Friday, August 13, 2021

A new star and a plan for Jack

So there I was, minding my own business, with no plans of starting any new projects, when one of my weekly newsletters featured a cute little framed star.  One look and I was a goner. 

One block, I said to myself.  Just one to test the pattern and the construction method they suggest.


Well, I followed the instructions (except that I used two different backgrounds instead of only one like they did) (because why would I use 3 fabrics when I could use 4?) (and I'm thinking about trying a 5th color for the star center because you know how I like to complicate things) and was quite pleased with it.
So then I made another one, using the construction I'd visualized when I first laid eyes on the block - I saw it as a basic nine-patch grid and proceeded accordingly.


(And notice how I oh so cleverly used turquoise in each block so I could justify them as RSC blocks.  Bonus points for me!)

But those little flying geese were making me grumpy.  The pattern used the squares/rectangle stitch-and-flip method for the little devils and my machine kept wanting to just chew them up.  The air was getting a bit blue what with the swearing and all.

I decided if ever a block cried out for the 4-geese-at-a-time method, this one was it.  I checked the chart for the sizes of the squares I would need.  
Hmm...  the chart said one big square 3 1/4" and four smaller squares 1 7/8".  I thought about those measurements for about 3/16 of a second and said "Oh, hell no."
There had to be an easier way.  
I wondered if I could use 3.5" squares and 2" squares instead, and then just trim them down a bit.  My only concern was that the seam allowance at the apex of the "goose" might come up short, but it turned out not to be a problem at all.  It was perfect, in fact.


Here are the untrimmed geese on the left and the trimmed on the right.  


I'm normally not a fan of go big and trim back, but in the case of these littlie-bits I'm willing to make an exception.  Since I always have 3.5" and 2" strips and squares on hand, those measurements are going to be a whole lot easier to work with.
So, yeah, looks like I've started another project.  (It's for the RSC!  Honest!)


That left me with my languishing Jack's Chain still on the design wall.  I adore this pattern and really want to get it made, but the amount of time it would spend on the wall while I sewed it together was daunting.


It wants to be worked on and isn't afraid of making me feel guilty for sewing something else.  (You should have  seen  heard  felt how fiercely it stared at me while I was making those little framed stars...)

So I've developed a plan.  The rows are basically a chain of this 5-nine-patch C-shaped unit


joined across.  I've been sewing triangles to individual nine patches, sort of as a leader/ender, which I'll start assembling into a bunch of those C-shapes and then later on add the hexagon centers.


Not all of the nine-patches will be handled that way, though.  Some will be set aside for the in-between rows which just consist of hexagons and nine-patches alternating across.

This approach lets me take it down off the design wall (and put it where it can't stare at me) while I accumulate all these bigger components.

There.  That's taken care of.  

I have a plan.

I'm almost sure it will work.


Linking with SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and with Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!  Come join the fun!



23 comments:

Cathy said...

Oh, I can see why you had to try a couple of those Stars. (Now I may have to try one or two and use some nine patches for the star centers since I'm looking for different ways to use nine patches.)

And I've made two Jack's Chains w/o a design wall. I used a construction method similar to the one at Quilter's Cache. That may help???

https://www.quilterscache.com/J/JacksChainBlock.html

Vireya said...

I love the look of Jack's Chain, but it does look like a pain to assemble. Good to have a plan so you know where you are going with it.

Cynthia Brunz Designs said...

Starting new quilts seem to be a trend. I love those new blocks!

Mystic Quilter said...

I too would have had to change those detailed measurements, I hate it when there is a
1/8th" or 7/8th" mentioned - I walk away!! Great idea of yours for changing things.
It's always good to make a start with a new quilt, even though you may a dozen or so already on the go! Jack's Chain is looking luscious!

Gretchen Weaver said...

I love the new star, very pretty. When you said you had a plan for Jack, I thought of Jack the ripper immediately. I thought maybe you wouldn't be needing him anymore and got rid of him! Good plan for your Jack's chain. That is still on my list of quilt to be made! Happy stitching!

cityquilter grace said...

a great plan that keeps jack from staring you down...LOL

Libby in TN said...

Love the new star and agree with you on the geese. Even though I used most of my 9-patches in another quilt, I still have my Jack's Chain project box staring at me in the quilt room. Some day ...

Chantal said...

I agree with you, the star needs to be tested. Since my Ohio Star quilt is "almost" finished, maybe I could start another star quilt. Hmmm! It is so tempting! Love what you did with the aqua and all. I always go big and trim down when I have to make flying geese units. The four-flying-geese-at-once method is not for me either. When the rulers start showing 3/8" bigger than just a cute little line, maybe I'll use that method but not before. Haha! I love, love, love Jack's Chain. All those Y-seams keep me away from it though. So I'll just admire yours, and your perseverance. You rock, girl! ;^)

Sally Trude said...

Instead of worrying about starting a new quilt, try the Cathy in IA method of saying “I found this bag of blocks I started sixteen years ago and…” Then you can get hugs and kisses from the UFO crowd and start as many as you like.

LA Paylor said...

you're my hero... of course I like everything you made. I wanted to make a jacks chain for donkey years, and that star is up my alley too. Thanks for thinking like I do, 7/8ths No stinkin way!

Maggie said...

Playing is always fun. Jack's chain is one of the one's that is on the list. Actually had the pattern in my hand and packed it away again. Maybe one day?

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

That's a pretty star! Of course you had to *try* one, or maybe even more than one. :) I love the 4 geese at a time method, and it's perfect for when you need 4 that are the same, too. I also love seeing your Jack's Chain progress! That's such a great design!

Mari said...

The stars are great, and I'm always in favor of any method that makes things easier. Four at a time geese makes so much sense. Love the yellow and turquoise together!

Wanderingcatstudio said...

Now why did you have to go an show me a new star block????

Angie said...

Love the new star block and I was tempted until you started talking about cutting down Flying Geese blocks! Yay for the Jack's Chain plan! I hate it when quilts stare me down!

MissPat said...

"One block", she said, "Just to test the pattern". Sure, Gayle, one block. ha ha ha! But it's a cute block and I need to make a red, white and blue block for next month's quilt group meeting, so maybe this star block would work. Just one, though. I always oversize and trim, whenever I can. I love the look of Jack's Chain, but I think it would drive me nuts (well, nuttier, I guess).
Pat

grammajudyb said...

That’s a pretty darn cute star block! And trimming 4 at a time geese isn’t difficult when you have a Quilt in a Day ruler! You go girl! I’m adding that on to my “star blocks to try” folder “

Karen said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! My Jack's Chain components have been languishing for over six years as I was unhappy with the sewing of my final construction. Your C-shapes seem so obvious now, much better than my apple-core and hexagonal units!

The Joyful Quilter said...

I've always wanted to try those framed stars. Yours are SEW pretty with aqua included for the RSC, Gayle! Congrats on making some progress on Jack, too.

Robin said...

The star blocks turned out great, what a nice pattern. I have a Jack's Chain languishing in a box. I cut out all the pieces, made all the nine-patches, I even marked all the seam allowances so I could piece it by hand. . . and there it sits. I'm going to blame it on the weather.

Nann said...

The new block is so sparkly, Gayle. And good plan for Jack's Chain. (I'm thinking of ball-and-chain metaphors to describe your progress with that one.)

Ann said...

What a cute new block. Adding a fourth and fifth fabric sounds even better. I tend to cut flying geese a bit larger and trim or use the method that makes two at once.
Still love Jack’s Chain. I’ve admired it for decades so you’d think I’d have made one by now.

Cathy said...

I love your new RSC Star blocks. Squirrels be damned! But that Jacks Chain gives me hives. I’m so glad it’s you making it, not me. I know it’ll be awesome!