I love wonky blocks!

My scrap project is now officially going to take forever and a day. And I don’t care! To make it match the picture in my head, I just cannot bring myself to square everything up and have it all neat and even. What that means in terms of construction is that there is no stacking and cutting of layers, no chain piecing, no shortcuts. But it’s all so much more unique when you customize every part of your work that it is just plain worth it!

Have you added wonkiness into your quilt life? I made a lot of crazy nine patch blocks and now I’m going to add some inserts into some of them. Just in case you haven’t tried inserts, here’s how I do it.

I’m using fairly wide strips for my inserts, because I don’t want to drive myself totally bonkers! Wonky insert1

This block already had one insert and I’m going to add the striped one, also. The strip is one inch wide, so the finished insert is 1/2″ wide.

Simply slice your block where you want your insert to be.

Wonky insert2

I try to avoid seam intersections, but if you hit one, it’s not a very big deal. Sewing the left side first is what I usually do, lining up the edges, just as if it were a regular block. When you add the second side, you have choices.

Wonky insert3

Line up the edges again, as shown by the fat arrow, and sew. Don’t fret about lining up the other insert that’s already there or the block pieces. This is wonky and doesn’t need to match. Your second choice, shown by the skinny arrow, is to put the left edge of your presser foot closer to that first sewn seam. That makes your insert skinnier and by following the first seam line, your insert is straight, too. Or you can start with a skinnier insert piece…I don’t do that very often, but if you want to see great, skinny insert work, check out Kathy Loomis’ work at artwithaneedle.com She is awesome!

So, back to my fat inserts…I press the seams towards the insert.

Wonky insert4

That fills up the insert with fabric and you don’t end up with a big sinkhole in your block. See–nice and full and fluffy and the orange strip even accidentally matched!

Wonky insert5

Notice that I have not squared up the edges of the block. I save that part until I am actually joining my blocks. That way I can put off the final size decision a bit longer. Procrastination works well for me when I’m doing wonky stuff!

So this is what I’ll be doing for the forseeable future. I’ll try not to bore you with updates about doing the same thing over and over–I’ll save the next post about this piece until it’s done. I just want to encourage you to find something you can cut into without a heart attack and do something wonky, too. Quilting is supposed to be fun and this is lots of fun for me!

I’m happy to have something to share on Nina-Marie’s blog this week. Check out all the cool blog link-ups.

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4 thoughts on “I love wonky blocks!

  1. I took a class with traditional quilters yesterday. I see what you mean about how intimidated they are by improvisation. The teacher had to go over every little detail for every cut. It was like doing brain surgery for them.

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