YESSSSSSSS! All those triangles, all together! So pleased with this one! 😀 For reference, here’s the original image I’ve been working on, created from Equal by Play Crafts (and thank you to Lori for pointing out that it was AWOL!):
In a spirit of doing ALL the experiments, I have bought some 100% wool wadding for this (I have not tried wool yet) and I ordered some Aurifil thread for the quilting (I have not tried Aurifil, either). And I couldn’t resist picking up some super-cute koi fish fabric for the back. They manage to combine all the colours in the fabrics of the top, and I like the idea that, if I go with my all-over frosty feathers quilting idea, they’ll look (hopefully!) like they’re swimming below a skim of ice. (I doubt I’m going to be that lucky, but I’m nothing if not ambitious!)
It will most likely be a wall hanging, or some other purpose that doesn’t demand a lot of washing and wear; the wool wadding seems to be a bit picky about cleaning methods and I’m not convinced all that glitter on the fabrics won’t all come off in the first wash. Certainly there seems to be quite a bit on my ironing board! Plus it’s kind of a funny size (~30 x 34″) to do anything with, especially as I have no intention of adding borders.
After trying this pattern, I came to the conclusion that, although my light and dark fabrics worked well, my medium fabrics were less effective because the print is just too large – in some places the medium triangles look reasonably obvious, in others they’re almost impossible to distinguish from the light triangles.
I don’t mind this overly much, I suspected that it would be the case and I still like the outcome because I like these fabrics. However, it does alter the look of the pattern a bit. Were I to do this again, I would lean towards choosing solid or reads-as-solid fabrics over larger prints. The use of two different prints for each shade was also a little confusing, though mostly because of the above-mentioned issue with the medium-coloured fabrics being too light in places. That’s not something I would necessarily avoid in future, but again it changes the very graphic look of the original design. I would also tend to avoid very directional prints, or the effort of getting everything pointed in the right direction could be maddening!
Fat quarters versus yardage?
I mostly used fat quarters for this; it did work out ok and my yardage estimates were pretty good. However, I would say that, because of the approximation used when calculating the number of triangles in a strip (counting two half-triangles at each end of a strip as one whole triangle), there would be less wastage and yardage estimates would be more accurate if WOF yardage were used rather than fat quarters because it reduces the number of strips required (1 WOF strip = 2 FQ strips). That means two fewer “wasted” half-triangles. Alternatively, calculations for the number of strips needed could be approached differently to give a more accurate result.
Using up “ends” from larger triangles to cut smaller triangles also helped reduce waste and proved to be essential for cutting enough of the light-coloured triangles. I almost ran into trouble when piecing the final strip when I realised that I was one medium-sized light triangle short and didn’t have a large enough piece of the light-coloured fabrics left to cut more. I told myself that, if necessary, I would replace it with a medium-coloured triangle, but in the event I found that I had an extra dark triangle the right size, so I substituted that instead. At least with a pattern like this, such antics go pretty much unnoticed! 😀 I also came up a bit short on small light and dark triangles, but had more enough scraps left to be able to cut extras with no trouble. So I can’t count, but it all worked out ok anyway! :p
So, feathers? Feathers. Despite the fact that I have never quilted a feather in my life and I still haven’t really mastered FMQ on the Pfaff. Yay. This may well be time to bust out the water-erase fabric pen I bought, if only I can remember where I put it!
Somewhere in here there must be a combination that will work for me! I’m pleased with the colour of Aurifil I chose – it’s called Silver and proved to be a really nice soft grey with a hint of blue, perfect for a frosty look. If Aurifil proves to work well for me, I may pick up their thread shade card – it’s horrible playing “guess the real colour” on a computer screen. :/ I picked grey for the other two as well so that they have the potential to blend with a decent range of colours, I hope. The site I bought these from, New Threads, has a really useful-looking page of advice on choosing the right needle to match the task and the thread, and I shall be using the suggestions in my experiments.
Additionally, I recently discovered that The Cotton Patch run a “Make Friends With Your Pfaff” course that focuses on patchwork and quilting, and the next one is at the end of March (which unfortunately coincides neatly with when we’re likely to move house, but oh well). It was £45 because I didn’t buy my machine from them, but I suspect it will be money well spent so I signed up for the last available place, and hopefully they can help me see where I’m going wrong with my machine and give me some tips on making the most of it. In the meantime, I’m going to Pfaff about with a few thread/needle combos and see how I get on. 😉
Previous posts on this project can be found here: