Saturday, August 8, 2015

Playing with Blocks

The other day I was at a local flea market and found a set of these 16 small vintage wooded building blocks, some with solid colored sides in red, cream, blue and yellow, and some with half square triangle combinations, as shown above. I've wanted something like this for a long time and have been enjoying seeing what different pattern combos I can make. However, the kid in me was wanting more... more blocks to play with, more color combinations, more, more, more!

So, to satisfy that inner child, I devised a creative solution...

Wanting very much to keep the look of the vintage worn edges 
with the pops of surrounding color just like the actual blocks had, 
I first scanned the sides of the blocks. 
Then from those scans, and using Photoshop Elements,  (poor man's Photoshop)
I created the extra HST block combos that were missing. 
I then made a sheet containing a total of 10 different solid and HST "tiles", each repeating 8 times.

I printed out the tile sheet onto sticker paper, (found in home office supply shops) and then adhered the paper to a piece of cardboard, recycled from an old writing tablet, (cereal box cardboard would work great, too.) A few minutes of cutting with my rotary cutter, (I have one designated just for paper) and a clear acyclic quilter's ruler and I had my own set of vintage looking "block" tiles, and am delighted by how much they look and feel like real little wooded tiles!

 (can you believe it?) 
that inner child still was not satisfied 
and wanted more colors to play with.

So, I manipulated the colors on that original color sheet,
played around with it here and there...

and came up with 4 more sheets, for a total of 50 different tiles, each repeated 8 times, 
creating a grand total of 400, 1" x 1" tiles! 

(And if that inner child wants more tiles, I can just print out more sheets!)

So now, my inner child and I can have all the fun we want 
coming up with neat and nifty quilt block designs and interesting color combinations!

If you would like to try this idea, please do.
It's not hard and lot's of fun!
(And cool for kids to use as well!)

However, if you would prefer to not go through the trouble of creating your own tile sheets, 
(as that can be rather time consuming) 
I am offering an instant downloadable PDF version in my shop here
It contains all 5 color sheets, along with simple instructions and printing ideas, 
(like how to make actual 3-D blocks from these tiles and creating magnetic tiles.)

Have a great weekend, and don't forget to let your inner child play!