Winter Quilt Swap – Plans A, B, C1 and C2

on Feb 2, 2008 in Quilting | 24 comments

Just so we’re all on the same page. You all know I’m a nut case, right? My Four Seasons Quilt Swap package is in the mail. I made it. A day late and it only took 5 attempts. Please someone remind me the next time I sign up for a swap that maybe I shouldn’t because, you know, I’m sort of obsessive about the whole thing and maybe the pressure of making something beautiful for someone I don’t know isn’t the best thing given my tendencies.

Mental health aside, I actually found lots to love in this project. I tried out several new techniques as I went from one plan to the next. Experimenting with a purpose. Plan D worked and is deserving of it’s own post. This is a post showcasing the losers, everything that came before I got there.

Plan A for me always involves a literal interpretation of the theme. I never end up using Plan A because I’m not very good at doing pictorial quilts. I wish I was but I’m just not. I just couldn’t see taking this where it needed to go within the time frame for the swap.

I pieced the background. The large trees are faced with silk organza, sewn on with an edge stitch. The silk is easy to work with, turned nicely and didn’t add much bulk. It was hard to get the tip of the smallest tree pushed out. I think it would be a good material for circles. The other objects are wool felt. I’m looking forward to embellishing this and using it as a seasonal wall hanging.

Plan B, Perfect Flying Geese. They measure 2″ x 4″ finished. I made them using the Angler 2. There’s probably some blood on some of them (thank you very much for all the well wishes and genuine concern! it really made me feel better and not so embarrassed about the whole thing). Flying Geese are always twice as wide as they are tall. Not sure I ever consciously thought about that but it makes for endless setting options because two together are a perfect square. I had these guys all over the wall in different combinations. Ultimately they just didn’t excite me. My choice of background fabrics was just boring. Next…

Plan C, as I was arranging the Perfect Flying Geese on my wall I was totally attracted to the zig zag setting. The idea: 16 rows of eight 1″ x 2″ geese blocks. I pulled out fun and loud and arranged them in a pleasing order, a solid Kona cotton alternating with a print.

I started with two sample rows. Joining the geese side by side and then into rows was some pretty darned precise piecing. I took a look at the zig zag quilt posted on Purl this month. She did it this way but the blocks are much bigger. The smallness of my blocks wasn’t leaving me any fudge factor for getting everything aligned.

Plan C1, I pulled out my Denyse Schmidt Quilts book to take a look at her zig zag quilt. Denyse uses templates. I created a template for my triangle and did some samples. Wavy Gravy. Like I was ever going to be able to join 16 of these little guys together to make a straight row. Please comment if you’ve made a zig zag quilt with templates. How do you keep them straight?

Plan C2, paper piecing. I used EQ6 and created a foundation pattern. I loved the results. Perfect triangles joined one next to the other. Not good was the enormous amount of effort to create each row. Given my deadline for the swap, it was just too tedious an exercise to repeat 16 times.