Thursday, April 25, 2013

Plan B when Plan A didn't quite work out

So, I had an idea in my head... and laid out on the bed.  Remember this?

I finished the third and final block, and ordered yardage from the US...

When I laid it out it just didn't quite look right... I knew the blocks were too big, making the layout disproportionate.  The tricky part of the design process - what to do when it doesn't work out??

Usual answer, is ask your friends!  Leeanne (Quilt me kiwi) suggested doing another block to make a more traditional medallion setting - me, not so keen to do any more blocks.  Ms Lottie suggested an on-point setting similar to a streak of lightening... I quite like just putting it on point - slims the blocks down, and makes the asymmetrical layout flow into the block layout, making it more cohesive and correcting the proportion issues. Plan B has been hatched.

Laid out on the floor - standing on the sofa with the camera held out as far as the arm can extend. Remember these are 20" blocks - I'm sure there is some maths that would tell me what the measurement is across the diagonal - Rona??).  I'm planning for a roughly 70" x 70" finished size.

And from the other end standing on a step ladder - glad you can't see my shadow... the things we do!

Now it's question time for you - if I was to piece this, it would mean cutting the feature fabric up for the setting triangles, and then sewing a straight strip on - obvious ugly seam lines - somewhat disturbing the flow of the fabric pattern.   So I was thinking about appliqueing the blocks onto the pieced background (pieced in that the green would obviously extend the full length of the feature fabric, and they would then be sewn together).  What's your opinion... would that be wrong?  How would you go about it? 

Today is a NZ holiday, ANZAC Day, when we remember the Australian and NZ soldiers that have fallen... we will remember them.


  1. Firstly, I agree, you don't want to cut into that gorgeous fabric.Would I applique it? Probably. It's not that much to sew. The alternative is to cut out the triangles (the bits you don't need) and try to inset the blocks into the spaces. That's tricky and would rely on precision cutting, getting the cut outs exactly the right size.
    This leads on to your question. What size is that diagonal? Pythagoras tells us that the square of the hypotenuse is equal to sum of squares of the other two sides. So if your block is finished size 20" then the finished length of the diagonal is the squareroot of 800, or 28.28". The size with seam allowance is, well, do you care? If you're going to applique it then it doesn't matter. The only thing I would say is that your fabric doesn't look long enough. Three diagonals would be almost 85". I think it would look good with a band of that green all the way around the patterned fabric anyway. Hope that helps and always glad to go all maths teachery on you. ;)

  2. I dug out my old maths - and the calculator app you recommended Rona :D - and I'm glad to see from Rona's comment that something got stuck all those years ago lol!
    I agree with Rona, I would avoid cutting setting triangles, the seams will distract from the gorgeous fabric. Y-seams are tricky, but you would not have all that many, might be an opportunity to get them over and done with? That would be my plan b and appliqué plan c :-) just my 5c worth :D

  3. I would probably applique too, for the reasons already stated. I was wondering whether the blocks need a green border before you do the applique? It might make them stand out more against the pretty floral? Just a suggestion!

  4. Im not sure what you would be appliqueing. I LOVE the green - it makes the applique blocks pop. No y seams required. Cut 1/4 square triangles for set-ins, ans that way you don't need to add an additional border. Just make set-ins larger and trim up to the size border you want...Give me a call if you want to discuss further.