Sunday, December 30, 2012

Still Churning Along in Another Colorway

I am continuing construction of my Churn Dash-ish Quilt.  I guess that will be its working name until I come up with something better.  I absolutely love the pattern I am working off but do not want to reveal it just yet.  I think it is kind of fun to see only parts of a quilt at a time and try to guess where it is going.

I had one question about what I thought was a missing part of the churn dash variant block so I called the designer at A Q_i_t_r's Dr__m to see if there was any errata for the pattern.  (There, a hint for whose pattern it is, if you really do not want to wait.) She answered my question quickly over the phone – but not so quickly as to make me feel foolish, like "Well, duh, that was obvious."  I forgot I had made some half-square triangles for two churn dashes in step #5 so I did have all the parts I needed and there were no errors in the pattern.  It was also nice to have a contact person in addition to an e-mail or website. I'd met the designer at the San Mateo Quilt and Craft show and just love her patterns, and buy more at each show.  They are so creative and well thought out.  And she has the neatest way of displaying the fabrics she sells.  She folds them into equilateral triangles and perches them standing on their bases on the merchandising table.

Can't you just imagine a whole flock of these funky little fabric friends marching side by side, beckoning you? You just want to scoop them all up they are so inviting.  Any way, I digress.

Here are the notorious HSTs from step #5.  There are many construction methods but the one in the pattern and the one I like best is to sew two diagonal lines 1/2" apart and then slice between them.  I like to line them up slightly overlapping on the cutting board,

then slice through all at once placing the ruler's 1/4" mark on the stitching line...

... and Voila, half square triangles!  I know. I could just free hand slice between the two stitching lines but somehow, any one who cares about how her pressing directions look on the back would also be bothered by uneven seam allowance widths.  To some, this is sick.  To me, this is the precision part of quilting I love.

Also there are corners of the churn dash that have a right or left handedness to them.  To be sure I make one a mirror image of the other, I line them up on the cutting board before slicing off the corner as a nice double check.  See, the one on top and one on bottom face different directions so I am OK to cut away.  I actually caught a mistake I'd made where the two rectangular sections were alike, facing the same way. I could correct it by ripping out the seam and re-sewing since I had not cut the corner off yet.

Also, with this method it is more difficult to mess up by cutting on the wrong side of the stitching line.  But nobody out there has ever done that, right?

Here are my churn dashes in my second colorway.

And here are my concentric, offset boxes in the same colorway.

I am not yet posting any assembled block pix, so if you are really curious, you have to figure out my hint in the second paragraph. The kit for my source fabric had 30 fat eighths so, taken six at a time I have enough fabric for five colorways. This will make five sets of six assembled blocks each since each three fat quarters or six fat eighths make six assembled blocks.  This French Braid pattern that I am not using has five vertical construction stripes that blend similar colors. All the ingredients are there. I am just mixing is up a lot!

Here are the six fat eighths that I will use for my next set of six blocks.  I have made pairs of two oranges, two lilacs and two limes.

Oh, to keep track of what I've cut I also make myself little shapes printed on and cut out of card stock using PowerPoint to keep track of my stacks of pieces.  These are not templates.  They just sit on top of my stacks of cut pieces so I can readily find what I need.

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