We students were instructed to bring 12-18 coordinated fat quarters to class so as to have a variety of lights, mediums, and darks. I just took my entire 39 fat quarter bundle of designer BasicGrey's Jovial fabric line from Moda, bought on impulse at 60% off, that I have been eyeing on my shelf and afraid to break into. This was an excellent use for it.
The class was a technique class and not intended to result in a completed pieced quilt top at the end of the day. Our goal was to learn clever ways to make quilt block components, often in multiples, and to understand the math formulas that allowed us to adjust them to any size we wanted. This class was focused on a 3" finished size for components. First we made eight half square triangles, HSTs, all at one time. Then we made one fussy cut a square in a square. We had lots of tips on how to work with striped fabric so the directions turned out how we wanted them. Correctly orienting the stripes surrounding that center flower had me wearing my thinking cap! Here are my first nine components on the design wall in the classroom.
Then I decided what if the fussy cut block were not in the center? That might be fun to play with. Here is my bear paw type version with the fussy flower offset.
The third component we made was quarter square triangles, also four at a time. I picked striped fabric again to challenge myself and learn how to control it to go the direction I wanted. The black abacus type fabric behaved. I learned I either have to think harder or not pick striped fabric for the dual triangles if it bothers me that they will go at right angles to each other with this four at a time method. Otherwise I will just pay attention to putting the horizontal and vertical consistently where I want them within the quilt.
Fourth up, we made corner square triangles, again four at a time. Three of them are adjoined at the lower left and one at the upper right of my growing collage. I made the corner square a bright red, somewhat mimicking the center square tradition in a log cabin block. (Traditional log cabin blocks originally started with a red or orange center square, representing the hearth of the cabin.) The deer fabric has lines of words, giving it a stripe orientation, even though the deer have different orientations. Did you notice? I plopped them on the design wall, trying to keep some sort of balanced asymmetry going, just for the fun of it and to see if I could do it.
The fifth and sixth components we made were flying geese and double flying geese, again, each component, four at a time. I messed up the cutting and the red striping on the flying geese. They came out too small and stripes are cattywompus so I will practice those flying geese again. I went for solids on the double flying geese and their wings. Only the sky is that snowflake print. I decided to give my brain a rest! Even so, once I started, I noticed that the hexagons around the snowflakes had a points-up, flats-sideways type orientation. I do like how joining the same color of the geese and the wings of the double geese forms an offset eyeball kind of pairing.
The class also introduced me to Bloc_Loc Flying Geese rulers, used for squaring up and trimming flying geese blocks. They give such great results. A ridge, machined into the ruler, wedges up into the tip of the main triangle of the flying goose and dictates precisely where to trim to get a centered tip ¼" in from the edge. No more nipped tips! The rulers are a bit pricy, especially since you need to buy a different ruler for each size block, but they are one of those things that seem decadent but oh, so delightful, in action. I now own the 1.5" x 3" finished size.
So where do I go from here? I plan to keep making my way through Lynn Wilder's Patchwork Math book generating some more 3" components out of the same bundle of fat quarters. I then will spring for a 3" x 6" Bloc_Loc Flying Geese ruler (watching for a sale or a coupon), try making some components in a 6" size, and mingling them all together somehow. Although the fabric collection is not scraps, it will be a sort of scrap assembly technique. Playing with arrangements like this gives me loads of fun and provides me with hours of contented musings. I made a free form assembly type quilt several years ago with some clearance block of the month packages and it turned out fine. Here is that quilt. If you are curious about its components and how much it varied from what it was supposed to look like, check out my post for June 20, 2012.