I have a tendency to see a new pattern or technique and “need” to make it, finish the top, see something new and go try that. I end up with a lot of finished quilt tops that I don’t love for one reason or another. When I lived in Tucson, the tops just accumulated in the quilt closet. When I moved to Seattle, I couldn’t take everything with me, so I went through a huge stash purge. I filled up my Beetle twice with quilt stuff, brought it to my Wednesday quilt group, and said “take what you want. I’m not taking anything back”. A lot of the group participants make quilts to donate (hospitals, women and children’s shelters, etc), so it made it easier to part with so many of my investments. Here are a few tops that were given away.
This first one was me testing out a technique where you make 4 at a time HSTs. You put two charm (5″) squares together, sew around the perimeter, then cut on both diagonals. Tada – 4 HSTs. The problem is that all of the edges are bias edges and stretch like crazy. If you do want to do multiple HSTs at a time, I recommend that 8 at a time method that I talked about here. You don’t end up with the bias edges. The quilt’s working name was “Bias Edges From Hell”. It was a pretty quilt, but I was so annoyed with it that I wanted it gone.
I spent a tax season working at H&R Block. During one of the trainings, I sketched out a quilt. I used a Shoo Fly block with the center also being a HST. With the colors and no sashing, it looks a lot more complicated than it was.
I had been wanting to try the “Disappearing” blocks. The idea is you make something, cut it a certain way, turn certain things, and resew, and it looks complicated when it’s pretty simple. I started with the Disappearing 9 Patch. To do the D9P, you sew a 9 patch block (3 x 3 grid of squares) then cut it into quarters. You rotate 2 opposite blocks and have your D9P block.
I used 2 colors in this one to see how it would look. Usually you see more colors in the blocks.
Next up, a Disappearing 4 Patch (D4P). With a D4P, you make a 4 patch (2 x 2 grid of squares) then make 2 (equally spaced from the center) cuts on each side to get 9 blocks (so basically the opposite of the D9P). You then rotate every other piece to create the effect. And if you vary the cuts, like I did, you get different looking woven blocks.
And here’s mine, playing with different shades of the primary and secondary colors.
Last one, I received a charm pack with instructions for making the hour glass block. It was another technique/trick quilt where you sew a few things first, then cut, and your blocks appear. It was so long ago, I don’t even remember exactly what I did.