January 2020 Giving Quilt – Improv New York Beauty

The first giving quilt assignment of 2020 is a fun structured improv block, the New York Beauty block! Though this block is complex and is perceived as difficult, the freehand cutting technique we are going to use makes two blocks at once and is surprisingly easy to accomplish. We will be handing out a pairs of fat quarters at the January 8th meeting, completed New York Beauty blocks will be collected at the February 12 and March 11 meetings.

The block instructions are below, if you have any questions contact Matt (Matt’s email address can be found in the membership directory HERE)

NY Beauty Block Sample 2

Begin by layering your two fat quarters right sides up

Step 1

Next make two freehand curve cuts, this will form the inner quarter circle, arc piece, and background setting piece. Try for an arc piece that is around 2”- 2 5” wide.

Step 2

Next, sub-cut the arc piece into spikes, try for at least 5 spikes (the example below only has 4.)

Step 3

If you leave a blunt triangle tip that is about ¼” wide you will get pointy triangles when the arc is sewn together, if you cut the triangles to a sharp point you will either get “floating” triangles or “snub-nosed” triangles. All of these options are fine.

Next, switch out every other triangle so the fabrics alternate and sew the triangles together to form the pieced arc. Lining up odd angled triangles is tricky, don’t worry about it too much in this step as we will be trimming the arc and other pieces to fit together in the next steps.

Step 10

You should end up with a pieced arc that has shrunk from sewing all those triangle seams and looks something like the example below.

Step 7

Next, we will trim the pieced arc and inner quarter circle and the pieced arc and background piece so they will all fit together again. Layer the pieced arc and the inner quarter circle together right sides up and overlapping enough to be able to re-cut the curve to fit the pieced arc. Do the same for the background piece.

Sew these pieces together, beginning with sewing the inner quarter circle to the arc. I fold each piece in half and finger press to find the center and use three pins, one pin at the center and pin one at each end. Use your favorite curve sewing technique here. We are aiming for a smooth sewn curve without any pleats but it does not have to be perfect. Repeat for sewing the background piece to the arc and inner quarter circle.

Step 11

Leave your blocks untrimmed, they will look like the block below

NY Beauty Block Sample 1

Excess fabric from the blocks will be used to make spiky sashing strips.

Spiky Sashing

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