Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Work in Progress Y = X Block

WARNING: I am unleashing my inner nerd.

As I mentioned on Sunday, I started to draft a paper pieced quilt block. I had my idea for this block in the wee hours when I was awake with LB last week. Since then it has been keeping me awake because I am so excited about it. Why am I excited you ask? First off because I like math, graphs, equations, etc... they have been a big part of my life up until having kids. Secondly, I have been wanting to try paper piecing, but have yet to find any simple patterns that are really inspiring me to give it a shot. I like really complicated blocks like the ones found in Shape Moth's Forest Quilt Along, but I am not ready to start with those.

I have never done any paper piecing before, but I figured I should be able to figure it out. (I also watched a great lesson on paper piecing on Craftsy. To do paper piecing you need to first figure out your pattern, and then get a mirror image of it to use as a template.

So here is what I have done, so far... I am too excited to share it to wait until it is finished.

I am calling this block y = x and it will be the graph for y = x with the equation inset. It should finish up at a 10 inch block.
Original pattern pieces
Mirrored pattern pieces

To start sewing I took my pattern and cut it into pieces that could be sewing into easy to assemble small pieces. The small pieces I started with are the "=" sign and "y".  "x" was broken into 2 parts, which were then assembled together. To sew a paper pieced block you place the fabric under the paper and sew the lines marked on your pattern. 
First 2 pieces of the "=" piece
After sewing the 2 pieces to the paper you press the seam, then open the fabric so both 'wrong' sides are against the paper, the second piece should cover the new area in the pattern.
Opened second piece after pressing.
Continue adding pieces to back, pressing then opening. Until, you get all the pieces for a small block added together.

All pieces of the "=" block sewed the paper pattern
Then trim the block to the desired size, plus 1/4 inch on all sides for a seam allowance to join it to the other small blocks you are about to make.

"y" and "=" pieced and trimmed to size
Then start joining the small blocks into bigger blocks. Here is the complete "y=x"
Trimmed with seam allowances

The next step was to assemble the graph itself. The equation was used as the first piece in the 4th quadrant, and I added pieces out from there. My background fabric was being pieced together from strips from a jelly roll, so there are way more seams than I actually needed to make this block.

Here are pictures of adding a piece to the y=x block and the pattern for the graph

right sides together as sewn
Pressed seam allowance, and added piece flipped open

I piecing the above and below the "y=x" line separately. I will use the line for y=x as the joining piece as it runs the length of the block.

Above piece trimmed to size, lower untrimmed
Rough idea what it will look like (without the plot of y=x)

Now I need to figure out what to do with this block... add some borders? turn it into a pillow? a big pot holder? tote bag? mini quilt? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Or I could make more graph blocks.. but I am not sure I would want more blocks with these fabrics, and I don't have anymore of the light blue batik I used as the background.

I am linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday. You can go check out the cool projects in the works around the quilting world this week.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

 Hope to share a finished block with you soon... but the new job and moving and the cold I am catching are not helping my productivity.



  1. This is so great! My husband is a mathmatician/analyst, and we both went to a tech school...we embrace all things mathy. He loves quilts for the artist mathiness of them, and because they're cozy! I vote mini quilt, pillow or tote bag. :-)

    1. Thanks. It was fun to make and I am thinking there needs to be a whole quilt of graphs.


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