Monday, November 14, 2011

Evolution of a Quilt Design

I've been working on a quilt design using half square triangles. It is supposed to be for an Accuquilt Go tutorial, except I'm having the hardest time getting my Go Baby fabric cutter to work. There has been a lot of back and forth with Customer Service, returns (shipping costs adding up!), deliveries and scrap fabric. In the meantime, I'm working out what I'm going to make.

This idea started months ago. I knew I wanted to use one of the half square triangle (HST) dies and my stack of Heirloom fabric by Joel Dewberry.  

On my Design Wall

I made this sample block awhile back and I really liked it!

The stars looked a lot different once I put them together. Kind of plain and flat. I didn't really like the secondary shapes that formed. Especially the square. It's so... square.

I tried adding another block to break up the stars and set it on point. This is a sweet little layout, but not really what I was looking for. It didn't feel like a good match with the modern, graphic fabric. It would make a super cute baby quilt though.

The HSTs weren't sewn together in stars yet, so why not use one of my favorite HST layouts. I love the repetition and the scattered colors. I added a taupe color to ground the light Heirloom prints. This quickly became the front runner, but I wanted to push myself further. What else? What else could I make?

At this point, the kids are asleep, there is some kind of show playing on the TV (background noise) and the DH and I are working away on our laptops. I gave the "rotate block" button a workout in EQ. It was the DH's idea to break it up into quadrants (I'm sure it was his sci-fi influence). Brilliant! I really liked the movement here and also the crisp white and the warm and bold Heirloom. The only thing I didn't love about it was the overall square shape. Again with the squares.  Picky Pickerson. I know.

What else...

I stopped for the night and in the morning I decided to try again but with the actual fabric and not the computer. I don't know how many incarnations of HST layouts I went through. There were a lot. Stripes? No. Zig zags? No. Chevrons? No. Broken Dishes? No. My arms were getting tired. What else?!

Test block for a project

Why not start with something I already liked and expand on that idea? Change it up a little. This is a riff on the pillow I made for the Pillow Talk Swap.

I knew I was done and I had the one when instead of thinking, I could make this, I was thinking, I want to make this. Right now! I left the room, came back... peek. Yup, I still like it. I had lunch, got the kids from school, went to the library and Target. Still like it? Yes. I really do. It's bold, crisp and scrappy. The blocks are big enough to show off the gorgeous fabric and there is a lot of movement and interest.

I hope you like it too. Tutorial coming really soon.


  1. i do love that pillow and i think a variation on that will be great! it's so fun to arrange hst's, but it makes it hard to pick the final layout!

  2. the picture isn't showing for me but I love everything that you showed, can't wait to see what you are coming up with and a tutorial?!! yay! we are lucky quilters!!(hurry! just joking...kind of!)
    I really need to get me some Heirloom!

  3. Yipes! Thanks for letting me know Leslie. Kind of anti-climactic, eh? I fixed it.

  4. Great block! I went through the same thing for my habitat challenge...days and days of playing with an idea and not really finding the right solution. I think I've finally settled on an idea and now I just need a few yards of Kona Pepper to arrive so that I can get started!

  5. I have just bought a FQ of Heirloom in Citrine too so am looking for some ways to use it - I really love all of your ideas Adrianne!

  6. I like all of your ideas! The first one makes me think of little crowns. I's probably use some sashing (even though I hate sewing it) inbetween the blocks. Love, love, love the last one too.

  7. I love the star-in-a-star arrangement. I've been getting into half-square triangles and have never tried this pattern. It's going on my list!

  8. What a great end to such an interesting post! I agree, you got it just right. You are so talented - keep it up!

  9. It's the good kind of indecisive! I'm glad I'm not the only one who changes plans mid-way. Love the new blocks!

  10. I love this block and the one above it. I can hardly wait for the tutorial! Please let me know what cutting die I need to buy. Thank you.

  11. I love the first panel, he's cute as all

  12. I love the last one too! It's always great when you leave the room, come back, and still like it!! I do that all the time.

  13. Great block- I love it! Looking forward to the tutorial.

    Sorry to hear about all the trouble you're having with the Go Baby... hope things get worked out soon.

  14. I am reduced to see your blog via the google cache, apparently I no longer have access or the links do not exist ...
    I love what you do ...

  15. I love your blog. Thanks for going through all of your deliberations. A tutorial would be great.


  16. Quick question - what program do you use to test out your layouts? That looks very useful!
    Thanks :)



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