Creating Diagonal Designs in the Classroom

Nineteen quilters spent six hours playing with fabric and creating another layer of community with each other. We had a large bright sewing space with plenty of room for all of us to set up our sewing stations. Our Super Saturday Sew-in produced original designs based on the three different blocks I brought as samples. Here are several pictures of our day Lila Rostenberg snapped as we worked and played.

Paula and friends enjoy the light, the space and each other.

Paula and friends enjoy the light, the space and each other.

Working on a design wall, Dierdre used bright batiks to enliven the traditional Broken Dishes pattern of many triangles. She did a good job of "keeping the eye moving".

Working on a design wall, Dierdre used bright batiks to enliven the traditional Broken Dishes pattern of many triangles. She did a good job of “keeping the eye moving”.

Suzanne used a modified version of the Split Nine Patch block to create a secondary pattern.

Suzanne used a modified version of the Split Nine Patch block to create a secondary pattern.

Lila took her inspiration from a project she viewed on Pinterest for this pattern of triangles featuring solids and prints.

Lila took her inspiration from a project she viewed on Pinterest for this pattern of triangles featuring solids and prints.

Two women brought sweet treats to share with the group. Lila baked these carrot cake cupcakes (my favorite) as a surprise for my birthday the following day. And the group surprised me with an overflowing bag of batik fat quarters for my birthday. It was  a great day all around!

Two women brought sweet treats to share with the group. Lila baked these carrot cake cupcakes (my favorite) as a surprise for my 71st birthday the following day. And the group surprised me with an overflowing bag of batik fat quarters for my birthday. It was a great day all around!

I’m encouraging everyone who was in class to send me a photo of their work-in-progress and I will post it here. Dierdre was the first to respond. She has sent a photo of her work-in-progress as seen on her design wall. She used the very simple Broken Dishes of arranging triangles. About her top Dierdre wrote, “I’m still deciding on borders and finishes, but the top is sewn. I loved this creative process–there was no planning involved, just playing with color and patterns.”

Broken Dishes, composed of a single size of half square triangles, can make a dynamic diagonal design!

Broken Dishes, composed of a single size of half square triangles, can make a dynamic diagonal design!

Amy used bright colors to enliven Shaded Nine Patch block as seen on her design wall.

Shadred Nine Patch block by Amy created diamonds of color.

Shadred Nine Patch block by Amy created diamonds of color.

Velina used two beautiful William Morris fabrics for her Split Nine Patch and chose to “fussy cut” gold flowers for the centers. With just eight blocks she designed this piece to fit a cut out spot in her dining room hutch.

Velina designed a small piece to use in her dining room.

Velina designed a small piece to use in her dining room.

Sharon had assistance from a family friend as she designs her Broken Dishes project.

Quilters have many challenges to finishing our projects. Sharon has an opinionated cat trying to add new design elements.

Quilters have many challenges to finishing our projects. Sharon has an opinionated cat trying to add new design elements.

Maria experimented with her blocks by choosing different center fabrics. Then she proceeded to explore a variety of arrangements available with the strong diagonal slash of the block. Here is one design possibility that recalls Flying Geese.

Maria turned her Split Nine Patch blocks into large, vibrant Flying Geese in this possible arrangement.

Maria turned her Split Nine Patch blocks into large, vibrant Flying Geese in this possible arrangement.

Jan just sent this photo of her quilt top using the Shaded Four Patch block (the one I called Three triangles and a Square until I learned this easier name). She explained that she chose to work on our Queen’s challenge starting with a fat quarter of chickens from Queen Kathy and that little cat block someone left on the give-away table at Guild. Her working title for this piece is “Queenie’s Farm” or “For the Guild Show, Don’t Run Around Like A Chicken with Its Head Chopped Off!” Jan took the basic idea of using diagonal blocks and added her own twist.

Jan added her own creative ideas in designing this wallhanging.

Jan added her own creative ideas in designing this wallhanging.

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