Friday, 12 October 2012

Stack & Whack Squares 1

Like many other patchworkers I'm not just given to cutting up fabric and putting it back together again but have been fascinated by the possibilities of fussy cutting. When I made my first quilt, hexagon rosettes, early rosettes were cut anyhow but later,  like many others before and since, I found myself manipulating motifs and stripes to fan outwards or circle around. I noticed how in Jinny Beyer's block books (Her Quilter's album of blocks and borders is a wonderful resource) she used repetitive elements in border prints designs. Later I read a magazine article by Rebecca Collins where she cut up six identical cushion panels and joined identical pieces in a kaleidoscope effect. However the phenonomen really took off with the publication of  Bethany Reynolds' Magic Stack'n'Whack book though my favourite is the Stack'n'Whackipedia which uses fewer simpler shapes. This quilt was made from that book and started in a class with Bethany in Paducah.

I saw her demonstrate blocks with four identical patches but my efforts really took off after a class with Judy Johnson  in Sisters, Oregon. She really was a wonderful teacher, strong on design as well as technique. The floral quilt was started in her workshop. Making this I learnt not to try to make all the blocks stars - some odder arrangements are good for the mix, a lesson I tried to apply to my current project.

Quilt started in Judy's class. Note that two of the blocks are not pieced.
The border develops an idea from Bethany Reynolds.

Now I've started on a new project with a different look. I wanted lots of background space. The repeat is 24" which permits more variety and I bought 5+ repeats. Four sections are stacked up aligning identical elements (Judy showed clever ways to do this) and strips cut and then subcut into squares. Mine were 4 5/8" to make maximum use of fabric. Then the four patch fun starts - you can have four rotational arrangements, arrange mirror image or all the same way.
The fabric

Arrangement 1

Arrangement 2

Arrangement 3

Arrangement 4

Arrangement 5

Arrangement 6

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