Friday, November 11, 2011

Great HST Caper - out of HSTs

I found an alternate layout I like better for the blocks of my Great HST Caper.  This happened entirely by accident when I was putting some four patch units up on the design wall this morning and got some components turned around.  I continued with the alternate layout until I had four blocks on the wall to look at.

Then I put four blocks up of the pattern I was originally going to make, for comparison.

After looking at them both for a while, I find I prefer the new layout.  And since I took the rather wise path of twirling my seams, the layout will not be a problem because of seam butting.  I'm eager to get the blocks put together.  My excitement, however, was tempered by a problem.  I've hit a minor road block in my piecing...

I chose the name Distracted Quilter for my blog but could easily have used Oblivious Quilter or Forgetful Quilter and have it describe me very well.  In preparing to sew the last 60-something flying geese units for my Great HST Caper quilt, I discovered something horrifying... the bottom of the HST box is filled with 2" HSTs - not the 2.5" HSTs I've been using.  A little voice in my mind said "See, I told you so!  You should have stored these two sizes in separate boxes."  I hate that voice.  It always seems to deliver common sense logic with a rather patronizing or amused twist.  And, of course, now I remember that there were, indeed, two sizes in that box.  As I recall, I did it to reduce the number of boxes so it would fit on my closet shelf.... this was back when my entire stash fit in a few boxes that could be tucked away on a closet shelf.

So I have enough centres and corner units to make 30 blocks, but only enough flying geese units to make 15.  I almost cried.  But it's Remembrance Day and I've been listening to radio interviews with some of our brave veterans - in particular one young soldier who lost both legs in an IED blast in Afghanistan.  As I listened to him quietly describe his love of freedom and country, of doing what needs to be done.... well... somehow my miscalculating the number of half-square triangles for a quilt project no longer ranks up there with major disasters.  And I found myself wiping away tears for a more important reason.  My sense of the true importance of things re-established, I was better prepared to deal with the minor glitch that has my HST Caper off track.

So..... (deep steadying breath) I need another 62 flying geese units, which translates into 248 HSTs.  I can't believe I'm going to have to make more of them.  And I need them to be ultra scrappy to fit in with the rest of the components.  I pulled out a box that contains the scrap fabrics most of my HSTs were made with and started pulling 2.5" x 6" bricks and 2.5" x 4.5" bricks.  You really should stop buying fabric, my inner voice said.  "You could make another two quilt tops with just this box alone."  "Shut-up!" sez I, startling Lucas from a sound sleep.

I pulled out over 80 dark bricks, and as many light ones as I could find in the box, relieved to recognize most of them as fabrics used in the other 800-plus HSTs  of my block components.

I can use my Easy Angle ruler to cut them.  With this ruler, I can get a 2.5" HSTs from a 2.5" fabric strip.

I can get three 2.5" HSTs from two 2.5" x 6" bricks and two HSTs from the 2.5" x 4.5" bricks.  The cutting on the first 60 HSTs is done.

I just need to cut this many another three times, then sew, press, square....  And, of course, the left over small triangles are going to be thrown into the crumb box.  I briefly considered piecing them into 1.5" HSTs then dismissed that as an act of insanity.  This project already has me talking to myself.


  1. I actually really like both layouts, so whichever one toots your horn is good.
    We do have to keep these sewing skirmishes in perspective, don't we, and you had an awakening today that we could all probably use. : )
    Chin up, girl, I admire your tenacity. I might be tempted at this point to put the whole thing away until I could face it again without cringing!

  2. I guess I am DistractedQuilter2 because your post sounds like something I would have happen!! Ain't it fun though!!As much as I love #2 layout, I love, love, love #1. Hang in there!!

  3. I like the new layout too. What a lucky mistake.
    I do that kind of thing all the time. That is why I like to give myself flexible goals!
    I also prefer using the easy angle ruler. Don't know what I did before I discovered it.

  4. Your post really made me laugh! I talk to myself all the time. I am also talking to all the gecko's in the house (one con from living in Mauritius).
    I like both layouts. I can't chose one over the other.

  5. i too like both layouts but then i love scrappy quilts like this...looks super! and thanks for your kind comments on MY blog!

  6. Yep, I've got a box of 1.5" HST blocks and they do have me talking to myself. (cut from another quilt block) The hardest part is trimming them!

    Love both layouts. Your scrappy blocks are really fun!