Floating Squares 2 Top Finished in the Nick of Time

I finished the top last night around midnight; that left this morning to transform the studio back into an apartment and wash the dishes that had piled up while I frantically sewed.

Without further ado:

Floating Squares 2 Finished Top

50 x 70 — irregular edge and teal binding planned. Orientation is sideways–blue is the top.

Product people can stop reading here. Process people, for you I remembered a couple before and after photos.

When I started working on the blue section, I thought it was getting too checkerboardy.

Floating 2 check effect

So I scrambled to make some combination blocks more like among the reds here.

floating 2 check fix 1That turned out to be overcompensation and way too dark. So I tried rearranging.

floating 2 check fix 2I liked that till I sat with it a bit, then the long filler lines on each side of the remaining dark segment distracted me.

The solution–shifting left and adding mixed light and dark.

floating 2 fixed

While there are still some checkerboard moments, they seem less obvious with variety around them and among more colors. Finally I was ready to move on.

In her book, Sherri talks of quilt edges in two ways. The traditional squaring up straight lines and keeping the curve created by the non-uniform pieces. Until I started assembling, I’d not seen the value of the latter. But then I saw edges like these:

In each case there was a lot of piecing I’d not want to lose by straight cutting; nor could I move the segment in farther. There was some aspect I needed where it was placed. So I’ll be using an irregular edge.

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy curving he seams to follow irregularities in piecing? I should caution that it adds about thrice the time to the project as straight seams do. (If there is a long way to do something, I am sure to find it.) So I do a mix. Some considerations I make to choose:

  • How tired am I and how tired of trimming and sewing curves?
  • Will a straight cut obliterate a great pieced detail?
  • Which preserves more fabric?
  • Does the potential curve enhance the overall look?

While the first question is primary, the next three can override it.

Most of the curves are gentle.  I learned some things about trimming. It is easier if the pattern piece is placed to the left and the piece to be cut to the right (I am right handed; left-handed people might reverse this.) And when there are a couple areas with deeper overlap, something to hold onto, it is easier to hold the pieces steady. I did this trimming with scissors as I had trouble cutting through two layers where there were seams with the rotary cutter, and it is harder to re-cut a line without a ruler.

Most of my curves turned out smooth.

Floating squares 2-curveBut I also had plenty of practice darting to make corrections. I pretty much pressed where the fabric wanted to go and then returned to the sewing machine and sewed along the fold where it differed from the seam. No ripping involved because curves require pressing to the side.

One other thing I learned. Large chunks of fabric “control” how the square segments are sized and sewn.  I had to eliminate a lot of large squares of the bright colors. Heavy and dark just didn’t integrate with the print.

Are you still reading? Have you run into any design issues like these?





Filed under design, quilting

8 responses to “Floating Squares 2 Top Finished in the Nick of Time

  1. A really satisfying and enlightening report on how you reached the final solution. Love it – and finished just in time!

  2. I love reading about other’s process(es).Sounds like the exercise in the book was just a starting point — which is what I think the author would want you to do.

  3. Thanks for sharing. I love watching designs unfold and hearing about the thought process behind decisions made. It helps me develop my process (or reinforces some I already do, but may question). I agree, often, question #1 (being tired) works into the process.

  4. dezertsuz

    I haven’t had problems like that, but because I’ve never pieced anything like that. I can see the design advantage to not trimming straight, but I think it could be a nightmare to bind it. I’ll be interested to see what your solution is to that. =) I pulled the photo off and rotated it, and it gives a completely different look to see it right side up! I could suddenly see how the colors echo what’s in the focus fabric, and I love the effect!

    So enjoy your company! I hope you have some great things planned, and will report on some of the things you do together. A friend’s visit is always a thing to celebrate!

  5. The choice of fabrics is extra nice. Your print is a nice focal point without taking over. Or rather, it doesn’t take over now. Sounds like it kind of dictated the design process 😊

  6. I think you know by now how much I like this piece 🙂

  7. Jenny Sigler

    Love the modern look of this. Looks very challenging to figure out the arrangement, too!

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