Tuesday, March 26, 2019

March DrEAMi: Dynamic Haphazard Pattern/Spunky Americana

Looking at my quilt which I started working on National Quilt Day, Saturday, 3/16, you might think that I was merrily sewing together HSTs any which way and without any plan whatsoever.  It might have saved me some time if I had but my Spunky Quilt was made with the assistance of a free quilt design software program, Dynamic Patterns, created and developed by Liz of Savor Every Stitch in 2017.  This program consists of two styles, Haphazard which is just HSTs and Mondrian which is just squares.  You can see I chose the Haphazard pattern which lives up to the name because the quilt definitely looks random, unplanned and unsystematic or just plain fun.
This is a DrEAMi project for me even though it was in the making for the past several years. I first purchased a fat quarter bundle of fabric which included prints of Jennifer Sampou's Studio Stash and some bright homespuns and then added some prints by Art Gallery's Denim Studio and other homespun prints from my stash. It took me awhile to realize that these would be the right fabric to make the Haphazard Pattern with HSTs and finally used the software for the first time last year.  Since making my Postcards from Sweden last year, I've become fond of HSTs especially when I can die-cut them myself.

I did something a little different with the Dynamic Pattern program since I wanted my quilt to be 54"x72" rather than square so rather than designing an entire quilt, I designed a series of 18" blocks, like over forty. These were fun to design; after you input your HST sizes (always 6" and 3"), the colors (dark and medium blue, red, tan and yellow-I didn't get hung up on matching the exact shades) and the proportions of the sizes and colors for each block, the software program will automatically generate blocks. I couldn't stop at just twelve, even though that's all I needed. I guess this is a testament to how well Liz designed this program because I did not crash it.
I decided that this would be the project I wanted to work on for National Quilt Day so in preparation I had to choose twelve blocks from the forty designed and the ones chosen were based on the blocks which were more dark and medium blues and had more 6" HSTs than 3" HSTs. I decided to use the neon yellow homespuns sparingly in 3" HST, orange replaced the 6" yellow HST and the apple green homespun in the bundle was eliminated. After the twelve blocks were chosen, being the anal planner I am, drew each block up on graph paper, indicating the color combo which was handy so I knew how many HSTs of each color combo was needed and also when laying out and sewing the blocks.  Since each of the HSTs would have a dark blue print, I added two additional Aged Muslin dark blues to make sure I had enough variety and being the more the merrier type of quilter, I then added more reds, tans and oranges. I spent all day preparing the fabrics and die-cutting HSTs. Once that was done, I teamed up combinations of dark blues with either light blue, red, tan, orange and yellows and these combinations were the same for the 6" and 3" HSTs. And yes, I had extras.
After all of the HSTs were sewn, the blocks were put together and sewn together one at a time.  It really helped that each HST was numbered just to make sure I didn't inadvertently sewed them in the wrong order or orientation but when I did happen to do it a few times, it didn't matter except when a yellow HST was involved and placement was important, then I did take it apart.  My little display board came in handy when sewing the blocks together.  When pressing the HSTs, I pressed towards the dark blue and once the HSTs were sewn together, I pressed the seams open.


Here's an example of the computer design and the resulting block made.  If you're wondering why I didn't just use printouts instead of spending time drawing them out on graph paper, it's because I didn't want to use up all of the color ink on my printer.  But what is nice about the printout  is that it shows how many of each color combination is needed to make the block.

There is an element of a mystery quilt after all of the blocks were sewn and then needed to be turned into a top. The left photo are all of the blocks and the right photo is the final layout. (Another pressing tip, the row of blocks were pressed in alternating directions so they nested when the rows were sewn together). While laying out the blocks, I was regretting my decision to use the neon yellow homespuns since it looked like post-it notes but after came up with a layout with the neon yellow HSTs spread out like they're bursting from the center like fireworks. I'm glad I kept them and included the orange to give this quilt its name, Spunky Americana.

Machine quilting was a breeze with vertical straight lines, approximately l" apart using Connecting Threads Essential Thread in Bluebird. The backing was also from Connecting Threads, 104" wide denim and you can see the Bluebird thread blended very nicely. I'm happy to mention that my usual stubbornness in finding the right binding paid off this time.  I was going to settle for using one of the blue Aged Muslin since I didn't have enough of the other prints, or if I did, it wasn't right but kept thinking the perfect binding for Spunky Americana would be a Debbie Mumm print, denim blue with super skinny stripes-a favorite of mine for binding, something I thought I used up all I had.  Well, after looking through my four bins of traditional blue fabrics, I was so happy to find it in the fourth bin which I wasn't going to check but am glad I did--and I had just enough--a little over one-half yard--yep, meant to be.
Would I make another Haphazard quilt--yes, especially with all of the scraps I have like Kaffe Fassett, Patriotic, Homespuns, etc.  There are so many possibilities with just using two colors like black and white or just solids and also "disappearing" the blocks like cutting them in quarters after they are sewn.  Hopefully, I won't have to wait until the next National Quilt Day to start die-cutting another one and also if I need new block patterns, I'm going to splurge and print them out-- I'll make sure I have enough color ink.
On a side note, I'm glad to have my Spunky Americana quilt ready for the March DrEAMi link-up this Saturday, 3/30 hosted by Sandra of mmm quilts who will be hosting her third QAL starting April 3rd.  Since I've participated in her other two QAL, I'm sewing the Trifeca.  Hopefully, I should be able to find the right fabric in my stash since my fabric diet is going very well.
Also, starting this month, there's a new linky party-Favorite Finish Monthly Linkup hosted by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs and will definitely be linking up my Spunky Americana quilt because I have to admit this is my favorite finish for March.

And lastly and more importantly, I would like to thank Liz for creating and designing the Dynamic Patterns program and allowing us quilters free access to it--it's a kind and wonderful way to share your talent.  If you're not familiar with Liz's blog, please check out Savor Every Stitch and see what an amazing quilter she is and to think she has been only quilting for just a few years now.  Her machine quilting is jaw dropping beautiful and maybe one day Liz will inspire me to try a few curves and meandering with my machine quilting. Meanwhile, if that day ever happens, I'm fine with gushing over her beautiful quilts.

17 comments :

  1. Cool! I have been meaning to make me one of these too, but it hasn't made it to the top of the list or made it to a dreami project. The list is too long at this point, but I think it would make a perfect geometric quilt for one of my boys should they ever need a new one!

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  2. What a fabulous quilt! I love the random scrappy look even though there was a lot of planning attached!

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  3. When I come and visit someday, I want to snuggle under that quilt, have a cup of coffee, and chatter away with you about quilts and life. How does that sound? That quilt is fabulous. I love all of the movement! I have a pattern or two from Liz's Haphazard program, just haven't made it yet. Great finish, Rose!

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  4. How fun to see the Haphazard pattern in more traditional fabrics! Spunky Americana turned out so great, Rose! The little bursts of yellow really add sparkle (or sparks :) I have a quilt top using the pattern that needs to get moved along; thanks for the inspiration!

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  5. Hi Rose! I agree and second everything you said about Liz. She is just an amazing quilter with really a truly gifted eye. I love playing around with her Haphazard design tool. Ooh, I'll bet a black and white Haphazard quilt would be just gorgeous, with a random pop of red in it. Okay - back to your post! I love this finish, and I really adore those neon yellow HSTs. They just add a fun spark that's YOU. I want to visit when Wendy does - it would be a blast. ~smile~ Roseanne

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  6. You press like I do! I love nesting seams and twirling ones make me even happier. I'm thinking if this is so random, you sure put a lot of thought into it (something I would do too, as yellows in wrong places would irk me. I'm with you on saving the colour ink! So tell me, does the die cutter cut the 'ears' off so you have no squaring up to do? So glad you are in for the Triptych, triathlon, Trifeca with me! More HSTs!! See you at DrEAMi! and at Cheryl's!

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  7. ANother wonderful finish Rose! You are a star at designing!

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  8. This is such an awesome quilt, Rose!!! I keep admiring it, and now must get down to commenting! I'm surprised what a difference your rearrangement on the design wall made! The left version looked good, but the right version looks great! I've long admired Liz's free design program. Yay for you, for getting around tuit! Great matchsticking, too!

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  9. Beautiful finish! Thanks for the heads-up about SES's program and the benefits of using die-cut shapes for HSTs!

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  10. Very cool! I love the pop of color from the yellow and orange bits.

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  11. Love it! I love the randomness of this!! I have plans to use Liz's Mondrian generator for a project I'm working on.

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  12. I was intrigued reading about the program you used, and am glad I stopped by to see your beautiful finish!

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  13. What an intriguing program and I think your finish is fantastic. Well done!

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  14. Fun quilt and equally fun little "program". Enjoy your finish!

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  15. Great program and quilt! I love how you combined all of the different colors and prints.

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  16. Great quilt! I've seen her program too and plan on doing something similar. You quilt turned out great!

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  17. I love your colour palette and the quilt itself. Nicely done!

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