Thursday 27 October 2011

Back to basics drafting skills and a cat appeased!

Well I did the VET thing yesterday and despite all the stress, my gorgeous Saffy has decided to forgive and forget - I think she may be trusting me more which is a great thing.  She is a rescue cat and was super suspicious when we first got her, was nervous near doors and wouldn't go near any man!  History and her intelligence had made her that way!  

She still is very clever and works out ways of telling me what she wants - her range of words has developed from one when we first got her which sounded more like a quack than a miaow to a myriad of chirrups, squeaks, miaows but she has always had the loudest purr ever!

I love this cat even though she doesn't make it easy and maybe even because of that!

Next was the workshop on drafting in Dorking with the ever lovely Carolyn Forster.  We started with the basic task of learning to look for the grid making up your block.  Next we moved onto the mechanics of drawing out the chosen block real size and then in scale.  We worked out what size of pieces you need to cut for your block, including your seam allowance.  We talked through how you decide how much fabric you need! Useful if you want to save a penny or two and not rely on the books, patterns or shop assistant!

Then we did some origami - we made paper planes! 

....or so I thought until Carolyn showed us this is how you can take a square any size and make it into an eight point star

 ..... or kaleidoscope block and no maths involved just folding!

The same method holds good for the Mariner's Compass apparently though we didn't do that one.

Now the trick I liked best was how to divide a block without the scary fractions of an inch for instance make a 3x3 patch block fit exactly into a 7" square!  No weird measurements required!   

First you pick a number easily divisible by the block grid (3x3) you want - in this case we used 9 as 3 divides equally into 9!  Take a ruler and measure a diagonal from the bottom left corner until it rests on the opposite side of the square at 9" - mark the paper along the ruler at 3", 6" and 9".  

Then draw out the lines of the grid.  Repeat the process having turned your paper around and you have just divided your 7" square into exact thirds!  How cool is that!?  It works for any number!  

You may already know this which case well done!  But previously I have just picked my block size according to the grid required  - I don't have to if I don't want to anymore!

The other thing Carolyn told me was how to work on hexagons - using a compass - and specifically the template size I had been using on my hexalong quilt.   I was wanting to get that block on the right  - right - ie without resorting to adding a border!

Now I have no more excuses...must get back to that one ...and the rest!

There was some fabric buying too - of course!  How can you go to a fabric shop and not?   Advice on a postcard or comment box below...

I will show you my purchases tomorrow...and things that came through the post....


  1. So glad that you're back in Saffy's good graces!

    I never thought about folding paper to figure out block designs. That's cool! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Pop into the Storrington fabric shop, and I assure you, you will not buy any fabric unless you are suffering temporary insanity!

    Looked like a really useful course x

  3. Glad Saffy had forgiven you! Sounds like a useful course - you'll be the one we'll turn to in a block crisis now! Hmmm, only if I don't like anything, sounds like Hadley's found one that's safe for all fabric addicts to visit!!

  4. Clever Saffy!
    I feel like I've had a good lesson there so thanks Nicky! Good tips and we make lots of paper planes at our house, so I'll be keeping them from now on!!

  5. That looks like a fab course. Never hear of anything like that around here. Have to come to your's for some personal tutorials!!

  6. glad Saffy is doing a bit better! Are you hearing a bit more from her now she's the bosscat?

  7. Ahh she's a tuxedo cat!

    We had a tuxedo and she was frightened of her own shadow, but one on one she was completely adorable and very loving, and only learnt to miaow in the last year of her life.

    Glad you found great ways to mkae templates, it's just what I do.


  8. Saffy stole that post for me, she is gorgeous.

  9. The paper folding is amazing, my brain is all confused - thank goodness there was a soothing picture of Saffy to stop the headache! I haven't ignored your query re the course I'm on tomorrow :-) I just can't remember her name, but it looks sort of woven, done with log cabin. I will let you know!

  10. Great tips, Nicky! I would love to take a class like that. Maybe I could just pop over and go with you next time...hmmmmm?


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