Diamond Explosion

Last week I posted about my work to design a quilt using 60-degree diamonds and left the design process here…..

But, EXACTLY how would I piece this??

I started out working with paper and pen and trying to design piecing diagrams but I kept working myself into corners.

Then, I switched to my iPad and used Procreate to play with it further.

It was then that it HIT me…..

Work it in ROUNDS!!!

Now I have to figure out if I can actually piece using these diamonds!!

Instead of starting with my fabric, I grabbed some scraps and played until I was convinced that I could do it.

I pulled out Gyleen Fitzgerald’s book…..

…and spent some time studying the process that she used.

I first practiced sewing them into a straight line…..

….and then using inset seams…..

AND THEY WORKED!!!

This was a great way to feel a bit more comfortable with the process before I started working on the quilt itself!!

So, with fear and trembling, I started cutting the fabrics…..

……come back tomorrow to learn about the ruler and cutting process!!

July Bargello…

I have once again fallen down on the job with posting about the quilts from the British Quilt List challenge that I participated in back in 2009!!

The July quilt was a simple bargello design…..

I love the fabrics that I used for this piece, particularly the sparkles that are coming out of the “fireworks”!!!

Additionally, our guild challenge for December has just been announced, and guess what…..it is a BARGELLO quilt.

I am looking forward to playing with some designs in the upcoming months and seeing what I can do with them!!!

Have you ever made a Bargello design and do you have any suggestions for me??

Finishing the Whirlpool quilt

When I left you yesterday I had finished piecing all of the blocks for the Whirlpool quilt top.….

….so now it was time to put it together.

I laid all the blocks up on the design wall and stepped back to see if I saw anything that needed to be changed…..

The fun thing about making a scrappy quilt like this is that you usually don’t have to worry about block placement!!

Once they were all lined up, I pulled out my Numbered Pins and marked the top, starting with #1 at the top left corner, adding #2, 3, and 4 to the first row, and coming back to the left (2nd row) for #5…

Obviously, these were the leftmost blocks in the 3rd and 4th rows.

When using these pins, I always point the pin to the left side of the quilt.

That way, when I pick, up two blocks to sew together, I can easily tell that I have them in the correct orientation…..

Both pins are pointed to the left and the #2 pin is on the right.

They say that confession is good for the soul so here goes…..

When I pieced the above two blocks, I sewed on the wrong side and they ended up reversed!!!

Since it really didn’t make a difference, I left it alone!!

Because of having the positions marked with pins, I was able to take ALL of the blocks off of the wall and sit down at my machine without having to jump up as often.

Very quickly, the top was together and, after a bit of decision making, the borders were added and the top was finished…..

One of the things that I wanted to accomplish with this top was to practice piecing accurately and, for the most part, I am very happy with the results

Having said that, I am not exactly sure what happened to these two…..

Since this is a charity quilt, I am not going to re-do the areas, but it was interesting to see that I could also make BIG mistakes!!!

One final thing…..

When I was using the sew-and-flip method of making the diamond blocks, I added an extra line of stitching and ended with these extra half-square-triangle blocks…..

I will EVENTUALLY trim them down to 1.5-inch blocks, but for now, I just added them to my 1.5″ drawer……

This sits by my machine, just in case I get the urge to start a “Leader/Ender” project!!

Since they have been there for several years, it doesn’t look promising!!!

Caught in the Whirlpool…

A little while back, I posted about the planning and calculations for making a quilt using the “Whirlpool” block…..

The block is made up of four sets of identical quarters and it was quick work to sew them together……

…..especially after I figured out the masking tape hack that I talked about in a previous post.

I was trying to be very careful with the points and was pleased with the results.

I finished about 2/3rds of them in one sitting and then came back the next day to do the rest. This particular point is important because of the next photo!

One of these things is not like the other……

YES….. I pieced 1/3 of them WRONG!!

I HOPEFULLY laid them out with the two different blocks alternating but it did NOT have the same look…..

So it was time for me to do some ripping……

A LOT of ripping!!

Eventually, I got them fixed and was able to start piecing the bits together…..

At the end of the day, I had 20 CORRECTLY PIECED blocks ready for the top…..

Come back tomorrow for the finish and also a critique of the piecing…..

The Painter’s Tape Solution

In yesterday’s post, I described my newest piecing project…. a charity quilt using the “Whirlpool” block…..

I did make one change in the piecing layout. Instead of piecing the diamond blocks as two half-square triangle squares, I decided to piece them as one unit made up of a rectangle of the scrap fabric and two triangles of the background fabric…..

I was piecing these using the “snowball” technique where you place a background square at the end of the rectangle, sew on the diagonal, and press the resulting triangle over to finish the rectangle.

BUT, I was having trouble getting my lines to be straight!!

After some thought, I figured out a solution……

After I figured out how to position the tape, it was fast and easy to finish piecing the 80 required rectangles and get on with the design.

What would quilters do without Painter’s Tape!!!!

Do you have a favorite trick for using this special tool??