Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why it pays to make a test block.

It's a new concept for me. Maybe I'm just more frugal with my fabrics these days. I've started making a test block before I cut out a whole quilt.
Today, I'm glad I did.
I have enough fabric to make this lovely 8 point star quilt in king size. I've been gathering the fabric for weeks.
But, I don't want a king size, and there really was no way to downsize it by skipping a row of blocks or so because the blocks were so big - just 3 blocks across, and they were set on point.
So, I rescaled the pattern and made the block smaller by making the star smaller.
Then I made a test block.
When I was FINALLY finished that one block, I took a good, hard look at it. I wasn't impressed. It didn't lay flat. I even hammered the thick seams but that center where all the points came together was just plain ugly. The diamonds that made the star were made of 2 pieces so there were double the seams in the center than a usual 8 point star.
Try as I might, I could not get it to lay flat.
Then there was the colour choices. There was supposed to be a play on light going on, with a dark and light half to each diamond of the star. My choices just didn't "pop."
SO, I made lemonade. Like the old adage, when life gives you lemons - make lemonade.
I pieced together a 9 patch big enough to be a backing and sewed them together pillowcase style. Then I took 3 layers of batting and zig zagged the edges of them together. I stuffed them into the block and quilted it. Presto - a large potholder, or trivet or what ever you want.
At least I didn't end up with a king sized UFO!

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