Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Happy Results

I am working on updating some information and samples for a strips workshop that I'm presenting next weekend, so I sat down to do some sketching and a little math. 

Yep! I did the math - all by myself! 

A little background is in order here. I am the first to admit that math is not my strongest asset by any means, but I don't completely shy away from it either. I use the basics a lot when quilting, especially when I'm designing a quilt or resizing a pattern. Of course, it helps that I am married to a man who we affectionately call "The Human Calculator." He is always willing to help me when I get stuck. He really enjoys messing around with math and is very good at it. As a matter of fact, for the past five or six years he has tutored a number of junior and senior high school students in a variety of math disciplines including Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry. He loves doing that and the students like him and they learn. It's a win-win situation! 

So back to my project...

For the workshop, one of the first things I am going to show is how to take the basic Jelly Roll Race quilt and adjust it to make a variety of sizes. We won't be adding borders; but rather, we'll be doing the math to figure out how many strips are needed to make a quilt the desired size. Easy Peasy! 

Doing this got me thinking about how I might be able to change the quilt's design and not just the size. While I like the fact that a Jelly Roll Race quilt can be done very quickly, I don't always love the resulting look. Sometimes I think it just looks too choppy and not very pleasing. I really want to come up with a better way to either place the strips, cut them, or something. Anything!

I had some 2.5" strips that I didn't really love and I decided to use them for the test. After doing the math and crossing my fingers for luck, I cut 10 print strips and 10 solid-reading fabrics in half. I then sewed the strips together, alternating a print with a solid-reading strip. I ended up with one very long 2.5" strip. I cut the strip into equal lengths (36.5" because that's how wide I wanted my quilt top to be), and then I did the happy dance because my math worked - for the most part! 

I'll have to make a few tweaks when I sew the rows togethers so the solids match up correctly (see the middle rows), but that can easily be done. Doing this will result in the quilt being a bit smaller than 36", but I'm ok with that. (I realize that this happened because I did not verify that all of my starting strips were the same length before sewing. Lesson learned!)

I'm happy with this and will make a "real" version of it using fabrics that I really like.

I love it when a plan works!

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