Monday, November 20, 2017

Starting a New Quilt

Have you tried out any of the quilting magazines that are available digitally?
Several of them promote their new issues on Instagram and I was charmed by a pattern that the Quilters Companion featured last week from the new issue, #88.
It's an Australian publication and I couldn't find it locally but was able to purchase it quickly and easily via the website, -- just go to the site and search for the magazine by name.
Quilters Companion
The pattern is Jewel of the '30s by Jenny Tate.  The pattern is written for EPP but I need a new "leader and ender" project to carry me through my holiday stitching so I'm machine piecing it.
Now you might wonder why I purchased the magazine but I firmly believe it's important to support designers by buying their ideas even when I don't do it exactly as they have written.
If they don't get financial support, they lose their motivation to share their ideas.
And let's face it quilters, we need their ideas!!
So here is my piecing strategy for this one! 
I pulled out my stack of 30s prints.
Then without coordinating, I pulled sets of six prints -- blue, lavender, orange, pink, green, and yellow. 
Marti Michell has several sizes of "jewel" templates and I'm going with the largest one -- this is the multiple shape template from Set H that came be used to cut a "jewel".
I stacked my six prints on top of a 6" by 8" mat on top of my table size mat. After making the first three cuts, I can pull away the yardage.
The reason for the small mat is to be able to rotate everything so I can always cutting along the right side of the template (because I'm right handed) or along the top edge.
Notice the left end of the template is falling off my fabric.
I don't need the full diamond shape for the "jewel".
Once I've cut around the template as it lays, I need to trim the left end to complete the "jewel" shape. 
A simple twist of the template to align the purple lines that define the "hexagon" shape of the template allows me to trim off the excess (along the top edge in the picture below).
I cut two stacks from each group of six prints.
I will piece one set as cut.
The second set of each group, I mixed and matched with five other sets to scramble things up a bit more.
It was like playing cards, dealing out one "jewel" to each pile but not duplicating a color. 
Six new assortments without any more cutting. 
To keep each assortment easy to manage, I set up three pairs using the same color arrangement for each set -- orange with blue, yellow with lavender, green with pink.
These color combinations are opposite each other on the color wheel which assures me of good contrast and each pair is a warm color with a cool color -- good for contrast, too!
Here's one of the sets ready to stitch.
It took a couple de-stitching events to realize that to maintain the alternation of warm and cool which helps create more contrast in each set, I needed to have the warm print on top of the cool print for all three pairs.  
Taking the time to set up your piecing before stitching prevents the disappointment of have the pink next to lavender, etc. which might look clunky in the finished block.
Call me fussy, but I like balance!! 
If you've been following me for a while, you know what is next -- chain piecing through y-seams!!
I chain piece constantly and this technique of stitching has become effortless for me.
Stitch onto the pair at the sharp end of the "jewel".
Pivot at the dot and stitch off the piece and onto the next pair.
Repeat, repeat, repeat.

When I have three pair together, I press the seam towards the cool print (blue, green, lavender) to set up the seams swirling in one direction on the back side of the block. 
I'm ready to assemble the three pairs into a wheel. 
I need both ends of these seams to be open so I stitch into the seam at an angle, 
then pivot, stitch the seam, 
and stitch off.  
I could assemble the wheels by stitching two sets of three "jewels" together but frankly, I get more precise centers doing three pairs.  I do six-pointed stars the same way.  It's an extra y-seam, but the results are better -- and not just for me.  My students have the same experience.
And look at the way the center lays flat on the back side!
I've been working with and teaching Set-In Piecing Simplified for five years and the instructional leaflet I sell on Etsy (HERE) has lots of pointers to help you avoid the pitfalls and get up and running with this idea quickly. 
I think I've made all the mistakes possible to save you the trouble!!

At this point, I have four wheels finished.
They will be set together with hexagons and I'm auditioning two options -- both white backgrounds -- one with a white dot and the other with a pale gray dot.  
I think the pale gray dot is more interesting but it will be a couple weeks before I have to decide.
My plan is a baby quilt though at this point there is no baby on the horizon.
Happily, this issue of Quilters Companion has a couple more projects that look interesting!!

This is a busy week for me -- I'm the host at @52quilters on Instagram this week!!
So if you're an Instagram groupie, check me out over there!!

So glad I don't have to clean house for Thanksgiving this year -- just make a couple pies to take along to dinner with my new daughter-in-law's family!
Happy Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

  1. Great process post. Thank you, Mary and have a Happy Thanksgiving.