I’m sewing again! I know you probably want more details on the sewing table / cutting mat station that my husband and I built. I promise we took lots of photos and I’ll be putting together a really comprehensive DIY tutorial for it in the coming weeks. But after being without my sewing machine for 2 months, I hope you understand that I couldn’t wait to dive in and start sewing again.
On August 16th, I signed up to make a block for the Kona Food Quilt 2022, which is being organized by Meaghan @so_gingerly. I loved seeing all the creative blocks made last year for the Pickle Quilts, and I was eager to hop in and join in on the fun this year. This year, instead of a single unifying color, Meaghan selected a multicolored palette of Kona cottons with food names. During signup, we could select our top 3 favorite colors in the palette, and I was assigned Tangerine. Other than my block needing to have Kona Tangerine, the only other requirement was to add 1 1/2″ (unfinished) snowballed corners in our assigned color (in my case, Tangerine) to the corners of my block, and the snowballed corners should be high enough contrast with the rest of the block that they pop. For my design, I opted to stick with a two-color palette of Kona Natural paired with Tangerine.
I went to the University of Tennessee (Volunteers) and the UT school colors are orange (funnily enough, California poppy orange) and white. I did play around with making a checkerboard top and bottom border since this is a volunteer effort, but I thought it was a bit fussy. So, after abandoning playing around with the checkerboard idea, I quickly moved on to curves. Yes, I’m still madly in love with sewing curves. I had my design solidified on August 17th, and after that I was just waiting on having access to my sewing machine to get the block made.
On Tuesday afternoon I was all set up and ready to go! To make my block, I started by making (4) 6 1/2″ finished Curve Star Blocks. I used a 6 1/2″ Kona Natural square for the center paired with 6 3/4″ Kona Tangerine squares from which I cut oversized 3″ finished convex drunkard’s path pieces. I love this method for curve piecing because it creates an oversized block that I can trim down square. Over the years, I have found that trimming oversized blocks always helps me improve my accuracy and is worth the little bit of extra trimming time.
After trimming the (4) curve star blocks to 6 1/2″ square, I sewed them into an inset circle of more Kona Natural. Again, I used an oversized 7″ square as my starting point for the Kona Natural outer circle, which allowed me to final trim the blocks one more time to 6 1/2″ square.
I have to admit that the block took me all afternoon to piece. I am not a super fast piecer, but I am especially slow when curves get smaller. I’m really confident at sewing 6″ finished curves now, and while these 3″ finished curves turned out great, it’s because I took it one stitch at a time and wasn’t afraid to seam rip when things got just a bit too wonky.
Speaking of using a seam ripper, I used it four times while I was assembling the quadrants together; once for each point where the tangerine peel blocks come together. No matter how I try, I do find that second (or third) time tends to be the charm in order to get those final seam allowances looking how I want.
It was such a delightful way to spend an afternoon breaking in using my new sewing studio, and I can’t wait to see all the other yummy blocks come together for the Kona Food Quilt 2022. To follow along, be sure to check out the #2022KonaFoodQuilt hashtag on Instagram. I’ve seen what others have already made and what is being planned, and I promise that checking out the hashtag over the coming months will be very inspiring!
When the quilt is finished, raffle tickets will be sold to raffle off the finished quilt and all proceeds will go to support community food pantries nationwide. I’ll share more details as the quilt comes together and when the raffle starts. Have a great weekend!