Last week, I was a guest on Sue Pelland's weekly facebook chat called Sewing in Slippers with Sue. I recapped the conversation with all the pertinent links HERE.
For the first couple months of the year, I've been rather preoccupied, and my usual sewing routine - about an hour each day, first thing in the morning after Dave heads to work and before I strap into my chair at the computer - took a back seat to elevating and icing my broken ankle (much improved now, by the way). Playing catch up after two weeks on the Hawaii cruise. And scrambling a bit as everyone (including me) settled into new routines associated with the transition from the FLOCK to The AfterFLOCK.
Once motivated, it only took a minute to select a pizza box off the shelf full of projects waiting their turn.
This one has been around for quite a while - years and years. The project is based on a pattern by Gudrun Erla called Strip N Dip and features 2-1/2" strips - lots of them. After a quick look at Gudrun's site, I'm not sure this pattern is available any longer.
For some reason, something about this pattern, and the floral strip roll that I purchased for it appealed to me at the time.
And, I know why the project ended up on the shelf. . . I was frustrated.
In the pizza box, I didn't have more than 10 of the diamond shapes sewn, but one close look at the seam intersections and the memory of my frustration came flooding back.
At the time, I knew I would come back to this project eventually, but I may have had a very full plate back then and couldn't spend the time to make satisfactory adjustments to my sewing.
The pattern instructions are fine, my sewing was not.
As you can see, I've already diagnosed what I was doing wrong back then and the pieced diamond shapes are coming together nicely.
This will be a pretty quilt - another good candidate for donations once it's finished!
Here is one of the pieced diamonds now. The smaller scrappy diamonds are cut from the 2-1/2" strips using a Marti Michell template. I have to do quite a lof of reverse sewing on the diamonds that I'm not happy with.
I have lots more template cutting and piecing ahead of me for the diamonds - I'll need around 50 of them for a twin-sized quilt. This project will keep me busy for many morning sewing sessions.
The only issue is completing the block. . . .
As the pattern is written, each diamond has two strip sections added to fill in the corners, then the unit is trimmed to a rectangular shape for quilt assembly. I'm not crazy about this concept for two reasons:
1) I don't know whatever possessed me to purchase this pattern because I rarely use 2-1/2" strips for anything, let alone a whole quilt!
2) this technique puts a bias edge all the way around each block. While this isn't horrible - plenty of patterns follow this concept - it adds the potential for stretch and wobble to the quilt. I tend to avoid that, if I can find an alternative.
And, if I'm looking for a third concern, I have lots of fabric yardage handy. If I'm going to start cutting it, I don't fancy cutting yardage into strips when there might be a more direct way to fill in the corners.
And there is, but there's a teeny-tiny problem. . .
As I'm noodling through this challenge, I asked myself, "What if I cut setting triangles from yardage for those corner setting triangles?"
This is where high school math enters the picture (I love math!)
Here's what I know:
- The smaller diamond points are 45 degree angles (green)
- If I cut strips (blue and purple lines) I can easily cut 90-degree angles, or rectangles from the strips
- And then cut those rectangular shapes into a 22-1/2-degree/67-1/2-degree angle.
(Half of 45-degrees is 22-1/2-degrees, (yellow))
- (90-degrees (a right angle) minus 22-1/2 is 67-1/2, (yellow))
- That angle isn't common in the quilting ruler world.
- And that's the teeny-tiny problem.
As it turns out, it's not a problem! I have a solution.
Have I piqued your interest? (It's okay if you say 'no' - I am determined anyway.)
Next time, I'll show you the solution . . . Until then. . .