Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Tuesday Tangents: AQS QAL Complicated and Resized, Under the Stars Kit Augmented, and Block #5 Planned for Beware the Ishmaelites Sampler

Good morning, and Happy Tuesday, everyone!  I spent some time tidying up my studio yesterday, so I rewarded myself with a few design diversions this morning before getting back to work on my Spirit Song quilt.  

First Tangent: AQS Summer Star QAL

First I played in EQ8, redrafting the AQS Summer Star QAL project that caught my eye in their email newsletter.  Here's what I came up with:

The original design by Betsey Langford, shown below, finishes at 72" x 72", which is not a useful size for me right now.  I thought this would make a good baby quilt, so I resized Langford's design to finish at half size, 36" x 36", and then added 3" borders so my quilt would finish at 42" x 42."  I added some red and orange for some summer sizzle.

[In case anyone's interested in the technical details: I imported the image of the AQS quilt into my EQ8 software and used the Easy Draw Tracing Image tool.  So I told the software that the image was 36" x 36" and had a graph paper type grid overlaid on the image, allowing me to designate patches by "tracing" the design with intersecting straight lines wherever I wanted to put my seams).  

But the most important thing that I changed, that might not be immediately obvious, is that I UNsimplified and REcomplicated Langford's design.  If you look closely at her rendering, you can see very faint white lines between some of the fabric patches, indicating that her design is made completely from squares, HST units, and Flying Geese units.  That was probably done to make the project more approachable for beginners and more appealing to the many quilters who would rather jam a needle under a fingernail than sew a Y-seam.

My own personal preference is to have as few seams as possible in a block, even if that means the construction will be fiddlier.  It gives the finished quilt or block a cleaner look, in my opinion, to have fewer seams, and it definitely results in less bulk from unnecessary seam allowance, fewer bulky seam allowances to quilt over later, and perhaps most important of all, I know I can see where the piecing lines are when the quilt is finished and I really like the way that the diagonal seam lines radiate from the center of the star if I piece this with diamonds and Y-seams.  

And now, for the Million Dollar Question: Will Rebecca Actually MAKE This One???

Well, maybe.  The size is manageable and I have bolts of Kona Snow and a orangey-red solid fabric in my stash that would be perfect, so I'd only need to purchase the two blues, the yellow, and some kind of backing.  It would be fun to quilt, too, don't you think?  For now, I printed out the quilt design, yardage requirements, rotary cutting charts, and cardstock templates.  They are paperclipped together and set aside.

Second Tangent: Under the Stars Kit

I recently snapped up a quilt kit that caught my eye -- I have NEVER bought a quilt kit before!  Karen made me do it...  ;-). When I saw this Moda Good Times Under the Stars kit, it reminded me of so many gorgeous star quilts that I'd pinned to my Pinterest boards or admired in magazines over the years, and it was nearly half off in a clearance sale -- I couldn't resist.  

I love the design, but I am going to have to tweak it just a little bit to make it my own.  First of all, the quilt is designed to finish at 88" x 95", and I'm going to want mine a little bigger to more generously fit a Queen sized bed with a deep pillow top mattress.  I'm going to disregard (and REcomplicate!) the instructions for the smaller stars, which are designed as a single applique piece for each star (mine will be pieced from diamonds).  I'm going to add a wider border, or multiple borders of some kind, to get my quilt to the size I want it to be.  But I'm also going to mix in some other fabrics with the ones that came in the kit.

Two reasons for doing this: First of all, quilters who have more experience with kits than I do have warned me that sometimes a kit will be short fabric, or won't have enough extra fabric to save you if you make a cutting mistake.  I ALWAYS make cutting mistakes -- every single quilt.  I just factor in extra yardage now, automatically.  Instead of purchasing additional yardage or precuts from the Moda Good Times collection, exactly like what I got in my kit, I decided that my quilt would have even more vintage appeal -- and I would have even more options if I ran out of something -- if I mixed in some coordinating fabrics from my stash.  The fat quarters and half yards that you see laid out on the right side of the photo above are the stash fabrics that I'm thinking of mixing in with my kit fabrics.  But I'm not ready to start this project yet, so I just crammed those FQs into the box with the kit fabrics and pattern instructions and set it aside.

Third Tangent: Planning Block #5 for Beware the Ishmaelites Sampler

Does anyone remember the Moda Modern Building Blocks Sampler from a few years ago?  Typically for me, I redrafted and resized the whole thing in my EQ8 software, recoloring it in Kona Solids to coordinate with the graphic Italian wallpaper in my son' en suite bath, swapped out some of the blocks that I wasn't wild about, made everything weird sizes that are anything but ruler friendly so I'd have to foundation paper piece and template piece everything, and added striped borders to get the size I wanted for Son the Younger's Queen bed.  Here's my version, renamed Beware the Ishmaelites because it is much more colorful than his older brother's quilt, and it reminded me of Joseph's Coat of Many Colors in the Bible and how his jealous siblings faked his death and sold him to the Ishmaelites for revenge:

I bought all of the fabric and started in on the largest blocks in the quilt back in 2016.  I've finished exactly four of these blocks so far, so I should probably crank out another one, don't you think?!  The next block is thankfully a lot more straightforward than the last few.  It's even ruler-friendly, so I can just cut out the pieces and sew them together.  Imagine that!  Its the yellow and white block in the upper left corner of the quilt, second down from the top.

Since I redrafted the whole quilt in EQ8, I'm not using the Moda instructions at all for this quilt.  What you see in the photo above is the Rotary Cutting Chart that I'm able to print out for any block in EQ, whether it's a block that was preloaded into the Block Library or a block that I drafted from scratch.  What I did this morning is figure out how I want to piece the block and which way I'll press all of the seam allowances to get a flat block with seams that nest at intersections.  I'll be making four of the 5" corner units, four of the 5" yellow and white side units, joining these into three rows, and then sewing the rows together to complete the block.  I might even do this TODAY, if I manage to drag myself away from the computer...

The last time I pieced a block for this quilt was before I started piecing my Spirit Song quilt (on the left side of the design wall above), the one that's currently on my long arm frame and is about 75% quilted at this point.  I've still got the blocks for Ishmaelites on the right side of my design wall because "out of sight, out of mind," and this quilt is one of my top piecing priorities, alongside the baby quilt for the baby who's almost two now...  

That's enough dilly-dallying for today, don't you think?  I'm linking up today's post with some of my favorite linky parties:


·       Colour and Inspiration Tuesday at Clever Chameleon

·       To-Do Tuesday at Home Sewn By Us


·       Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

·       Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter


·       Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation  


Chris said...

My head is spinning! You don't do easy do you? I love to play in EQ7. I don't have 8.

Roseanne said...

Hi Rebecca! Oh.my.goodness. Lots of tangents in this post. I have to giggle about you making a few tweaks to a design and making it harder for yourself. I do completely agree about having fewer seams in a quilt, though. I've just gotten to the point where I'll make a flying geese instead of two HSTs for that very reason. Thanks for linking up this week. ~smile~ Roseanne

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

great idea to mix in more fabric from your stash- I might do that too although I don't have a lot of prints that would be right but I do have some solids that I could mix in here and there- I'm not ready to start right now either.

Jill said...

Lol! “Karen made”you do it. It’ll be interesting to me which one starts it first. There is an American Jane that I had an eye on, but it sold out. It is still available for full price elsewhere but I’m holding off a bit as there are other projects waiting....I think you get my drift.

SJSM said...

And....you are off and running with those designs in your head to having them on paper. Now it no longer is just possible there is a plan if you choose to implement. I do like the BTI quilt for your son. I keep waiting (patiently) to see each step anticipating the end results. I certainly could spend some time cleaning out my sewing space. Currently it’s mask making time again. This time a neighbor who used to sew brought over her machine and I’m setting her on a path to make a dozen for different family members and a weeks worth for her 3 year old grand daughter to have for preschool. Her state just went into mandatory mask wearing. Training little ones to wear masks is so sad but necessary. So many hate having hats on their heads, I can’t imagine the difficulty to get them to wear masks for a few hours a day. Regardless, we just finished day two of cutting. She learned to trace a pattern on fabric then cut with a rotary cutter and is now proficient enough for that task. All the first seams are sewn. I’m teaching her a few production techniques to speed things along as much as possible. Re-entering sewing she is taking things slowly and had only a few seams to take out and put back together. A pressing methodology was used to ensure all seams would nest together. I anticipate a few more 6 hour days before she has the masks done. In between I’m making another 20 for various people I encounter in my lives. A few I am going back and giving more so they have masks for school and at least one to wash while the other is worn.

Cheree @ The Morning Latte said...

Can I copy what Chris said up there: my head is spinning, too! I still have so much to learn with the EQ8! Oh my gosh. At first I thought their classes were crazy expensive but more and more I see there really is THAT much to learn. I'd have been tempted on that quilt kit, too. Never bought one either but that's a bargain and it's sooo pretty! So much quilty fun going on with you! Wow!

Nancy said...

Wow, you have a lot on the go, Rebecca Grace! On your First Tangent the first thing I noticed in the first photo were the y-seams, and then you wrote about complicating the pattern. Good for you to make it your own way, however you want it.
Under the Stars -- WOW! That's a beauty of a quilt. I know you will make great progress and make it beautiful as you enlarge it.

MissPat said...

Why follow a pattern or use a kit when you can redesign it all AND make it more complicated. Rebecca, you can always be counted on not to do anything the easy way, but your quilts are unique and beautiful. Good idea to get back to work on your son's quilt before he's married with children.

Peacemeal said...

"fiddlier" - from the Latin meaning "it looks better even though my eyes are bleeding!"
I made the "Stars with Flaire" quilt using pattern from "Quick Quilts from your Scrap Bag", Leisure Arts, 1999. I'll share. Every block was different and reflected a family member. Then each block had a ring and center of the same fabric to tie it all together. AND if that isn't "Fiddlier" enough there is bias tape from the outer point to the center of each point. IT IS AWESOME. Took forever. Looking forward to making the QAL Summer Star. First time here - Love it. Thanks for the good ideas and the smiles.

Rebecca Grace said...

Peacemeal, I wanna see your Stars With Flair quilt but you are a “no reply blogger” so I don’t know how to contact you!! Please email me a picture or a link. It sounds amazing!!