Monday, November 28, 2011

A Different Thanksgiving

Our family held Thanksgiving this year without the patriarch of the family.  My beloved father-in-law passed away unexpectedly on November 7.  He lived to be 84, with all his faculties,  many family members by his side as he was wheeled into surgery.  He never regained consciousness.  Following the shock, and the funeral, is a new reality for my mother-in-law and all the siblings and families. We've pulled together, taken care of business, cried, and celebrated a life lived with greatest integrity.  It's been an incredibly difficult time but we are thankful for many blessings which did occur during this time.

So now, after Thanksgiving, I'm sewing again, working on our little blocks, considering the next step and whether I want to finish it next month, or keep going....your comments will be most welcome.  My first thought is I love making the blocks and I have plenty of Layer Cake fabric to keep it going.  My second thought is that I could use the rest of the fabric in the setting.  What would your choice be???

Here is the November block: 8" finished Maple Leaf

Pink and Brown Test Block
This is not normally an 8" block but, it does work and the numbers aren't bad.  I started with oversized pieces for the triangles (4" squares) so I could trim them down. 

For one block cut:
(1) Background piece for stem 3 1/2" square-cut in half on the diagonal. 
(1) Stem -rectangle 1" x 5"
(2) Dark and (2) Background squares 3 1/2" -cut in half on the diagonal
(3) Dark and (1) Background square 3 1/8" (cut a "generous" 1/8")

Piece the stem section first: Sew one triangle on and press toward the stem.  Align the second triangle, sew, and press toward the stem.  Trim to a "generous" 3 1/8". 
Try pressing your seams open throughout and see if you like it better.  I did this for the second block and I think it lays flatter and nicer.

Piece the triangle units and then sew the squares into three rows.  Sew the rows together to make the finished block. 
Layer Cake Block
So, although the leaves are off the trees and the wind is beginning to blow colder, you will have this maple leaf block to remind you of the fall season. 

Happy sewing!

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