Octavian is the block we are tackling in the second instalment of our Awesome Ocean Block of the Month and I'm the first to admit I was oh-so-wrong about him. Honestly - I wasn't all that excited and these little guys were my least favourite block when I first saw Elizabeth Hartman's Awesome Ocean sampler pattern.
Octavian snuck up on me and worked his charms though. He and his mates are not only sweet, but also really fun to make. It was also awesome (sorry - I just couldn't resist) to see the Reef fabrics combined with the Kona cotton and Essex yarn-dyed coordinates for the first time.
Lets get making!
Octavian has lots of different shapes of shapes to cut; more than were needed to make the Kelp blocks, so I labelled small Post-It notesfor the pieces 'A - K' and stuck them to the top of my cutting mat. As I cut each piece from the different fabrics I stacked them in the relevant pile. Once I finished cutting the fabrics for all eight of the Octavian blocks, I pinned all of the pieces and the lable together.
Leave the fabrics in these labelled groups, as it will speed things up when chain piecing.
The diagrams in the pattern booklet are pretty self explanatory and Octavian's head and shoulders went together like a dream.
Is it just me? Does Octavian look like an alien without his legs?
See what I mean?
Don't get those legs in a tangle
The legs are the part where you will want to stop and take a good look at the fabric placement in the original and make sure you end up with the angles going the right way.
I divided the leg pieces F - H into two for each Octavian block and chain pieced the background squares (J) in one direction.
Once I'd completed the first half, I layed them out for a visual check before starting on the rest.
Next I reversed the stitching angle and completed the rest of the legs.
Once I had trimmed and pressed I then stitched the leg unit together by constructing two halves first.
Piecing the legs as two units like this, instead of working from one side to the other., helps you make a neat rectangle instead of a wonky parallelogram which will cause issues down when you join the head unit.
Once the leg unit is together, bingo! You are only one seam away from your very own little octet of Octavian Octopi.