I am on a roll! Another pattern I have been working on is ready.
This pattern is for a foundation-paper-pieced map of Australia. The pattern is for the block only and includes templates for two sizes: 6 inches and 12 inches. A few minutes by a photocopier could easily convert it to an 8-inch block too.
This block pattern started life as a mug rug, about 6 by 9 inches. In 2016, our sewing group swapped mug rugs instead of Christmas gifts. I started plotting an Australian-themed mug rug in secret, and this is what I came up with.
I was inspired by a photo I saw on Pinterest by Peta of She Quilts a Lot, but her pattern is English paper pieced (I think), a crib size and far, far too big for what I needed. I also wanted to separate the states by colour, so I drew my own with the help of a school atlas.
Friends in my sewing group asked for instructions, so I started tweaking what I had drawn and resizing it to a more user-friendly 12 inches. My experimental prototype also had a few bulky seam intersections that I wanted to remove.
Funnily enough, a year later, I found myself drawn to make the new versions in the same colours as the original. In every version, I included an apple print for Tasmania. The random elephants in the north of the country are simply because I do not have any kangaroo or crocodile prints.
I made a cushion cover from the 12-inch block.
And I made a pouch from the 6-inch block.
I resisted the temptation to sew pompom fringe on the cushion and finished it with piping instead, but I could not resist adding a tiny line of pompoms to the pouch.
I suspect that the market for fabric reproductions of maps of Australia is niche, to say the least, but I had fun making it.
My friend Amei made a knitting bag with her block when she tested the pattern. What would you make with an Australia block?