Friday 29 May 2015

Jacob and his Ladder

This month I am looking at the Jacobs Ladder block.  This variation is traced back to Grandmother Clark 1932, a series of booklets published by W L M Clark Inc of St Louis.  Such a simple and effective block, using just 2 dies along with the BigShot Plus.  I thought I would tell you a little about my process too!

It all starts with an idea, an image that caught my attention, in a book, magazine, pinterest ... the options are endless, I have even been known to draw upon architecture and nature for inspiration.

Depending on where I am, I might grab the nearest bit of paper and jot down my thoughts ... that happens a lot!  I will often then convert those thoughts onto the computer in EQ7 to see how it looks, play with layouts and colours until I am sure about where the idea is going, or surprised where it takes me.

this was my basic layout, the plan was to use some new fabrics, just arrived in the studio
(but you know how hard it can be to cut into new fabrics, right!)

So these pretties were my alternative!

Except,when I was piecing them, they didn't quite have that oomph, ok, that clear contrast that I was looking for,  though I did carry on.

So I chose some more fabrics from my scrap box.  Really that's all this runner takes, and of course

Each block is a combination of  4 patches and half square triangles, I like to chain piece all the pieces together in one go.  

I position everything at the sewing machine so it is all at hand

and in no time at all the four patches units are made

Repeat the process for the half square triangles

then with my scrap of paper at the ready, lay out the block

once I've laid that first block out, I will layer up all the pieces so that I can take the piles to the machine and start chain piecing the pairs together

Those blocks are pieced in no time at all

join the blocks together

add a couple of borders and hey presto! 

A table runner is born!

Back to those second choice fabrics ...

you can see the contrast just isn't there,  but I still love it!

This such a versatile block, that once you start playing around with colour and value, direction and placement of fabrics, all sorts of designs are created! 

I hope you'll give this one a go, and let me know how you get on. 
(I'm off to quilt those runners!) 

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