Do you remember the story of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves? It’s the one where the cave of hidden treasures only opens when you say Open Sesame! For some reason I was reminded of this story when I saw a pattern in A Quilters Mixology by Angela Pingel from Cut to Pieces. I may have been primed as an earlier pattern is called Arabian Nights but when I saw Angela’s ornament design it reminded me of Aladdin’s lamp and then probably, that’s how I got to Ali Baba and the thieves hiding in oil barrels.
Still for whatever reason this pattern stuck in my head and knowing I didn’t want to make a bed quilt I decided to make a smaller project, a sewing machine cover! Now my machine gets used a lot but you still get dust gathering on the top plus you can see in our kitchen window at night time, through the fancy sheer, let in as much light as you can in the daytime blinds, that I thought were a fantastic idea!
So a dust protector and a hide the big machine protector was in order. I decided to be really clever and resize Angela’s 16” blocks to 8”, 10” and 12” to make a cover with a big lantern on one side and 2 smaller ones on the other. Sewing tiny curves is a bit fiddly and making the 8” yellow block gave me pause. So much for clever! I found it easier to hand sew the smallest curves in the end and I surprised myself at how close to 1/4” I got my eyeballing it and basically winging it! Sometime you just have to trust yourself and take a chance. I’ll pay more attention next time I decide to re-size someone’s hard thought out design!
Amy Gibson’s free Craftsy 2012 BOM has an excellent tutorial for the traditional block and I’ve seen a cheater method at Missouri Star Quilt Company where you applique a circle to a square and cut it into quarters. Angela uses a modern version of this block with an enlarged circle that goes almost all the way to the edge leaving only 1/4" seam allowance of the background block. When pieced to other blocks this gives a continuous curve which Angela uses to great effect to create Butterflies and lanterns and baubles!
Of course resizing and doing my own thing left me making this the hard way. I cut out my own templates and forgot that Angela has a trick in her book to make this easier. Make the block over sized and trim down. I didn’t do that and made the traditional way with pins and went very slowly.
Still it was worth the effort in the end as I really love the curved effect of this block!
Fabrics were left overs from my Lost in London quilt with a bit of purple added in. And the background came from a piece left over from it the Tape it quilt pattern we played with during the workshop with Brigitte Heitland. So a bit scrap friendly!
I may have made a mistake in the sizing though. The length is not too bad but will shrink a bit when quilted.
The pink looks likes it in the right place but I should have placed the yellow a smidge lower. Oh well!
Still I now have a finished flimsy. I may just make it a little bit wider! Any suggestions for quilting it? What I have in my head is probably far too ambitious for my hands at this stage in my free motion quilting abilities but its a small project so probably a good one to practice on!
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