Tag Archives: Ideas

A Delectable Idea

The other day I showed you the photos below. They show a sequence of steps to creating a block, which is a variation of a block called “Delectable Mountains.” The variation is in using two fabrics (the teal blue and the stripe) for one half of the block.

This method to create the block uses a large half-square triangle. Once the HST is sewn, it is sliced into four equal-width segments. The segments are rearranged and sewn back together. My block uses a HST at 10″ (unfinished.) Each slice is 2.5″ wide. The finished dimension of the block is 9.5″ x 8″.

Here are a few HST and transformed Delectable Mountain blocks I made recently. Cool, huh?
Del Mtn blocks in process

I used the idea at the top with multi-fabric HST halves again. This time I edged my triangles on both sides, with a much narrower strip. You can see the paprika color is edged with a pale gold, and the mid-brown is edged with black. The four blocks are built but not sewn together yet. I plan to add turquoise to the center, using a stitch-and-flip method for each of the four blocks.
nav mtn blocks

I’m playing, experimenting, designing as I go. Though I have an idea of where this is going, I’m ready to be surprised.

Around the Corner — Flowers for Kate

My friend Kate commented on a quilt illustration I drew in EQ7, shown in my last post with two other designs. The three designs all use the same strategy.  The first main border wraps blocks around the center’s corners, leaving the middle of the border unpieced. The effect seems to strengthen and extend the center block.

This is the quilt design she commented on:
wraparound corners 2She said, “I like the second one, with the bear paws. Depending on the colours you used, it could either be spiky and rugged or feathery and delicate.”

Huh… Let’s see what happens when I change the colors…

wraparound corners 4

I changed the colors, but that’s not all. The center block now is 4 blocks, separated by a narrow sashing. In the borders, the tulip blocks touch each other, rather than being separated by the narrow spacer blocks that give the bear’s paw effect. And besides the lighter, brighter colors, the change in blocks gives a more feminine tilt, too.

Otherwise the design is the same. The total size for both is 72″; border widths and lengths are the same; and the basic layout is the same.

Which one do you like better? Do you have other ideas for the same border device? 

Around the Corner

I’m trying to finish my Branching Out challenge quilt before Monday’s guild meeting. Once I’m done with it, I won’t get to do much quilting for the rest of the month or into August. These are a couple of weird, fragmented months, and I have much to do besides sew.

In the meantime, I continue to look for inspiration and ideas. While rolling though some googled images the other day, I noticed a handful of medallion quilts that had something in common. For each, the first border wrapped blocks around the center’s corners, leaving the middle of the border unpieced. The effect was to strengthen and extend the center block.

I drew some examples in EQ7 to save as reminders, and possibly as designs. They have a western or southwestern feel, masculine and rugged, but the idea is valid regardless of style or format. It could work just as well for a block quilt’s borders as for a medallion.

The first two illustrations don’t use exactly the same effect as the googled images, since they both have a narrow first border, followed by the block-wrap. In addition, my drawings repeat the corner design, which wasn’t used in what I saw elsewhere. Drawing in EQ7 leaves some “piecing” lines where I wouldn’t actually piece. Also all of the sizing isn’t exactly how I would make it in real life.

wraparound corners 1 wraparound corners 2 wraparound corners 3

This is the center block.
wraparound corners 3 block

This kind of corner gives a couple of positives. First, I like the way the fancy corners connect the rings of the quilt differently than with a more typical border/corner design. Second, the length of the border isn’t dependent on the length of the blocks in it. For example, in the second quilt above, the grey-blue strip between pieced brown blocks acts as one long spacer strip, and its length doesn’t need to be a multiple of the pieced block length or width. That makes it easy to adjust for odd border lengths.

Though these corners are a little showy, they don’t call attention to themselves, but contribute to the unity of the whole quilt. The repetition of the corner treatment in each design adds to that effect.

I don’t know if I’ll ever make any of them, but they have design elements that are worth remembering.


Sawtooth Borders

This morning Jim asked me about a decision I’d made on my Tree of Life quilt. I arrayed the sawtooth (half-square triangles) border asymmetrically and he wondered why. If you look at the photo below, you can see that the points spray “outward” but without being split evenly at the centers of the sides.


He wondered, in particular, if I’d done that because there are 15 HST on each of the long sides and 12 HST on each of the shorter sides. I could split 12 at the center (6 going each direction), but it’s hard to split 15 at the center, without some other creative adjustment.

The truth is, I hadn’t even thought of that. Instead, I knew I wanted to continue the whimsical feel of the center panel, and to create the sense that it erupted past the narrow red border. To me the HST give the organic feel of more leaves. One other reason is because I heard Jim’s voice in my head. He has often urged me to use asymmetrical borders, and this seemed like the right time to heed that voice.

I’ve talked about sawtooth borders before. In my post Pieced Borders I show lots of ways to use simple units in a variety of ways. Sawtooth borders are one shown. This simple illustration gives 4 different ways to arrange them.

Different effects depending on value placement

In another post I showed you these four variations, which I auditioned for a small quilt.

Can give a cool effect, but probably not what I want for this quilt.

This one I kinda like…

Not actually wonky — these are just blocks I’ve overlapped.

Maybe too “sharp” looking?

The lesson is, try lots of different ideas when you’re using HST in a border. Though I didn’t try multiple arrangements for my Tree of Life, normally I would. I’ve been surprised more than once and chosen something I wouldn’t have expected.