So, I mentioned I’m in this sewing bee I believe. In essence, you get one month of the year, and you get to design the blocks you want your bee members to do. Of course, what I know from quilt blocks is … well… pathetic. And yet, in my head I have a vision of a quilt that looks like a streetscape. So, I looked up different ways to do it.

First, I did some research on flickr. I thought this was cool, but not quite what I was looking for. I liked this one but again, not quite my style. I love this one, but man does that ever look complicated to design and sew.

There are two basic approaches to making a house: the first is to piece together sections until they resemble a house and then attach a background; the second is to use applique techniques. Because I’m a little leery of the first technique, I decided to try the second.

Now, applique is a little easier than it was back in my mum’s day. They have new cutting tools and most importantly they have an iron on adhesive that keeps things in place, thus allowing you to sew a design within the shape. And that’s when you can get a wee bit funky.

I love a specific line of fabric by a company named Monaluna. Circa50 uses retro designs for chairs, cars, and houses to create unique and visually arresting fabric pattern. When I was in NYC last fall I actually saw it in person and bought the chairs and the houses (they didn’t have the cars, but man I wanted it so badly!). The houses served as a design inspiration  for the two blocks I made. Oh, plus my house, which is a four storey one room wide house.

This was the first one I made. That’s my house on the left, and a Circa50 house on the right. I outlined the architectural details in stitching. See?

I really liked this block, and since I still had leftover fabric with the adhesive on it, I decided to make a second test block, this time using a combo of fused and raw edge (no fusing) applique.

So, here we have another Circa50 house, with a tree and a sun. If you couldn’t guess that was a sun, you need to go to another blog and not come back. <grin> The windows in this house and the tree trunk were attached to the fabric with, um, a glue stick. Then I sewed around the edges. The leaves on the trees are from the very first batch of fabric I bought, about 18 or so months ago. Oh, using the stash.

Here’s a little detail or two.

It’s virtually impossible to sew in a circle, by the way. So I outlined rays of sunshine instead. Honest, that’s what this is!

Here are the two blocks together.

You can totally see how this would be cool, right? I’m thinking about a full daylight section, an early morning section, and a nighttime section. What do you think? Maybe transitioning from suburban to full urban? I think I’d like to do one that’s a parking lot, and another that looks like a high concept apartment building in the Market or something. What do you think? Got any suggestions?

These are 12″ blocks, by the way. I think I need 25 in order to make a bed sized quilt, plus sashing. I’m pretty excited.

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