In all my years of quilting, I had never made a New York Beauty block. Now I can check that off my sewing bucket list, thanks to the Island Batik June Challenge!
I started with a half-yard bundle of the new fabric collection, Jewel Carvings. The rich purples and greens are highlighted with creamy yellow accents. Motifs include florals and multi-color graphics with many tone on tone prints.
EQ8 software comes in handy when I am exploring new designs. I searched for the New York Beauty block and auditioned a variety of sizes. I may come back to this bullseye layout, but ultimately I chose to alternate the blocks in a serpentine path.
I wanted to incorporate a wide selection of fabrics from the Jewel Carvings collection so I split the quilt into two halves and mixed the colors in each arc. Let’s take a closer look at how the New York Beauty block comes together.
New York Beauty Quilt Blocks
FIrst, I printed the templates from the EQ8 program. It took several sheets to get the 12” block pieces from 8-½” by 11” paper! Then, I simply traced the shapes on vinyl template plastic, remembering to include the quarter inch seam allowance.
The spiked arc features paper piecing. The half yards from my bundle weren’t quite enough to complete all the arcs in a single color, so I mixed it up a bit. After sewing the paper pieced sections, it was time to tackle the curves.
There are several methods for successfully sewing curves. The goal is to finish with a flat block, so try the different techniques and do what works for you. I found that a combination of pins and glue gave me good results. Place the outer piece on top of the smaller arc. Start with a pin in the center and at each end. Glue the entire seam down with SewFine Fabric Glue. Stitch slowly, moving the fabric to follow the curve. Such a feeling of accomplishment when you finish with no puckers!
Free Motion Quilting
When it is time to load the quilt on the longarm, Hobbs 80/20 is my first choice for batting. It gives beautiful stitch definition and wonderful drape to the finished quilt. I wanted to use up some leftovers, so I tried the heat-press batting tape. What a great solution! It was fast an easy to position two batting pieces side-by-side, place the tape on top, and press for 10 seconds on low heat.
Thinking about quilting designs for the New York Beauty block, the arcs give you plenty of space to play with free motion fillers. I echoed a pebble design in the one of the smaller sections, and kept thing ssimple with wavy lines in the background. A figure eight/wishbone pattern accented the larger arc. Filling the spikes with flames gave the design an intersing point of contrast. Choosing a light fabric for the backing really lets the quilting shine!
More New York Beauty blocks
Take a look at the amazing work of the other Island Batik Ambassadors. Here is the full blog hop schedule:
Sandra Starley, Textile Time Travels
Blog Hop Round-Up Week 1 and Giveaway
Blog Hop Round-Up Week 2 and Giveaway
Blog Hop Round-Up Week 3 and Giveaway
End of Blog Hop and Final Round-Up
Don’t forget to enter the giveaways on the Island Batik blog! This week, you could win a bundle of either Jewel Carving or Nightshade