Marsala Quilt Challenge, Pattern Creation, Part II

I’ve completed the top for my Marsala challenge quilt. You can see my design and fabric pull here and pattern creation part one here. df4c6-marsala2bbutton I finished the center of the quilt… Marsala Center, design by Jenn Rodriguez …and then got down to figuring out the rest of the construction. As I said in my previous post, I was unsure of how to do the math. So the rest of this post is my how-to. Figuring out the construction I used the 90 degree angle markings on my cutting mat. Lined up the block so the center seam was in the middle and there was about a half-inch between the center block and the 90 degree line (see arrow). Then I measured how long the side needed to be, 18.5 inches. I added an inch for good measure. I’d rather be too big than half an inch too short. This is when I realized I wasn’t making an HST (half-square triangle) rather a QST (quarter-square triangle). I learn something with every quilt I make. I feel like this one is a basic and I’m not sure how I missed it. Or maybe I just really like HSTs.

I laid out my quilt, aligning the seams. Marsala quilt construction, by Jenn Rodriguez I knew that upper, right-hand corner would involve a little more work. I trimmed the lighter portion of the QST and used the trimmed portion to lengthen the block. Then cut another light background 90 degree triangle to fill out the corner. Like so:Marsala quilt construction, by Jenn Rodriguez Next came the trimming, so everything was square. Marsala quilt construction, by Jenn Rodriguez Finally, I added a border along 2  sides (top and right). I’ve started to think about the back. I love pieced backs. I have some left-over HRTs and think I’ll make some more. I’ve also been trying to think of a name for this quilt – “Wine-ing Down” is all I can think of right now. I might need to sit down with a thesaurus to get some more ideas.

I’ll post pictures once everything is finished.

Marsala Quilt Challenge, Pattern Creation, Part I

I’ve started sewing my Marsala challenge quilt. You can see my design and fabric pull here. df4c6-marsala2bbutton I’ve switched out two fabrics – changing the medium green in the 4-patch and switching out the solid for this Sarah Watts, Shibuya in Rust fabric (upper left). Wining Down beginning, design by Jenn Rodriguez I wanted to walk through how I get from a design to a pattern. (I am by no means an expert, but this is what works for me right now.) I print out my design and, using a pencil, outline my blocks. Then I breakdown the elements within each block to traditional quilting shapes. For this design, I have a 4-patch element in the center, then star points, and half-square triangles (HST) in the background.

I debated how I wanted to construct the star points. My choices were between creating a paper-piecing template or make half-rectangle triangles (HRT). I recently saw this tutorial by Josee Carrier on Sew, Mama, Sew for HRTs and decided I would prefer to do it that way. The selling point for me – the templates and math were already done for me. Bonus!

Then, the math. I start with the smallest element (or nested element) – the 4-patch in this design. I decided on 2.5 inch strip sets, making the 4-patching 4.5 inches unfinished.


Based off of the 4-patch, the short side of my HRT needs to be 2.5 inches. Going back to the tutorial, I printed out the templates for the 2.5 x 4.5 inches unfinished HRT (2 x 4 finished).


To complete the star block, I would need 4, 4.5 inch squares.


The block is 12.5 inches unfinished (surprising, since I wasn’t trying to make a traditionally sized block). So the completed 4-star center design is 24.5 inches. This is where I stopped my math.

I know I want to use large HSTs, cut in half, to finish most of the background. But I’m not completely sure how to do the math. So my plan is to start making the stars, hoping that I’ll figure it out by the time I get the center stars constructed.

Stay tuned for a part two.

February QDAD Round-up

My two favorite Quilt Design a Day (QDAD) designs from February:

I love the balance and play of colors in this design.

Balancing Triangles by Jenn Rodriguez

Balancing Triangles, 17 February QDAD design

The spark photograph was of the Jefferson Memorial in DC. I love how this design combined the columns and domes from the photo, but it actually reminds me of the metro (which I took all the time when I lived in the DC area).

Capitol Columns, design by Jenn Rodriguez

Capitol Columns, 21 February QDAD design

My two unsatisfying designs from February:

I’m unhappy with how I used the colors in this design. So many bright colors, but I get a feeling of drab looking at it.

Spools by Jenn Rodriguez

Spools, 1 February QDAD design

I like the idea of what I did, but don’t like the stripes on the left side. Maybe if the variation was more subtle.

Beak, design by Jenn Rodriguez

Beak, 26 February QDAD design


Cirrus Solids BOM Challenge

Cloud9 is having a year-long challenge to create quilt block designs using their new line of Cirrus solids. I am so thrilled that they picked my Twirling Geese design for March!

Here’s the test block I made from my stash in the Nautilus color way. Twirling Geese block, designed by Jenn Rodriguez

(I love this design! I’m going to turn this into a quilt using a mixture of the Cirrus solids and fabrics from my stash.)

Head over to the Cloud9 blog to download the pattern!

Inspiration in the Everyday

Taking photos from my everyday life and finding design inspiration in them. Inspired by my participation in the Quilt Design A Day (QDAD)  group on Facebook.

February’s inspiration is this sewer cover, close to where we live.


I really like the “L” shapes. But for some reason I really struggled to make them into a design I liked.

Design by Jenn Rodriguez at Red Patch

I also wanted a circular design.

Design by Jenn Rodriguez at Red Patch

I still wasn’t satisfied with my “L” efforts so I experimented with combining the “L”s with the circle.

Design by Jenn Rodriguez at Red Patch

I can see this one as a quilt. Would be cool tiled as well.