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Drafting the pattern. "old school."

Drafting the pattern. “old school.” This is the 12″ version that I will actually use to piece my quilt (although, since the quilt is scrappy, the colors are subject to change!)

I find I spend more time on Facebook (on the Quilts–Vintage and Antique group) than is probably good for me.

A couple of weeks ago, I fell in love with a scrappy version of a block called “Cross Roads to Bachelor’s Hall.” (I tried to link to the original quilt, but wasn’t able to. A version of it can been seen in The Quilt Index, but it wasn’t scrappy and it didn’t have cornerstones.)

I have been dabbling with curved elements for a while, and this looked right up my alley. It looked fun.

So, after doing a little research, I decided to draft the block and make this quilt.

Usually when I say “drafting” people are either terrified or in awe.  It’s not hard, and it’s not a big mystery.  Here’s what I do:

Look at the quilt and find the block itself.

In the case of the original,  green strips with  yellow squares were consistent throughout the quilt.  This meant that they were most likely sashing surrounding the blocks. (The sashing and the cross-bars are the same color on the quilt at The Quilt Index.)

I liked using two different colors the sashing and the cross bars because that gave a secondary grid element to the entire quilt, like a trellis with elements crossing over and under each other.

Look at the block and divide it into sections.

Every block can usually be broken down into a grid of some sort (Ginny Beyer has a wonderful book detailing how this works.) In this case, it’s obvious that the strips in each block further divide it into quarter-square triangles (QST.)

Since those QSTs are all the same, when you draft the block, this is the element you will spend the most time with.

Decide how big of a block you want to make.

The same pattern drafted for an 8" block.

The same pattern drafted for an 8″ block. Notice by using 1″ strips and arc, these appear bigger in relation to the size of the block than in the 12″ version.

Do you want the block to be the same size? If so, the answer is obvious.  If not (or you don’t know the size, as I didn’t when I drafted this block), pick one.

At first, I thought 8″, but then, I redrafted into 12″ and decided I liked that better.

The thing to remember here is that the smaller you make the blocks, the more delicate and intricate they will look in the final quilt. You also might find them more difficult to piece.  The larger the block size, the less of them you will have to make to complete a bed-sized quilt.

Determine the size of the elements.

Usually you can tell this by how big they look in comparison to the block itself. I decided that the sashing, the crossbars and the “outer” circles looked to be the same size.

I decided that size would be 1″ (finished). Looking at the 8″ version, I probably should have used 3/4″, but I liked the 12″ version of the block with the 1″ elements the best.

Next post I will talk about the actual drafting of this block (and, hopefully, I will have permission to post the photo of the quilt that got me so excited in the first place!


So, other than decide on a new quilt block and draft it, what did I do this week?

I finished a good bit of the hand appliqué on the flower pot.

I finished this week's Aiming for Accuracy block.

I finished this week’s Aiming for Accuracy block.

Grandmother's Choice now has a border and is ready for the long arm.

Grandmother’s Choice now has a border and is ready for the long arm.

So that’s it until next week!

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