Thursday, April 18, 2013

Diamond Illusion or Triangle Confusion?

He puzzled and puzzed till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. -Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Once upon a time, I made 936 - 2½” half-square triangles for a swap. Our group used a semi-paper pieceing speed method to put together groups of twelve HSTs at a time. For each set of twelve, I used a different main print fabric and I only repeated my neutral white or off-white fabrics in two sets of twelve at most. In the end, I had 78 different sets of 12 HSTs. I kept four HSTs from each set and sent the rest off to the swap hostess. Six months later, I got a box back full of half-square triangle treasure. They sat in that same box for about 3 months, and then in a drawer in my little sewing area, just waiting to be discovered. Last Wednesday, I dropped Grace off for a three-week spa vacation, and when I got home I started pulling the papers off and pressing them open on my spiffy new ironing board cover.

As I've worked, I've been puzzling about exactly what to do with these 936 HSTs when they're all pressed. Actually, I'll have more like 1250 HST's when I'm done. I think there was some room for interpretation in the instructions, which were to pair a light and a dark for each set of HSTs. I heard “print and neutral,” and kind of formed a plan around that. Some of the HSTs I got back don't work for what I had in mind as they are, so I'm unpicking a few more than 300 of them {yes, I know :crazy:} and am going cut a bunch of neutral {white or off-white} HSTs with my Go! fabric cutter {the die that came with it has the perfect triangles} and put them with the prints that I've unpicked from each other. I only have about a hundred more to unpick.

When we were in the planning stages of the swap, Candace at The Double Nickel Quilt Challenge linked a really cool quilt called Triangle Confusion to my monthly finishes linky party, and I decided that's what I wanted to do with my half-square triangles. But as I have been pressing, I've been turning over options for what to really do with these HSTs now that I'm in the process of pressing and sorting. So I laid them out in a diamond pattern to see what it would look like. I really liked it, except it lacks a bit of variety. I chose green for the small diamonds because far and away, green is the color I got back the most of. I'll probably mix it up a little if I go with this layout, but isn't this a cool design?

It is fun to look at each block close up.

As I opened each HST, I tried to guess who made it. Some were easy to guess. Others, not so much.

I love how from far away it gives the illusion that it is a series of interlocking diamonds, but close up you can see each triangle and each print.

I orange. It is a highly underrated color.

I'd really almost made up my mind to go with the Diamond Illusion layout. But just for fun, I laid out a little Triangle Confusion. You can still see the diamond pattern, which I love, but it is an explosion of color.

But you can also see, among other patterns, pinwheels intermingled with the diamonds. Pinwheels are awesome.

Time for some more close-ups. I haven't posted much lately, so it is picture overload today.

It is an interesting block design.

I'm not sure why, but I only took close-ups of three of the four blocks, so this is the last one.

In the first layout, I kept the diamonds each a single color, but I mixed the other colors in everywhere else. I wanted to know how it would effect the overall design if I paired colors in the non-diamond areas {corners} of each individual block.

It is still an interesting pattern, but not quite so much of an explosion, which I think I maybe like. I didn't notice until I was editing photos, that with the colors paired as they are it makes a secondary diamond pattern; or rather, a large pinwheel on point between the diamonds.

That has me wondering what it would look like if I paired it so that the large pinwheels were all one color. I think I might like that best of all {control freak here}, but I'll have to lay it out to see because that might suck all the joy out of Triangle Confusion. I'll probably wait until I get all those other HST's unpicked and the neutral triangles cut, though. I only have about a hundred left.

Even though my puzzler is a little sore, I'm also puzzling over what size to make this quilt. My original plan was a 6 x 8 block layout with a 1" stop border and a sawtooth border beyond that, which finishes at 54” x 70”. That's a really cozy lap-size quilt. But that will leave me with 375± extra HSTs, which I will have to use up in something else. I've pondered other sizes, right on up to a 9 x 11 layout {with no borders} which finishes at a nice 72” x 88” twin size quilt. That will require an additional 300 HSTs beyond what I'm already working with. I kind of like the idea. This quilt is scrappy and patchy and full of calicos, which makes me think of quilting at its roots — quilting out of necessity and using whatever was on hand. Of course, I'm not trying to kid anyone here. I have bins and bins of fabrics and I don't need to quilt, except for the sake of my sanity. I really want this to be a useful quilt, though, because I'm excited about it. A lap size would be used for snuggling under to watch TV or read. I don't know whose twin-size bed this quilt would go on. Maybe I should open an Etsy shop :wink:. Do you think anyone would pay $2300 for a twin-size quilt?

My next thought was to make it square. I really like square quilts. 8 x 8 finishes at 64” square. I even have enough HSTs for a 9 x 9. But then, we're almost back into the bed size quilts, at 72”. So why not go super-size and make it a king? I happen to sleep in a king size bed that needs a pretty quilt on it. But for that, I'd need another 1900 HSTs :faint:.

Anyone want to swap?


Paulette said...

I really like the Diamond quilt at the top. What if instead of unpicking 300 HSTs you just set them aside and made the lap-size quilt with what you have enough of, like you originally planned. Then you could always make a donation quilt with the extras, a small baby or crib quilt, for instance.

Love your new ironing board cover. Lazy me just bought one from Amazon, since Walmart no longer carried my favorite metallic one. I coped with a rip in my old one for far too long.

Deb@asimplelifequilts said...

Lots of great layouts... any one of them will be gorgeous!

Barb Neiwert said...

This is certainly a project that will keep you busy! So many possibilities. I do like your first concept really well.

Susan P said...

Question.....on these pieces, do you press the seams open or to the dark fabric? I'm working on a quilt that half square triangles and I'm not sure what is the best way to press.

Unknown said...

Love what you are doing with those 1/2 square triangles. I would love to be apart of a swap if you need more squares.

Shay said...

I love all of them but then I love scrappy anything when it comes to quilts. I really like the diamond layout though. It's not too visually distracting and has a sense of order about it.

There are some LOVELY fabrics in there too!

Carrie P. said...

I really really like those diamond blocks.

Teresa Quilts said...

Love your half square triangles! Of course, I love scrappy quilts. I think I like the first one with the diamonds by color the best.