Sunday, March 2, 2014

Quilting Confidential: Pattern testing for Don't Call Me Betsy!

A few weeks ago, one of my favorite quilt bloggers, Elizabeth Dackson, who blogs at Don't Call Me Betsy, put out a request for some pattern testing.   I love her work, and thought it was be fun to be part of the creation of a new quilt pattern.   It's so annoying to purchase a pattern and find areas of confusion or mistakes, so I really appreciated Elizabeth's desire to make sure the pattern was published correctly.

Making the block was an awful lot of fun.  Trying a technique outside of my usual "box" was actually pretty refreshing.  Apparently, some of  my OCD tendencies came out, because I did find a few things that needed to be corrected. This goes to show that irritating personality traits can sometimes be put to good use.

 So, I'll show you how things went down...
 This pattern combined paper piecing and free construction.   I printed out the paper foundations, and cut my fabrics as directed on the (very handy and well organized) cutting chart provided. [see the OCD-ish check marks & notes?]   Since there were many little pieces, and I was changing the colors from her sample photos substantially, I decided to use small scraps of paper to identify each piece.  This turned out to be a very good idea, as it made assembling the block much faster. And accurate, No unsewing required! 

I then moved on to the paper piecing portion of the block.      For small, irregular pieces, it made creating an intricate block simple and easy.  I loved how precise my piecing looked when I got these finished.  Trying a new technique can be a bit intimidating, but the four corner sections came together really fast.

After sewing the four corner sections together, it was time to get to the traditional piecing.    When those four middle sections were complete,  it was time to create the three rows.  Look how the "X" sections match the center portion so well?   I have to say,  it was completely stress free.

And that left just three more seams!    

Here's the finished block:

Look how the inner and outer rings match up!   I love the illusion that one ring is beneath the other.    I really like this test block.  Note to self: select enough fabric for multiple blocks when pattern testing!

This new pattern, called Chain Link is now available on her website.    
Stop by and see some of the other wonderful designs she has!

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