Saturday, July 21, 2012

Snowflake Quilt: Blocks 4 and 5

I'm making a bit more progress on my snowflake quilt.  I've run into a problem: there just aren't 12+ quilting designs that I've mastered...  I want this to be a sampler quilt, but I also don't want it to be a beginner one.  So once I did the scallops, the spirals, and the checkboard, I was kind of stuck.  I planned on stippling the large center block, so I can't use that.  So it sat for awhile, and I worked on my Dresden plate quilt.

Well, I made some progress.  First- I bought two more sheets of felt and did the applique of the snowflake on the two squares I ran out for.  Then, I tried to figure out what to do about the center snowflake- it's huge, and I was going to have to join felt (would look bad) or use a different material.  After a few small scale tests, I decided to use fleece.  I got it appliqued and after 3 days of cutting and many blisters all cut out.  Now I'm just worried because there is a lot of excess fluff.  If me and the lint roller don't work really hard, it will show under the organza, still I think it will look better than joining felt.  Maybe I should have used batting, but I thought that would look too different from felt.

So, I was back to needing to quilt- but I still don't have mastery of new designs.  I've been sketching a lot of McTavishing, but I'm not good enough at it to want it on this quilt.  I've been drawing echo-arches, paisley, etc.  And I suck.

I am taking a class at the Des Moines quilt show with Diane Gaudynski so I researched her.  She has a design called "Diane-shiko" that I love.  Without reading the instructions on how to do it (I found them after I figured it out), I started sketching it.  Unlike Leah Day's designs, these require marking a grid on the quilt.  So I started on paper and marked a grid.  Then I circumscribed a circle along each- way too much travel stitching.  So I thought that must not be how she does it.  So then I drew the arcs inside the squares- less traveling, but still some.  Then, I figured out I got it- I drew half circles up a line, and then back down it.  YES! The drawing was perfect. So I quilted it.  No, the quilting was not- I got build up whenever I had to change direction at the vertex of the square.  Plus, the 3/4" grid I marked was too large scale for this quilt.  So I ripped it out.

And then, I figured it out- squiggle lines!  Rather than reversing direction at each vertex, cross to the other side of the line and make that arc, cross back and forth down the length of the line.  At the end of the piece- come back down the line making the other circle.  It worked perfectly.  Once you have all the vertical done, do the horizontal.  And this makes the overlapping circles, with no circles to do at all.

Here is mine:
It isn't perfect but I really like it.  If you do a marked design, you have to mark well.  I marked very poorly.  First, the 3/4" lines were done well, but the Frixion pen was very hard on the surface of the quilt, and stretched the organza, making it dificult to stay straight.  Then I eyeballed a line between them to make it 3/8" scale- and that was my downfall.  Don't eyeball things.
I'm happy to report the lines ironed out with no issue at all. 

So the second Diane Gaudynski design is apple core- a common quilting pieced design. 
This is a building block for the previous one- I squiggled up the lines, but didn't squiggle back down to form circles.  It is important on apple core to pay attention to if the block is an "in" or an "out" on the horizontal, and do the opposite on the vertical.  This one had a grid marked at 1/4" scale.  I used a Frixion highlighter and was much more accurate with my marking- the soft tip of the highlighter didn't stretch the fabric.  However, it left prominent white lines when the color was ironed out.  Except only prominent if you get really close to the fabric and look for them.  You can't see them at all at a distance, and even up close you have to look- so I'm going to just cross my fingers and hope they wash out when I wash the entire quilt, but all is well if they don't.

So now I have 7 more small blocks, plus the large block to go.  Uh-oh.  I don't know what 7 other designs I have enough mastery of to use!

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