May 5, 2011 § 7 Comments
It feels so good to be able to check this one off my list!! It was a Civil War block-of-the-month at the shop where I work and was quite a challenge. There were so many rounding errors and just plain mistakes in the block cutting measurements that we ended up redrawing the whole thing in Electric Quilt. Please don’t ask me what the pattern is because I don’t want anyone to have to go through what we did. But I am happy to say that the quilt top is finished! I am donating it and it will be auctioned off.
This brings up a good conversation about block design in general. When designing blocks, it’s really nice to choose measurements that work with your design rather than against it. I talk about this in my EQ classes when we get to the drawing segment. Here’s a little exercise for you:
Most traditional pieced blocks can be drawn on a square grid. Electric Quilt author, Patti Anderson, calls these divisions the Virtual Grid. Once you see the grid beneath the block, you will be able to draw nearly any traditional pieced block. See if you can identify the Virtual Grid of these blocks above. Think you’ve got it?
- No. 1 = 3 x 3 grid
- No. 2 = 4 x 4 grid (or it could also be a 2 x 2 grid)
- No. 3 = 5 x 5 grid
- No. 4 = 7 x 7 grid
Do you see them? Once you can identify the grid, you will be able to draw almost any block. Feathered stars, circles, and arcs are blocks that don’t follow this theory. But many blocks do. Practice identifying the virtual grid every time you see a block.
So, if you were going to draw the first block, you would want to choose a finished block size that is easily divisible by 3, like a 6″ or 9″ or 12″ block. Then you will get nice common measurements for the pieces you will need to cut. If you choose a finished block size like 10 1/2″ you will have a much harder time making this block. Do you see what I am getting at?
This is the problem that was going on in the quilt pattern above. The finished size of the blocks was supposed to be 9 1/2″ which doesn’t lend itself to any nice round numbers. Hence the headaches we had in making the blocks.
May your day be filled with nice even numbers today!