Monday, July 11, 2016

Block exploration

Hello, everyone.

As always, the new project is seizing my attention and energy. Thinking up the design and choosing color schemes and looking at block ideas and so on is so much fun.

I look at Pinterest. I look at quilt block books around the house. I look at my own stuff. I think about the person who might get the piece.
And in the process there is always, always a new block that screams "make me! I'm perfect for this quilt."

Out comes the graph paper, the pencil, the Pentel Hi Polymer white eraser (wonderful for erasing pencil marks--but I do prefer the automatic-eraser-pencil shape to the block I have at the moment) and maybe the highlighter pens to help the lines come clear.
Guess it's time to locate another sheet of graph paper!

I've filled 2 sheets of graph paper so far, plus odd bits. Some of the designs are original, some are adaptations of designs in 501 Quilt Blocks, some are adaptations of designs that are already being permutated all over Pinterest...and likely other places I don't even know about.

The latest one to be actually played with is the rocket ship. The versions I saw online were mostly curvy applique shapes. I actually like piecing better than applique. The pieced ones I saw had blunt nose cones that for some reason didn't appeal to me. They were made of a pair of half-square triangles.

But there is a lady out there who had worked out how to make half-rectangle triangles. (Her blog seems to have disappeared, maybe she got busy and decided it was just one too many things to keep up with? But she had posted it in this other location also.) I thought that might be just the thing for a rocket nose cone.

Half-rectangle triangles. Note the offset of the corners on the unpressed one.

It's tricky to assemble--if you line up the wrong corners you get a kite instead.
You will note that this one does NOT have any offset corners. Oops.

Like half-square triangles, you have to allow extra seam allowance.
You have to have a strip of the wide size for triangle creation,
and of the regular size for squares and rectangles.
In the last photo, the top rectangle is assembled from a piece of wider fabric. The bottom rectangle was assembled from "standard" 1.5" wide strips. As you can see, it basically becomes a 1" rectangle at the narrow dimension. The wider one is a wee bit too wide for me, and too long, but I didn't look up the allowance for triangles before cutting the wider strip. The difference is probably just user error.

First draft of the rocket ship! This is the 4x6 version. If I wanted it to be 6x6,
I would just add another strip of space on each of the sides.
I use glittered fabrics for testing, because I've concluded that all that metallic print stuff is going to end up tarnishing a few years down the road. The star motif for the background, though, is definitely in the plan. The flame at the bottom will be in an honest red, gold, orange, or yellow. And the rocket ship will probably be either in light gray print or in dark gray print against a light sky background. It makes the rocket ship easier to see that way.

This layout did make a rocket, but the conclusion for me is that, like the whale blocks in the last quilt, some minimizing of internal seams is in order. Also, just to minimize the tricky factor--and make no accidental kites--I'll probably use the "add a bit on the corners" method that's often used for the snowball block. (Link has a video. They used a 10 inch square for the body of the snowball.) It's just more foolproof. And instead of three slices of 1.5" fabric for the body of the ship, I'll probably use a 3.5"x 2.5" rectangle. More foolproof, again.