Sunday 2 March 2014

Decipher Your Quilt: Survey Response

First up, thanks to all of you who let me know my blog disappeared last night - I was fiddling around with my blog name and header and accidentally made it vanish. There was a slight freak out this morning, but it was an easy fix thankfully, and it's all good now.

Thanks so much to all of you who took the time to fill out our Decipher Your Quilt survey - I'm amazed that we have had over 300 respondents! We will be making a few changes to the schedule based on your responses, adding a few extra topics and making sure we answer particular questions. Thanks to your excellent questions, we will be able to do our 'Dear Leanne and Jess' idea as well. Our first post this Thursday will cover how we approach fabric cutting (something several people had questions about, and the perfect place to start), and how to check your 1/4" seam accuracy.

We thought it would be interesting to let you know the results of the questionnaire, so we can all see where we fit. I honestly had no idea how to approach this post without making it sound like a scientific report, but thanks to a brilliant suggestion by Leanne, I'm blatantly copying her approach ;o).

Do you enjoy quilt maths?

I love maths of all kinds. I have a science degree, so I did a lot of maths throughout school and it was always my favorite subject. I think all the maths involved in quilt designing is one of my favorite parts of quilting, and I love geometry and playing with different arrangements of shapes.

When you see a block you like, are you able to make one for yourself without direction?

In most cases, yes. If blocks have parts that are set on point I find this really tricky to calculate, but I do have EQ7 so I can cheat if it is really hard. That is one aspect of EQ7 I really love, but I still tend to draw a lot of my blocks on graph paper and figure out measurements before I use EQ7.

Do you have trouble finding the block in a quilt?

Normally, no - but I haven't honestly done it very much. It is something I will be doing a lot of during this series I suspect, so I will get back to you in a few months ;o)

Do you own a compass (for drawing circles)? 

I do, and I use it quite a lot for marking quilting lines if I'm quilting circular shapes. I haven't used it for making curved templates yet, and I'm looking forward to learning more about Leanne's approach to circles later in the series.

Do you have graph paper?

Yes I do. I really love graph paper with dense lines, but I also use Incompetech to download and print out graph paper a lot. I especially love the ability to print triangular and hexagonal graph paper (or templates for EPP.) 

Do you have trouble figuring out how big your quilt will finish at?

For a normal horizontal layout, no - I'm quite comfortable with calculating that. When a quilt is set on point however, I must admit I normally go straight to EQ7. But, it is something I really want to get to grips with during this series. Several people had questions relating to on point quilts, so it is something we will tackle in depth.

Do you find it easy to increase the size of a quilt?

Normally, yes. But in the case of medallion quilts and quilts that are set on point, it does get a bit trickier, and I would like to become more confident at it. I normally get it right - but I do tend to err on the side of caution and cut things bigger than I think I'll need and then trim down to size when setting triangles.

Do you find it easy to increase the size of a quilt block? 

I enjoy the maths involved in enlarging quilt blocks. Again, if there are parts that are set on point, or if the block doesn't sit in a typical grid (for example the good old snail trail block) I do find it quite difficult.

Do you have trouble calculating borders if you are adding them without a pattern?

No, I find this quite comfortable to do. Most of the time I measure my quilt through the centre before cutting borders. 

Do you know how to check the accuracy of your 1/4" seam allowance?

Yes, but it is something I still struggle with sometimes. I do have a 1/4" foot for my machine, and it is accurate, but it doesn't have a guide (I have to line up the edge of the fabric with the edge of the foot) like some 1/4" feet do. The longer I quilt, the more accurate I'm getting, but I think I will always have to concentrate to get that perfect 1/4" seam allowance. 

Do you dislike making HSTs?

I dislike making too many at once - mostly because I hate trimming them. I need to try thangles. 

Do the points on your stars and half square triangles sometimes disappear into the seam allowances?

Sometimes they do - although I'm getting better at keeping my points as I become a more experienced piecer. If I'm making blocks with a lot of small pieces, I find it hard to keep them all the same finished size and to keep my points. 

I'll be working on coming up with our 'Dear Leanne and Jess' questions this week, and will be back with the first official post on Thursday. I hope everyone has had a great weekend. I managed to start two new quilts, so I will hopefully have some progress to share with you this week :o)

xx Jess


DeborahGun said...

Love your new header - its beautiful :-) Really looking forward to this series - I would love to feel like I know a little more what I'm doing!

Debbie said...

Very interesting! Your series sounds fun & helpful & I look forward to your 'Dear Leanne & Jess' questions...

ChristaQuilts said...

I love all those graphs - you know, they would make lovely quilt blocks, LOL!

Katy Cameron said...

I do hope you have some dear ASS guru style questions :oD

Farm Quilter said...

Love your header and I am really looking forward to your new series!! I like learning new things and I hate math!!! I like playing with shapes and creating my own quilt blocks with no pattern...but don't ask me to make them a specific size!!!

Annabella said...

Interesting - I seemed to be in the biggest bit of the pie (no surprise there then) for most of the survey. Clearly in good company :)

Jess @ Scrappy n Happy said...

Love love love your new header!

Benta AtSLIKstitches said...

Interesting reading ! Thanks x