Friday, November 27, 2020

Happy Accident -

This post will consolidate a bunch of other ones - 
And try to show/explain my "layout formula" - 
For my Upstairs/Downstairs quilt tops - 
Using Upstairs/Downstairs - Meredith as my example - 
The original post for this one is - HERE
And I'm going to "borrow" parts of it - 
So that I don't have to "reinvent the wheel" - LOL - 

The "inspiration" for this top comes from a video/tutorial I saw on YouTube -  
Missouri Star Quilt Company - calls it - Crossing Paths - HERE -

but I never remember that name until I go to add the link - LOL -

It's one of my favorite - no-brainer patterns -

I'm going to tweak it to use one jelly roll - 40 strips -

Since there are two each of 20 different prints -

And I need sets of 5 -

It was easy enough to peel them off 8 at a time -

And make 5 piles -

The top two in each stack will make the first two strata -

The next two in each stack will be the next two strata -

The next two -

And the last two -

I'm playing with the first sets of strata -

And the rest are waiting their turn -

If my MATH is correct -

Each 5-strip strata should give me three 10" blocks -

So -

One jelly roll - 40 strips -
Strata in sets of 5 = 8 strata -
8 strata x 3 blocks/strata = 24 blocks total -
4 x 6 layout -
Approximately 40" x 60" -

Or I could use both jelly rolls - 80 strips -
Strata in sets of 5 = 16 strata -
16 strata x 3 blocks/strata = 48 blocks total -
6 x 8 layout -
Approximately 60" x 80" - 
I wound up using 2 identical jelly rolls - with 40 strips in each one -
All of the fabrics were "doubles" - so 2 each of 20 fabrics in each roll -
I split the first roll like I showed above - 
The second roll was also split into five piles of 8 strips each -
But the strips in each pile were mixed up a little to give me some variety -
ALL of the strata were sewn in the same order - 
PURPLE #1 - PURPLE #2 - Strip #3 - Strip #4 - Strip #5 - 
The PURPLE top strip will be the MAIN DIAGONAL in ALL of the blocks -
And ALL of the strata should shade from dark to light - 
Those are key to making this whole thing work -
I broke my own "rule" with the dark green being Strip #5 in the last strata -
But it worked out - so don't stress about it too much - it will be fine - LOL -
I sewed all 16 strata - and cut the segments - 

And made the blocks - 6 identical blocks in 8 different variations - 


I put the blocks up on the design wall in DIAGONAL rows as I finished each "set" of 6 blocks - in a stair-step sequence - just like the blocks - with the blocks in each row oriented in the same direction - going either UP or DOWN - because it was easy - and I could see the pretty colors -

When I finished all of the blocks - I rearranged them for what seemed like f.o.r.e.v.e.r. playing with the layout - trying to get the colors/value balanced -
I could have kept futzing with it - but I didn't like what I was seeing - and I was getting frustrated - there HAD to be an easier way -
So - I took them all down - and started over -  
Then I put them back up on the design wall -
Pretty much the same way I had them in the first place - stair-stepped -
Because I thought they looked "pretty" that way -
Which is kind of funny to me now that I think about it -
I "accidentally" had it right in the first place - LOL - 
One of those "Happy Accidents" that make life so much fun!! -
So - my "layout formula" is to use a stair-step sequence - just like in the blocks - 
And alternate one diagonal row UP - and the next one DOWN - 
It's so simple - it makes me wonder why it took me so long to figure it out - LOL - ;))

Anyway -

The top is made using 48 blocks - 6 rows across and 8 down - 
So ALL 6 blocks in the first THREE diagonal rows fit across the top in ONE diagonal row -
Rows #4-5-6-7-8 will be split up - you'll see later - ;))  

In the photo below - the first "column" has two blocks - alternating UP and DOWN -

Step 1 - Choose the SECOND Block in Column One -
Decide which block(s) you want for the SECOND DIAGONAL row -
That row is the MOST DOMINANT one in the whole top - and the most critical -
So I chose the "prettiest" PURPLE print for that row - and it goes DOWNstairs -

Step 2 - Choose the TOP LEFT Block -
Decide which block(s) you want for the FIRST DIAGONAL row -
The row ABOVE the one you did in Step 1 - 
The dominant diagonal in this row goes in the other direction - UPstairs -
So it's effect is a tad bit different - and all 6 blocks fit across the width of the top -
I chose the next "prettiest" PURPLE for that one -

Step 3 - Choose the First Block in the Second Column - 
Because of the stair-step nature of this pattern - 
This will also be the last block in the first column -
It goes DOWNstairs like Row #2 - so I chose a pretty one for that, too - 

Then I chose the blocks for the rest of the rows -
Remembering to alternate them UP and DOWN -
And paying attention to where I put the dark GREENS -
I didn't want them too close together -
Once the blocks are chosen for the first column -
I number them - 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8- 
And take them down off the wall - one set at a time - keeping all 6 blocks together - 

Then I lay them all out - and double check the block orientation -
#1 - 3 - 5 - 7 go UPstairs - so they should be turned a quarter-turn to the right -
#2 - 4 - 6 - 8 go DOWNstairs - so the diagonal goes from top left to bottom right -


This top is designed in DIAGONAL rows - 
But is constructed in HORIZONTAL/VERTICAL rows - 
Because of the way I "web" it - HERE
I can lay out my eight piles of numbered blocks - 
And pick up the ones I need - in order - for each HORIZONTAL row -
The HORIZONTAL block sequence  is -
Row #1 - left to right - 1-8-7-6-5-4 -
Row #2 - left to right - 2-1-8-7-6-5 - 
Row #3 - left to right - 3-2-1-8-7-6 - 
Row #4 - left to right - 4-3-2-1-8-7 - 
Row #5 - left to right - 5-4-3-2-1-8 - 
Row #6 - left to right - 6-5-4-3-2-1 - 
Row #7 - left to right - 7-6-5-4-3-2
Row #8 - left to right - 8-7-6-5-4-3 - 
Of course, you can also web it in columns - just follow the chart - 
Sew it together - and get this -
The dominant diagonals give it structure - 
And the six matching blocks in each set give it a nice balance of colors/values -
Three of the diagonal rows are complete - and the other rows are split -
Part in the bottom left corner - and part in the top right corner -
Automatically balancing the colors/values throughout the quilt top - 
Lots of "bang" for very little "buck" - LOL -  
So - the "formula" worked on this one - 
And it worked on Gleaned
I chose the prettiest ORANGE for the SECOND diagonal row - 
And put the second ORANGE in Row #6 - 
The light WHITE patches really stood out to me - so to balance them out -
I had one WHITE block go UP - in the FIRST diagonal row - 
And one WHITE block go DOWN - in Row #4 - 
And it worked on Winter's Graudeur
I used the "medium gold" in Rows #1 - 4 - 7 -
The rest had the "checkered" print as the MAIN diagonal -  
And because they "all looked alike" it didn't matter which set went where - LOL - 

The layout is a stair-step sequence - just like in the blocks - 
And it works like "magic" -  LOL - ;))

Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew - 


Gene Black said...

Thanks for a very good explanation. Now I see how you decided to call it "Upstairs Downstairs."

Linda Swanekamp said...

What a tremendous job you did explaining. I am going to sit with some coffee and quiet and go through it line by line. Was hoping for some Black Friday jelly roll sales, but nothing much or not interesting.

Barbara said...

Ok, I admit I skipped all the parts that had numbers. I’m number-challenged! I would have just gabbed the fabrics “willy-hilly” and put a top together. Haha Great fun, but it wouldn’t ever be as attractive as yours! On a more positive note, I am in love with these fabrics!!!

Quiltgal said...

Love your quilts they are beautiful. This has been one of my favorites although I used Bonnie Hunters pattern (very similar to Missouri star). I wish I could post a pic of mine. It was all blues with very pale blue, white and grey for the focus fabric.


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