Quilter's Academy - Volume 2 - Sophomore Year

Vol 3 - Junior Year

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Vol 2 - Project 6 - Four Patch Lattice

Here is the next pattern in the book.  It's very similar to previous projects but introduces cornerposts to the sashings.

For this quilt, I wanted to use some of the Jason Yenter Floragraphix fabrics, which I'd purchased at bargain prices some time ago.  I'd wanted to use it for ages, but none of the previous projects seemed quite right. 

Although I have quite a few fabrics from the collection, the two main ones I wanted to work around are these ........

The top fabric will be used for the large patches and the leaf fabric for the side setting triangles.  The pattern needs five fabrics in all, so I chose three more to co-ordinate.  How nice to take all the fabrics from one collection and know the colours will work beautifully together!  My focus then, is to get all the patterns to blend well together.

I did the colouring-in  mock ups using only the 3 main colours - red/green/white - changing only the colour combinations of the 4 patches and sashings.  It's amazing how different each one looks, considering all the colours are the same.

Totally confused (as usual) I made up sample 4 patches in four different combinations stuck them on my design wall. 

What I was looking for was a very 'blended' effect. 

Take a look through a block viewer to check out the results............

Ok, enough messing around - make a decision!

Having finally decided on the red/white combo, I then set about choosing a sashing colour.  I got it down to six which I like (sigh).  All this fabric choosing can take me days but it's time to move on.  I'll decide on the sashings and cornerstones later.

You would think, by now, I'd have a clue.  Yes, disaster has struck!  All the 4 patches sewn, pressed, fanned and trimmed and time to sew them onto the large square.  I cut my 7 x 4 1/2" strips and happily sewed away and ended up one strip short!  Uh Oh.  8 orphan 4 patches and no fabric left.  Re-doing the maths, the 7 strips should have been enough - what went wrong?

After tearing, truing and slicing off bits for mock-ups my main fabric ended up a tad shorter than 42" wide.   What to do???

A shift in attitude turns a disaster into a challenge.  There were lots of options once I gave it some thought.  I could use a different fabric from the collection and scatter the 8 'creative' blocks throughout the quilt to add interest (similar to what I did when I ran short of blue in Project 2).  Or I could unpick half the 4 patches and add them to a different fabric - it would all blend in quite nicely - the beauty of having lots of fabrics from the one collection.  Or I could make a new set of 4 patches, set them with a different fabric and make the quilt bigger!

I did, however, have a piece of the focus fabric in a different colourway - all greens.

I sewed the 8 orphan 4 patches to this fabric, then stuck them discreetly amongst the red/green blocks on the design wall.  They blended in beautifully and were barely noticeable.

I could get away with this I think

Hang on!  Only last week I did a workshop which involved colouring in on fabric.  Hmmmmm.  It's worth a shot!
Ok, so the colours aren't an exact match, but I think I'll get away with it.  Shhhhh - don't mention it and nobody will notice.

The coloured in blocks mixed in with the original blocks - I've coloured red, purple and pink bits - can you pick them out?

Many thanks to Helen Stubbings, for teaching me fabric colouring (and back-stitch) - the timing was perfect!

You can visit Helen's website HERE


  1. Dear BlockHead,
    I was fortunate enough to be able to get into and take Harriet's "Heirloom Quilting" class last weekend. What an opportunity! She mentioned your blog in class. I'm so glad that you have kept such a nice blog. It's great to see your progress. I have purchased the Freshman and Sophomore years and plan to start soon. Any advice for a new quilter like me who is about to start?

  2. Hi Rocknquilts! Good for you on taking the Quilter's Academy plunge. As for advice - hmmm, I'm a beginner too you know :)

    I will say however, that Harriet's methods are not of the 'quick 'n dirty' type and there will be steps you'll be tempted to skip. There are as many methods of quiltmaking as there are quilts, but you'll be learning from one of the best in the world, so how can you go wrong? I'm so jealous that you actually attended a class!

    Paying attention to the lessons and not skipping steps will initally take more time, but in the long term you'll be way ahead cause your seams will be straight, your corners square and your borders flat. And you'll get faster as you go along.

    Stay in touch and let me know how you're getting along. Welcome to the Academy!

  3. Thank you for the warm welcome and tips for taking on the Academy. I do hope you also get to take Harriet's class one day. It was inspiring, to say the least. She is a bundle of energy and so full of worthwhile information. I took detailed notes and have posted them on my blog.
    Best wishes!