Tuesday Tips: One Block Wonder

Have you ever made a “One Block Wonder”?  To make one you place 6 layers of the same fabric on top of each other lining up the patterns exactly, and then cut them into triangles then sew each group of 6 triangles together into a hexagon.  It’s so much fun!

I’ve discovered a wonderful internet site with a free tool to help you in your design process:  You can find it here:

http://oneblockwonder.com/design-helper/#

Once you’re at the site, you’ll see this screen under the tab “design helper”.

OBWblog1

Just upload a photo of your fabric by pressing “Choose image” and finding it on your computer…

OBWBlog2

Then press “MAKE HEXIES”, and this is what you’ll see!

OBWblog3

The software magically changes the fabric into what the OBW quilt might be!  It’s set at the usual 3.75 inch triangle size and 40” wide fabric, but you can change those parameters if you need to.

I gave it a try with a fabric I recently made into a OBW lap size quilt. Here’s the fabric:

OBWBlog4

After uploading the jpeg, I pressed “make hexies” and this is what appeared…isn’t it fun?

OBWblog5     OBWblog6

The first screen shot is random, but this second screen shot was made when I pressed “by color”.  Then press “snapshot” to get a jpeg that you can save to your computer (right click).

I realized that the photo I uploaded showed less than 40″ width of my fabric, so I tried changing the parameters tothe size of the fabric on the photograph.  Let’s see if it changed the outcome:

OBW3

To compare the program’s outcome to my actual fabric quilt, here’s a photo of my actual OBW quilt on my design wall in my sewing studio…

OBWblog6a

And here’s the same OBW quilt after it was quilted and finished:

OBWblog7

Doesn’t look exactly as the program’s projection, but it’s not too far off.  I had an inkling that this fabric would work, but wouldn’t it be great to use the program to confirmed it?

In some ways the program spoils the surprise–which is half the fun.  But at the same time I think it helps you decide before you buy if the fabric will work.  …And when you need to buy several yards of fabric (quite an expense),it’s nice to be sure it will look good and work well..

Here are some more examples showing some fabrics I have and how they might look.  The original jpeg of the fabric is in the upper left-hand side (note they’ve shown where the cuts will be for triangles), and the lower section shows how they might look when sewn together…

KaffeFassettLotusLeaf  KonaBay LAV1-09  199STrendtexFabr

The first is a Kaffe Fassett Lotus Leaf, the second is a Kona Bay fabric, and the third is a fabric by TrendTex that I’ve had for ages and I’m surprised how well it works.

I’m not sure about the width of fabric in the photo I uploaded. For example, if the fabric is 40″wide, but the photo only shows 20″ of it, I should probably change the parameters to 20 inch width? I’m not sure, but one thing I do know –it’s a lot of fun to play with.  And it’s a great tool for getting some idea of how your fabric might work as a OBW.

For example, here’s a fabric I KNOW won’t work well –it’s too much of the same colors, doesn’t have enough movement, and the print is too small.  The photo I took was of 20”, so I changed the width of fabric in the website program to 20”.

Let’s see what the program does with it…

PhenFall

YUP, as you can see–although it’s pretty,  it doesn’t really work.  It’s too much the same.

So why not take a moment to give the new website tool a try?  Take a photo of your fabric, and play.  Or if you don’t have a photo, go to their “Menu” tab where they have some sample fabrics to try.  Have fun…

Until next time,

HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

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3 thoughts on “Tuesday Tips: One Block Wonder

    • The One Block Wonder is created by sewing 6 triangles together. To make the piecing super easy, only sew half (3) triangles. Put them on your design wall & when you’re satisfied with the arrangement, sew the columns together & then the rows. No partial Y seams at all! See some of the youtube tutorials.

  1. Thank you so much for this tutorial – for years I have wondered what a One Block Wonder was. I have asked people but what they told me never made sense to me. Now that I have seen your article I understand completely – what a great fun project. I am definitely going to be on the look out for suitable fabric for this. What is the smallest pattern repeat that would work for this please?
    Pauline
    preferred email – perry94022 at hotmail dot com

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