Monday, 28 January 2013

Design Wall Monday - Jan 28

My design wall today is a journey from frustration to success to disappointment.  I decided to try a new block this weekend. It's the January block from one of the many Block the Month projects I'm following - a Whirling Star.  I've been debating whether to start this one, in part because of this particular block.  There are template directions for it, and paper piecing.  I would prefer to do neither.

Then, a challenge was issued by my LQS - make a 12.5" block from a bundle of 3 fabrics (add any you want). And this block seemed like a good choice for that.  So I decided to give it a whirl :)  I looked up the pattern on Quilter's Cache.  The pages say 12.5" block, but when I printed the template it was obviously smaller than that - more like a 10" block, which doesn't meet the criteria for the challenge.  So, I sketched and drafted. Looked at EQ (that didn't go well).  Finally came up with sizes for the polygons in this block.  I cut all the pieces for the block on the right in the picture above.  And put half of the units together wrong.  And, when I fixed one and measured the resulting 1/4 section, it is too small.

Back to the drawing board (literally). More measuring.  More sketching.  Apparently a 1/8" divergence makes a full 1/2" difference in the final block.  Oh boy.  Find more scraps.  Cut more polygons.  And assemble another block. This one worked, almost perfectly!  Yay!

So I pulled out the fabric for the challenge (the orange is my addition to the set).  Cut the pieces, fussy cut the orange flowers, placed them all my wall - and I don't like it :(  I think it's time for a break, and some rethinking on this plan.

The dresden plate in the upper left is a success on my wall.  This is the block for a Block Party I joined.  The block will go to the quilt owner - and I'm very happy with how it turned out. So happy in fact that I volunteered to make another one for her. Fingers crossed that the first was not just beginner's luck.

Back to my whirling star - an hour and several shufflings later, and I still don't like anything I've come up with.  I think the fabrics (2 of them, anyway) are too busy for this block.  It seems like I'll have to rethink the whole plan.

Drop by Patchwork Times to see what everyone else is up to this week.


  1. Oh, how frustrating for you. But I know that you won't let that block or the fabrics beat you. Love your dresden.

  2. The Dresden is very pretty. At least you took the time to master a new block, even if you don't like the outcome as much as you thought you would.

  3. I love the gray fabric in the spinning star because it allows the orange/golden fabric to really stand out!!

  4. Go back to your printer and chck to make sure scaling is off. Sounds like it isn't which is why your templates created a smaller block. This is a common problem.

  5. I love the whirling star, unfortunately I have made many tiny mistakes that skew the finished block. I really love the fabrics with the greys and yellows. I love this and don't think they are too busy at all, my fav is the middle one.