Before we get started, I wanted to thank those who posted comments and sent e-mails on my early retirement. I was touched by the thoughtful words and encouragement on my new venture. I had a great time at Quilt Market and made lots of great contacts. There is lots for me to do in the coming weeks.
Do you remember the first time you found a critical error in a pattern? For some of us it ranks up there to remembering where we were when 9/11 struck.
For me it happened during my second year of quilting. I don't remember the pattern name, but I remember the quilt. it had browns, reds and tans. It was going to be big -- queen size. I had reached the stage where I had gained some confidence in my piecing abilities and to be efficient I cut out the entire quilt top before I began piecing it. Yes -- all nine yards of fabric beautifully cut up, stacked and ready for a day at my sewing machine.
I then proceeded to work through each of the steps -- before doing step two, I finished step 1 for all 20 blocks of the quilt. I reached the point where I needed to add a large half square triangle to a previously pieced unit. I found I had to really stretch the triangle to make it fit. Hmmm. I began checking the normal suspects:
Everything seemed to be ok on my end. I finally pulled out a sheet of graph paper (this was pre-Electric Quilt) and redrafted the block and checked the math using the Pythagorean theorem from high school albegra.
The issue was not me but the size of those half square triangles. I couldn't find more of the fabric so the entire quilt was delegated to the UFO (unfinished objects) bin where it languished for many years until I eventually decided to throw it and the pattern away.
Now I wish I could say this was the only time I found an error in a pattern.
I've now learned the importance of decomposing a pattern and checking the math. This technique can be done with graph paper -- but I find I am much more efficient with Electric Quilt.
For this weeks video, let me share how I did this with Flower Box, a pattern I purchased from Laundry Basket Quilts. (The pattern for this block plus a great quilt, can be purchased directly from Laundry Basket Quilts.) Note that there were no errors in the instructions -- but I wanted to redraft the block in Electric Quilt so I could play with some different layout options. I picked this one because it was a beautiful (but complicated) block.
General Rules to Remember
Most units can be decomposed using three simple math equations once you have the cutting instructions for the block.
The annotated block below shows the rules I used for each patch in the block. The lines show the straight of grain.
When looking at the triangle units note the X-cut units (#3) have one edge that is on the straight of grain. Those cut once on the diagonal (#2) have two edges on the straight of grain.
Now that you have the basics, let's get to the video. Warning: There is a lot in here (18 minutes)!
Next week I will share an original layout I developed for this block.
Featured Pattern - Sun Rays
After a cold and rainy series of weeks, the sun is finally shining and we are getting a taste of spring. As a tribute to the "sun", I thought it would be appropriate to feature my Sun Rays quilt.
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