This block is headed to Sarah from Common Threads. She gave us three neutral fabrics and asked for texture and a pop of color from our own stash.
I immediately thought of origami and headed to the library to check out every book they had on folded fabric. As I passed over every project listed, I spotted this pattern for smocking in Folded Fabric Elegance by Rami Kim. I was in love. She has several more patterns, but I was drawn to the suggestion of basketweave in this one. I knew I wanted it to be the centerpiece of the block with very simple sashing in the other tones. The green (which looks far duller in the photo than in real life) is from my stash.
Here's the smocking before it's pressed:
And here's the back before pressing. You can see the 1/2" grid of dots I drew. Those are the basis of the technique. From there you follow some simple diagrams bringing the dots together. It's not difficult, just a bit time consuming with a lot of knotting between each stitch. Once I got going, I found a groove and soon didn't need the diagram.
I've got to find some other ways to use this technique. I think it'd look wonderful done in linen as a pocket on a dress or tunic.