Archive for December, 2006

Mystery Quilt: First Block

Monday, December 18th, 2006

This post could be subtitled: Rotational Symmetry Makes My Brain Hurt.

So a couple of weekends ago, I pieced the first block in the Mystery Quilt project. It went together pretty well, once I remembered about corner trimming templates for piecing triangles. The results are shown below:

Mystery Quilt, first block

There’s only one hitch: if you look closely at the quarter-square triangles in the corners of the block (the light and dark green patches), you’ll see that they’re not rotationally symmetrical. Thanks to the magic of Photoshop, I can show you what I mean. Here, again, is the block as I pieced it, and the block as displayed in Quiltmaker:

First block, as pieced | First block, as displayed in Quiltmaker

I followed the instructions given in Quiltmaker, but because of the way that the block is assembled at the very end — it’s made up of four triangular sections, sewn on the diagonal — there’s no way to get all four corners rotationally symmetrical without making twice as many quarter-square triangle units and using only half of them. I didn’t have a huge amount of the green fabrics, and I wanted to be able to use them for other parts of the quilt, rather than throw them out. So I was faced with a choice:

  • Disassemble the block, sew a bunch more quarter-square triangle units, and re-assemble it, hoping that I wouldn’t need much more of the green fabrics later on, or
  • Leave the block as is, and hope that the perfect rotational symmetry of the block isn’t critical to the design of the quilt as a whole.

I chose the latter (for now), though I’m having second thoughts. Unfortunately, because of the way the block is assembled, if I decide to go back and re-do the block, I’ll have to disassemble the whole thing, which will be a pretty big pain in the neck.

So what do y’all think?

Also, Ann says below in her comment that she’s joining in the project – yay! I can’t wait to see her palette of fabrics!