Years ago I had just one little box of special 'quilt shop' fabric. I decided to use them up in one special project and began cutting out diamonds for a split lone star like the first quilt in this this post. I calculated the fabric requirements, bought extra fabric, where I could, and then boxed it up and put it away. That project, kitted up, with diagrams and all, sat in the cupboard for years and years until I pulled it out last year to photograph. A few weeks ago I sat down and made a second section of the central star.
That's when I realised that there was something about the design and the colour placement that I didn't like anymore. Originally the colour placement was decided mostly by how much I had of each fabric not necessarily by best choice.
I started playing around with the fabrics again, adding in lots of new fabrics and after thinking about it for a long time, I ditched the original star design in favour of a sunburst pattern. (After seeing the quilt in the link, I made a note to self to do a little fussy cutting for the centre star.)
I sewed a test strip, choosing fabrics that make each other 'sing' when placed next to each other. Without making any real calculations, I used the fabrics I had less of toward the centre and fabrics I had more of toward the outer edge. Once I had something I liked, I sat down and calculated wether I had enough fabric to do what I wanted.
It took me a while to figure out the mathematics of it, but a knitting analogy helped - if you start out from the centre star with eight pieces, imagine one increase in each eight sections for each row. Basically, the star/circle, increases eight diamonds in each round.
I will have to buy in more yardage of some of the more recent fabrics, and the older fabrics but I had enough of many of the fabrics to use them where I wanted. I am actually looking forward to the fabric sostitutions and poverty patches that will occur where I don't have enough fabric (like this trip around the world ). I think that it will make the quilt more interesting.You can already see that there are three fabrics in the fourth row.
I don't want to think about how many diamonds I will have to cut to make this . I will just face them a few at a time.. I sew the diamonds into bunches of 10, for easy counting. I am not sure how to go about the quilt as it gets to the edges - the last round will have 152 pieces, and then I have to work out the corner sections. I will think about that when I get to it. It won't be for a long time yet:)