Wednesday, August 18, 2010

it never ends

The saga of the leftover hand-pieced 4-patches continues.  Geez, Louise ... are you as tired of them as I am?  :-)

When last I left you, Dear Reader, I had finished the 4-patch Star charity top and I had, to my utter dismay, discovered that I had 25 MORE of the hand-pieced 4-patches.  Are they rabbits???  Do they consort with my scrap basket, which never seems to diminish, even though I *do* make scrap quilts!

Looking around the internet for interesting 4-patch layouts .... do you do that?  Have an idea for part of a quilt or pieces for part of a quilt but haven't a clue what to do for a final layout ?  Have you tried the 'Image' link on a Google search?  Lots of interesting stuff out there.  :-)

Anyway, there I was ... page after page of alternating 4-patch layouts.  Yes, they are simple.   Yes, they are easy ... but, just shoot me now ... they are boring.  I wanted something something INTERESTING to do.

Then, I came across Bonnie Hunter's "4-Patch and Furrows" layout ... a hybrid of an alternating 4-patch with the Straight Furrows layout for a log cabin.  I was immediately hooked .... I'm a sucker for diagonal layouts.

I needed a whole bunch of ginormous, identical, half-square triangles.  One method of doing this is using the grid method  (that link is to Marcia Hohn's Quilter's Cache) and is excellent for easily making lots of half square triangles out of the same two fabrics. 

From my stash, I found a lovely old gold subdued print and a wonderful coordinating burgundy red with old gold lattice work.  I couldn't have found better companion prints for the 4-patches if I had deliberately printed and hand dyed them!   I merrily drew my grid on the wrong side of the old gold print, sewed along the sewing lines and cut on the cutting lines.  I was enormously pleased with myself.

And then I discovered that I had put the right side of the old gold fabric to the WRONG side of the burgundy. AAAAIIIIEEEEEE! [insert a great wailing sound]   I absolutely did NOT have enough of either fabric to re-do them.  Fortunately, the wrong side of the burgundy print was only slightly less compatible than the right side.  I did pay for both sides of the fabric, ya know.  :-)  So, with much personal, internal regret, I left the wrong side of the burgundy intact and used the half square triangle blocks as they were.

Geez, that was dumb.

I then squared up the half square triangle blocks and had a heart attack.  I *know* that in the grid method you need to make the grid larger (by a certain amount) than the finished size you want.  Unfortunately, I didn't remember that little tidbit when I was drawing the grid so that my *DRAWN* grid was an 8" square.  This makes a SMALLER half square triangle.  I needed to have drawn the grid larger.

Have I mentioned that the hand-pieced 4-patches are 8" unfinished?   AAAAIIIIEEEE!   Of course, this means that the half-square triangle blocks are *smaller* than the 4-patch blocks.  To alternate, they need to be the SAME SIZE.  [thunk head on wall.  repeatedly.]

Geez, that was dumb.

What THIS meant was that I needed to cut down the hand-pieced blocks to match the half square triangle blocks.  [bonk head on wall again]  You can't just cut through a hand-pieced seam like you can on a machine pieced seam ... the stitching won't hold.   aaarrrgghhhh!    I was very, very, very careful when handling the re-cut 4-patch blocks but even then I needed to re-sew about an inch of the seam at the raw edge.

I put vintage looking brown calico print around the edge for an inner border.  Bonnie's layout calls for a slab-o-border for the final border, but I'd like to avoid this look.  So, at this point, I am looking for an interesting "something" as an outer border.

End the current drama with the 4-Patch and Furrows top.  On to other drama ....

Do you remember the pinwheel blocks I made from the bonus half-square triangles leftover from the 4-patch sawtooth star blocks? 

No?  eh .. no matter.  They exist. 

I still haven't done anything with them, as I was side-tracked by the leftover 4-patches.

What do they have to do with the 4-Patch and Furrow top?  Nothing.  :-)  Except those pinwheel blocks are still waiting for me.

AND ... in an Astounding Discovery ... I uncovered MORE (the horror of it never ends) hand-pieced pairs!  However, they just might work to my advantage, as they just happen to be made from the SAME fabric as the pinwheel blocks!

I haven't measure yet but .. fingers crossed ... perhaps I can repurpose these pairs into more pinwheels that will be the same size as the other ones.  That would be *awesome*, since I only have 12 pinwheels ...and that isn't a whole lot to do anything with.

So ... I guess quilting with Lizzie is going to be deferred yet again.  I have a bee in my bonnet about getting all these leftover blocks pieced into quilt tops and that's where my attention is these days. :-)

1 comment:

  1. HeHe! You quilt like I do, with a lot of head-banging! The 4 patch turned out very nice though, certainly impressive!