I feel like such an idiot.
I was so proud of myself for using up so many scraps. For taking Kathy’s advice and taking the time to sew strips in light medium and dark sets. For taking Johnnie’s advice and using a smaller stitch length so the strips wouldn’t fall apart on the edges when cut into diamonds. For pressing all my seams open and cutting the strip sets into diamonds without stretching them. For taking the time to mark the corners. For sewing the diamonds together so carefully. For pinning every diamond in each row so the points all matched. It was really looking good — and wasn’t nearly as scary as I had thought it would be (I have a fear of a poofy middle from fabric distortion). Until I finished two star points and noticed something didn’t look quite right.
Do you see it? That angle is NOT 90°. I traced a nice little template out of Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine’s issue with a special feature on Lone Star quilts because I didn’t trust myself, especially not with remembering which lines on my rotary ruler to align everything to when cutting the diamonds.
What I didn’t do was double check that QNM had it right. I read the instructions again. If I were to “speed cut” diamonds with my rotary cutter and ruler and solid fabrics, I’d cut a strip of the appropriate fabric the width from one side of the diamond to the parallel side. Then I would use the lines on my ruler to help me cross-cut the strip at a 45° angle and repeat as necessary to make the desired number of diamonds. Since my diamonds matched my template and my template matched the magazine, I put my ruler on the magazine. Guess what? The sides of the diamonds are parallel, but that skinny angle? Not 45°.
At first I thought, “OK, I’ll just use geometry and add up all the angles to figure out the angles needed for the background triangles and I’ll just have a Lone Star quilt with broader triangles on the sides.” That takes care of the outer ends, but what about the points that meet in the middle? I thought a little longer. Geometry tells me that circles are 360°. Eight diamonds who’s skinny points are 45° angles will sew together into a nice, flat circle because 8 x 45 = 360. Eight diamonds who’s skinny points are not 45° will NOT sew into a nice, flat circle. Crap.
I think I’m going to have to start this project over again.
Without the pile of scraps.
Without the weekend in Schollbrunn.