Quilter's Academy - Volume 2 - Sophomore Year

Vol 3 - Junior Year

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Vol 2 - Sophomore Final

Yes, it's time for the Final Exam.  If you don't already know how this works, a quick explanation.

For the very last project in the book, Harriet and Carrie set a Final Exam. 

This is what you get.........

A photograph of the finished quilt
An illustration of a single block
An illustration of an internal frame block
An illustration of an internal frame corner block
A series of questions such as.....
How many unit # are in one block?
How many are needed for all 5 blocks?
How many inches of strip sets are needed to accommodate the number of units needed?

That is all.

What you don't get..........

A grid size
No fabric quantities
No cutting instructions
No pressing directions
No construction instructions
No assembly instructions

Phew - tough exam? You bet!

Here is a pic of the Sophomore Exam Quilt - Ice Crystals

Designed by Carrie Hargrave, its a variation of Bygone Surrounded

 As promised, I worked on this today and have finished one block.
My Test Block for Ice Crystals
Now that all seems great - I made the exam block so now all I need to do is make another 4 of these, add the internal frame, side setting triangles, borders and the top is done.  There is however, a problem.
I did not make this block the way Harriet intended.  I didn't sit down with a calculator or graph paper or a spreadsheet and figure it all out first.  Uh- uh no.  I can't seem to be able to work that way.  It makes my brain hurt.
What I did was set my grid size first (I chose a 1 inch grid) and made up the units on the fly, calculating the measurements as I went.  I wrote my measurements and quantities on the worksheet as I made the units up.
This method works for me, and that's fine I suppose at this level, but as the lessons progress to more complex blocks, I think I'm going to find myself in a bit of trouble.
The block and sashing on a 1 inch grid is huge - finishing at 21.5 inches.  This was unexpected and after making just one block I find I'm short on the print fabric.  I used a fat quarter and I have only half of this left.  My options now are to go back to the shop and buy the correct yardage (if they have any left).  Or I could use a different fat quarter print for each block (an interesting idea I rather like) because all the black on white prints in my stash are fat quarter cuts.  Or I could simply discard this block and start from scratch using a new set of fabrics.  Also not a bad idea as it's good practice I think to make and keep a test block from all quilt projects (something I haven't been doing - oops).
I'll sleep on it and decide tomorrow how to progress this.............
Cheers :)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Couple of Non Harriet Projects

Phew is it really so long since my last post?  I've had a bit of a sewing hiatus but am ready to go again.

I decided to ease myself back into quilting mode by doing some easy quilt techniques, before heading back to Quilters Academy and all that wonderful precision piecing!

Jenny and Pam from my quilting group each decided to make a One Block Wonder quilt, a technique taught by Maxine Rosenthal.  I had purchased some fabric to make one myself some time ago and was finally inspired to give it a go.

This is my fabric - shades of beige, cream and grey

Wild Horses by Henry Alexander (I think). 
I started using one of the designs in Maxine's book, but the project ended up taking on a life of it's own ......
I've called it Hip to be Square
I sort of got carried away by the cubes....... the original design didn't have any at all.  Some are bold but there are hidden ones as well.
Hidden cubes
I have no idea how to quilt this thing. All the seams are pressed open, so no ditch and because the technique insists on keeping all the points on, each kaleidoscope has a lump in the centre where all those points meet. 
Kaleidoscope back
To add to the problem, I decided to partially piece the backing as well, using a slab of the original fabric and my leftover hexagons and experimental cubes.  For now, it's in the Too Hard Basket.
Experimental cubes ended up on the back ... lol 


One project I'd wanted to do for some time was another french braid, as my first one was unsuccessful.  Armed with Jane Hardy Miller's book, I got stuck in.  Honestly, the hardest part to making one of these is selecting the fabrics.  How embarrassing to have failed at making one of these, they are super quick and easy.  This one is huge, easily the biggest quilt I've made so far.
I've called this one Purple Rain 


Here I was getting organised to start QA Vol 3 in the New Year when I realised I still have one left to do from Vol 2.  Yikes....it's the Final Exam quilt. It's my next project, promise.  :)