Progress continues on the WPA quilt. I drafted the patterns for 18 of the 30 blocks in the project and completed eight. I used scraps to try out two others because I am reluctant to use project fabric unless I am certain of how it will go together. This is just another way of saying I don’t like screwing up with the good stuff and would rather make mistakes with scrap fabrics from my stash. I often hear my Depression-era grandmother’s voice telling me to save things that might come in handy someday. In this case, she was right. My leftover fabric did come in handy.
The goal for the tryout blocks is making sure the actual shapes work with the design and the block ends up the right size. Yet, I find myself spending time thinking about what fabrics will work together when I make this sample blocks. 30’s prints would be nice, I think, Blue or purple? Which white? Do I have enough contrast in color value? Does it matter? Apparently, it matters enough that I need to feel satisfied with the decision before constructing the tryout. I’m not sure what I will do with the tryout blocks. I could make pillows with them, or sew them into a random, mismatched, clashing color quilt. I shudder at that thought as my sense of good order is disrupted.
The biggest pattern problem so far has been drafting the six-pointed Evening Star block.
Challenge 1 – The block in the print shows small diamonds in each corner and aligning the diagonal line with star points and shifts the star of its axis of the background.
Challenge 2 – The angles of the six-pointed star turn the background space into a hexagon instead of a square and the triangles are 30/60 degrees, not 45.
I spent a week drafting variations of this pattern and have three options.
Keep the star on the same axis as the background. This would probably be the easiest to sew, but also the most boring. Several of the star points reach the block’s edge and there is no room for the small corner diamonds
Shift the star off of the background axis. Visually more interesting and the shift leaves space for the corner diamonds from the print. This is a more complicated construction.
Sewing the star, then appliqueing the star to the background. In this option, the star does not reach the edge of the block. Appliqueing the star to the background eliminates strange hexagon cuts, sewing, and the dreaded bias edges.
I did take breaks from the pattern drafting process and worked on the Grandma’s Hankies quilt, where the design question moved from a simple four-patch with two colors, to a four-patch on point with three colors to finally choosing the Attic Windows design with 30 twelve-inch blocks and three colors. I used a lightweight fusible web to attach the hankies to the white background and since I cut the hankies smaller than the background to highlight the edges, I’m topstitching the edges, particularly the lace and scalloped ones, in place.