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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Take It Further February - Completed!

I finished up on my February Take It Further Challenge block yesterday:

Take It Further February Block Completed

Just to rehash the specifics of this block, Sharon's concept is "what are you old enough to remember". The first thing that popped into my head while I was reading Sharon's post on the February concept was the Apollo 13 space mission. I don't know why that stood out in my mind. I was 9 years old when that happened but I thought it would make for a unique block so I went with it.

While watching the Apollo 13 movie with Tom Hanks years later, I remembered thinking that surely, they must have had angels watching out for them. The little angel image with the earth behind them is from my collection of Victorian clip art.

I didn't use anything particularly special on this block. The blue trim on the top right is antique. I bought it a flea market last Summer. That's the probably the oldest thing on this block.

The Apollo 13 insignia had to be there for clarity. It's printed on inkjet fabric, appliqu├ęd onto the block and then I added some pretty trim and beads around it. It was actually supposed to go in the top right-hand corner but I misjudged the size when I printed it and it didn't quite fit. That gave me the opportunity to add the comet there instead. The tail is stitched with 3 different sizes of metallic gold thread.

All seam treatments are from my "Elegant Crazy Quilt Seam Treatments" E-Book and that leads me to answer a few questions that were left for me in yesterday's post.

First, in reference to the photos I posted yesterday showing the waste canvas before & after stitching, Lynne asked, "Is there some reason why you use what appears to be a lot more canvas than you need to do the area?"

The answer to that question is that I had planned on stitching along both the top and bottom edges of the ribbon and then, after I had the waste canvas pinned to my block, I changed my mind. Usually, I leave about 1 inch of waste canvas on all 4 sides of the border the design.

Kathy asked, "How do you decide what size to make each design when you embellish a seam so that it fits and you don't have empty space at the end because there was not enough space for another motif?"

This is an excellent question but not an easy one to answer as there are several possible answers.
There is a formula for determining the height and the width of the charted borders and that is included in the book.

In some cases, I start stitching in the middle of a seam and just stitch as far as I can go on either side. In other cases, I start at one end and go as far as I can.

Notice the border to the right of the angels on this block:

Take It Further February Block

There is some empty space on either side of it. I started in the middle of the seam and just worked my way out on either side which gave me 3 repeats of the design. Had I started at one end, I probably could have gotten 4 in there. I honestly don't freak out over this. There are no mistakes in crazyquilting and should something turn out less perfect than what I would prefer, there is always a way to fix it or camouflage it. In this case, I used it as an opportunity for some button clusters. They fill in the gaps nicely without covering up the border.

Quite honestly, working with waste canvas and charted borders isn't all that different than free-handing your borders except that you will get perfectly sized and spaced stitches with the waste canvas. It's a matter of simply following the design on the chart and duplicating it on the block.

I hope this answers your questions. If anyone has more questions for me, feel free to post them here or send me an email and I will gladly address them.

Here are a couple of charted borders for you try:

Herringbone And Fan Stitches Variation 4

Lazy Daisy And Eyelet

Click on the images to go to my Flickr site where you print up the larger versions.


Allison Ann Aller said...

Amazing how those stars and comets bring this block to life! The angels and space themes are totally integrated now...I didn't know if you would be able to do that, but....I should have known better! This is just ravishing.

Jon and Wendy said...

I have you in my google reader and so it has been a real treat to watch this block evolve into the great beauty that it is. Thank you so much for sharing your talent with all of us. Spectacular!

Anonymous said...

Pam, you were just on day 2, and I said,"how can this be any prettier". Now it is just gorgeous! I find your work so inspiring. I can only hope to be as good someday! Debbie

Kim said...


That is absolutely gorgeous! You never cease to amaze me with your creativity!


patternnuts said...

It's beautiful!
Thank you for the explanations! Once I get my head on straight I hope to tackle that Pansy crazyquilt kit I bought from you- though I think I may buy your book before I do that! Lol, it just never ends does it?

Doris said...


Kathy said...

Thank you for your explanation on spacing your designs. I am fairly new to CQ work and was more the traditional style quilter. I am still learning that CQ doesn't have to be perfect in order to work. I love that!

Your block is stunning!!!! I have you in my google reader, always awaiting another piece of inspiration. Thank you for all your helpful suggestions.

Susan said...

Your block is just fabulous. That's a very important time in my own life, something I share with my older son, and this block is so perfect. I'm glad that was your memory!

Thanks for the designs and your information. Always a treat to see how you do things. Your answer on spacing is pretty much what I do without the waste canvas, though I'm getting closer to using it for something, since I've been practicing some things where a little grid will help it be even.

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