What's wrong with this picture? It is the center of my improv quilt. It is supposed to be on point. It's not.
Unless we are doing raw edge or collage work, our medium requires us to cut up pieces of fabric and fit them together. That requires math. If you are old enough to remember Doby Gillis, imagine Maynard G Crebbs squeaking out the word "work." That is the tenor of my voice when I say math. But, if you want your quilt to fit together ...
And so I get out my favorite quilters reference guide, measuring tools, sketches, calculator and fabric. I have the measurement for the hypoteneuse of the setting triangle (the size of my square). How do I figure the size of the other two sides? I seem to remember something about the Pythagorean Theorem. My reference guide has a nice chart that gives the diagonal measurement for various sized squares but, of course, my block is an odd size and all the numbers are uneven figures that don't show up on my ruler. I fuss with the figures for a long time, checking and double checking my work. Should I round up at every step? Or just at the end? Do I work with raw sizes or finished sizes? A multitude of worries, second gueses and doubts accompany my deliberations. Much later, I discovered a calculator on line that would have quickly and easily done the calculations for me, just by entering the measurement of my square. I am trying to remember that my brain needs the workout. Quilting is better than Sudoku!
I finally arrived at a figure and moved to the fun part. Picking out the fabric!
I knew I wanted to frame my center with the rich cinnamon swirling vine from the Moda Puzzle Pieces Collection and I wanted to use the wild pink floral from the Soul Blossoms collection. That lucious pink with it's wild and whimsical flowers was to be my bridge to blue.
I found the perfect blue, right there in my stash! Don't you love when that happens! I only have a little less than a half yard, but it is a Michael Miller Krystal that I know I can get more of. When I put this awesome blue with the other fabrics it made my heart smile.
I wanted the setting triangles to be scrappy and I needed two other fabrics for the design I had worked out. That turned out to be a lovely fabric selection challenge involving wanderings through both the shop and my stash. I finally selected a colorful Peacock Feather design and this winsome, open floral, both from the Soul Blossoms collection.
I love the opulent, oversized motif's that seem to be favored by Amy Butler and the young designers who have brought a fresh new look to our fabric. But I cringe at the alacrity with which they cut up their boldly beautiful designs. I reluctantly cut the pink floral into small squares telling myself that I might be able to incorporate larger pieces at some later point in the project but as I cut, my risk-taking was rewarded with small delights. The little pieces gave me lovely little vignettes from the larger piece. This is so much fun! The math challenges are forgotten!
Putting it all together is the final reward. The math came out precisely right. Almost too precisely. I worried that my corners were too small but there they are, sewn on with an exact 1/4 inch outside those points so that when I sew on the next round I won't loose them. Yessss!