (in particular when joining the two halves of the octagon as recommended in the pattern), I don't know how plausible it would be to expect all 9 bee blocks to end up the same size. Even in the pattern, Elizabeth says that ending up with a square block is more important than ending up at a specific measurement.

BUT, even with all that said, I still highly recommend this pattern! It is extremely clearly written and easy to follow, and as long as you have some patience for precise cutting and you pay close attention to accuracy when seaming and pressing, this block is not nearly as difficult as it looks at first glance. Anyone with some sewing/quilting experience could certainly accomplish it!! Mine is going to become a large throw/floor pillow {with the borders I added, it measures 20" square!!} ...... as long as I can find a pillow form big enough! Some day I would love to make an entire quilt using this block, but for now, the pillow will do.

Linking up with the following: {Sew} Modern Monday @ Canoe Ridge Creations, Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story, Sew Darn Crafty @ Sew Many Ways, Made by Me @ JAQS Studio

19 comments:

Debbie said...

Great experiment! I love how colorful it is - what a great pillow to be sure!

Patti said...

What a fantastic block, Heather. However, I can see why you don't want to use it for the Bee. Great stash buster though! The pillow will look marvy!

Patchwork and Play said...

I agree, it is a fabulous block! It will look fab as a pillow! I think your bee buddies will be breathing a sigh of relief!

Teje said...

Wow - it's so beautiful! I love to see new ways to creat hexagon! Looks great with small patches!
x Teje

Jess said...

I love your orb! I was going to choose this one for my stash bee block, but perhaps not... Depends how mean I'm feeling ;o)

Kate said...

It's a great looking block - will make a cheerful pillow, at least!

Kelli said...

What a great design and I love your fabric choices. So fun!

Kelli said...

That's an amazing block,Heather. Love it!

Heidi @ Buttons and Butterflies said...

I love it!!!!!!

Alli said...

That looks great -- it'll make a fantastic floor pillow! Maybe if in the future you join a stash bee, then you can ask your beemates to make this... hehehe. :>

Leanne said...

I love the block. If you frame it with a sashing like you did this one, it is less hard for others as then you can add or subtract trim to get the same size blocks in the end. However, your other points are valid, it is always difficult to decide how much work is fair to ask for in a bee, yet you also want to give your friends a chance to be creative and learn something too. You will have a nice pillow for sure.

Sew Festive said...

Well I'd make it! I think it's fair to ask for a more complicated block, as that's what bees are for! So you don't have to do all the work haha. Or at least that's my opinion :)

Sue Daurio said...

Oh that is a wonderful block. If I were in a bee and they asked me to do that block, I'd be shaking in my sewing room!! But I'd still do it and be glad that someone asked me to stretch a bit. But I'd still be shaking :)

Latane Barton said...

I think that quilt bee would be a lot of fun. I always need others pushing me forward.

Kirsten N said...

I love this block too - it will make a great pillow though!

felicity said...

Making a test block is brilliant!

Debbie said...

congrats on the feature over at Fabric Tuesday!

Svetlana said...

Looks fantastic!!!

Carla said...

What a great block! I especially like the way the back looks.