Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Problem with a Layer Cake

First off I've been kind of unmotivated this weekend, so I haven't gotten a lot of sewing done. And last night I was feeling a little bit like my brain was turning to mush - I mean, chain piecing isn't exactly mentally challenging - so I took some time to read in my electronics text book. I have a work bench set up in the basement, but its lonely down there by myself.

Here is what I have worked on this weekend.

I sorted a lot of my UFO's into shoeboxes, and properly labelled them so I can find them.

Some are started, some are just patterns and fabric. They aren't all there, I know I have at least one more to box up and three active WIP that are not getting boxes yet.

Worked a little bit on those brown pinwheels.

And I played aroudn with my Halloween layer cake.

Let me say that layer cakes and other precuts are nice. You get a wide sampling of a particular fabric line, you don't have to worry about trying to order each cut individually, and they are cut accurately. Here is the downside - what you get is what you get. If you just so happen to want a little extra orange, you are out of luck unless you can find the fabric for sale somewhere, which is unlikely if you bought the precut on clearance.

This is my precut layer cake (these fabrics are a lot of fun and the picture doesn't show them very well)

Here is the design I wanted to set up for the twister quilt

Great, right? Emphasizes the Halloween colors, it is nice and orderly and will make an amazing twister quilt. I scooted off to my sewing room, sorted my cuts into color stacks, counted and I was short about 8 orange squares. Ugh. Worth noting that I don't like orange, so I have very little (i.e. NONE) in my stash.

Back to the drawing board. I figured out exactly how much of each color I had. We (me, myself, and I) went through several iterations, arguing with each other all along the way.

Eh, its okay.

This is the one I finally settled on. I sorted my squares, bagged them up, stuck them in a shoe box with a printout of the quilt and my lil twister ruler, and called it a night.

But I still don't like it! Its not symmetrical, which can be okay in some cases, like asymmetrical hemlines on skirts. I have a couple of those and love them. This quilt design, however, just looks incomplete. A little like I got lazy and didn't want to finish the last couple of blocks. Remember that I am limited to the colors and quantities I have on hand.

It was still bothering me this morning. I fiddled with it some more. Took out the sashing, flipped the blocks around. And WOW. Now we're talking. Check this out.

It is too small, because once you use the twister ruler you lose about a third of your surface area, leaving this quilt at 40" x 40" or itty bitty baby sized. I want a lap size at least. Put the sashing back in and it kind of adds a fractured look which should play well with the twister pattern

End result: Sashing will probably stay in, borders are flexible. I am also very grateful for EQ7, otherwise I probably would have spent hours more trying to design this, and/or making a quilt I hated and wouldn't finish. Now I've got my own little infinity pattern quilt to work on.


  1. Okay, I don't know what happened to my comment the first time so I'm trying again. First of all, I love your shoe box organization method with the printed labels. Secondly, you made me laugh to myself about having an argument with your three selves. I'm glad you decided on something that made all three of you happy! :o)

    1. Thank you! Although I did hit another snag with it, and ended up hunting down another layer cake so this is still an evolving project. Expect more self-inflicted arguments in the future.