It's funny where inspiration can be found. The tiles on the bathroom floor, a zigzag coffee mug—you name it, some quilter is bound to be inspired by it.
The day I decided to bounce down off the no-sweets wagon and bake something dense and chocolatey*, I wasn't really looking for inspiration. But there it was, staring me in the face on a chocolate bar wrapper, of all places!
I was admittedly giving in to some serious cravings that day, as well as trying to use what remained of the giant bar of dark chocolate I'd bought over the holidays before my husband could eat it all. He'd already polished off half of it before I'd found out and hidden it deeper on the pantry shelves. So let's say I was managing a security risk by deciding to bake with it that day. Yeah, that works.
After rough chopping the chocolate, I set the wrapper aside. Then while waiting for the chocolate to melt in the microwave, I happened to study the wrapper a little more closely. Probably checked the carb count to see just how much dietary damage this baking venture was going to do.
That's when I saw it. Take a look.
A quilt block, no? And I was supposed to be creating a quilt block for Sarah's Scrap Block Challenge. Could this be just the ticket, the inspiration I needed to get started? I thought so!
The challenge was to use the sizes in the scrap management system described in the book Cut the Scraps! Fabric scraps are cut to measure 2 inches, 3.5 inches, and 5 inches square.
So I scribbled something on paper that more closely resembled a primitive cave drawing than a quilt block. Did some mental gymnastics on the math, trying to wrap my head around how to orient the center square in the way it was depicted on the wrapper. On failing to come up with a solution, I modified the plan somewhat. Close enough for rock and roll! Then I chucked the cave drawing aside and went to play with fabric.
Here's how it went together, using 5-inch and 3.5-inch squares.
For the string-pieced centers, you are
going to sub-cut a variety of your 5-inch blocks into 4, 1.25-inch
strips, and then sew four different strips together. Cut the other 3.5 and 5-inch squares on the diagonal.
I am using two different background fabrics, ash gray and a gray/white print, and two different corner fabrics, a black polka dot print and a wine colored print. (I was literally just grabbing what was lying around on the table, so it is what it is—scrappy!)
Sew the diagonally cut 5-inch background squares to the string-pieced centers. Try to center the diagonally cut pieces; they will be about an inch longer on each end than the centers.
Sew the diagonally cut 3.5 inch pieces to the opposite ends, as shown above. Press open and trim blocks to 6 inches square (actually, 5-7/8 inches square might give you a slightly better match of the corner squares, especially if you sew with a scant 1/4 inch seam, but that's sort of a fiddly measurement and it came out close enough when trimmed to 6 inches square).
Arrange four units into one block and sew them together. The block will measure around 11.5 inches square at that point. You can orient the corner triangles so that there is all one color in the center, or do like I did and alternate. Same thing with the background fabrics; you can use two different ones like I did here, or all the same. You have options, is what I'm saying.
So there you have it! I'm sure it's nothing original, although the way in which it came about for me was. I mean, how many blocks have been inspired by a chocolate bar wrapper? (Quilters, don't answer that!)
I can't wait to see what others have created for the Scrap Block Challenge. Visit Confessions of a Fabric Addict today for the linky!
*I used this recipe, but substituted 1/2 c. honey for the sugar and ghee for the butter, and left off the glaze. It was fabulous and totally worth it!