In my quest for organization, I was getting some things together for my Tuesday night Cleveland Modern Quilt Guild meeting. Imagine my surprise when I realized that I did not finish my previous month Everything Old is New Again challenge block. AARRGGGGHHHHH
I know exactly what happened. I got stuck on one part and set it aside to work on later, but later never came. Later is right now and I have no choice but to buckle down, do the math and figure it out so I can get the block sewn.
I have to give a bit of a background here about this challenge. We are given the name of a traditional block and we must create a modern version of it. So far we've had Log Cabin, Flying Dutchman, Dresden Plate, Churn Dash, Ohio Star, Clay's Choice, Broken Wheel, and now Chinese Puzzle. I am not a huge fan of sampler quilts, which this will turn out to be, so I tried to make it a bit less painful for me and am using basically the same fabrics with each block. I have one fabric that will appear toward the center of each block and white is my background fabric. I have a handful of blues and greens that I am using and that's it. My hope is that I'll have an easier time making it all work together.
Because it was a challenge, I decided to challenge myself in another way as well. My blocks are not square. They all will finish at 9" wide by 11" tall. When I first started this, it was pretty easy, but I've run into some math challenges and that is exactly what happened with the Chinese Puzzle.
This is the block that was giving me fits. It's a rectangle that measures 2 3/4" wide by 3 1/4" high unfinished. The half rectangle angle was easy. It's the other angle that was a pain - and there are four of these units in the block. After getting out the calculator and trying to remember high school trig, I had the proverbial "AH HA" moment and realized that I could draw this in Electric Quilt and it would do the math for me. (I know, some of you may think that is the cheater way, but I'm ok with that.)
I drew the entire block in EQ and then isolated the "problem" units. Numbers 11, 12, 13, and 14.
After realizing that I was going to have to cut weird angles, I decided to make this with paper piecing. Bingo! (I've already sewn the first two pieces here before I remembered to take the picture. (The number 13 refers to the unit in the final block.)
If you've never paper pieced before, don't let it scare you. It really made short work of this unit and it was precise. Here's what it looks like from the back after I sewed the first tow sections together. I know it's hard, but can you see that the white fabric is not lined up exactly with the green fabric on the right side? I did that to avoid having the green show through the front in the seam allowance.
It's pressed out and in the following picture, I've sewn the final piece (large triangle) to the other unit and it's ready to press.
Here it is all pressed out. Looks ugly, right?
Ill just trim along the outside line, which is the 1/4" seam allowance.
It looks so much better!
Here's the back...
And the front. Much better!
I'll just plop it in where it need to be...
I've got to remember to use EQ more frequently. It would save me so much time. :-)
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