Wednesday, July 11, 2012

to chop, or not to chop?

That is the question. Do I leave my stacked coins project gingham quilt as is, or do I chop it up into blocks, rearrange and create something more complex? I'd love some input to help me decide.


Basically, I have a finished, king-sized stacked coins quilt (upper left photo) that I can either A) leave as is and baste, quilt then bind or B) chop up into blocks per cutting diagram (upper right photo) leaving me with two different types of blocks which could then be turned into two different quilts or layouts (ex: bottom two photos).

The diagram on the upper right is just a paper mock-up I made in paint on the computer, which I cut up and used to create those layouts pictured in the bottom two photos. As of right now, the top is still in tact and I'm just feeling out my options.

The lazy practical side of me says leave it alone and call it good. Why bother? It's pretty the way it is. The mad scientist side of me says chop away and experiment. Knowing I could do something more with it drives me crazy and I think it would be fun (or painful, who knows?!) to play around some more.

Am I insane for even considering such a ludicrous thing to do to a quilt? Feel free to talk me out of it. I've got plenty of other projects to work on, regardless.

26 comments:

  1. Well, I really like some of your mock-ups, lower left in particular, however if you chop it up you will no longer have a king sized quilt once it's sewn back together. Depends if you're okay with that or not.

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    1. I hear you! I'm not sure how I'd wrangle this huge quilt without the use of a longarm, so making it smaller, as in couch sized would be best. I'm actually think combining both these layouts somehow into a new, slightly smaller (twin size) quilt would be neat. Then maybe some matching pillow covers to go with it on the couch from the left overs? hmmmm!!

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  2. I really like it as is..but then i love coin quilts.

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  3. The scientist in me says chop it up! I love the idea of the chopped up blocks! You could even make it double sided!

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  4. Man, that's a hard one. I know I'd be tempted to chop it because while the top is great, it's done and the planning and creating is really the fun part. So I guess you have to decide if you need a big bed quilt or if something smaller is ok right now. And maybe if you're thinking of chopping it's because you're just not happy with what you've done and the process isn't finished. Can you tell I'm all about the process right now and not really caring about finished so much?

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    1. I think you're right. Originally I had planned on doing this, so stopping now feels like I'm chickening out... but at the same time, it's nice to FINISH something, and cutting it up risks me never finishing it...

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  5. I'm with both your options -

    I love the simplicity of the coins and how beautifully the ginghams sing.

    I also love the choppy versions - perhaps I'd plump for the bottom right to minimise the radical redux of all that white space- I only say this because I have NEVER managed to embrace the white in a quilt and I think it's what I love about the coins ...

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    1. I agree, the vast white in this is awesome. The lower left option seems to lack enough white space!

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  6. The coins look great & the gingham really shines in that setting. Conceptually, making plaid into stripes is playful and fun.

    I love the chopped idea. Really love it.

    But before you cut you should do a small mock up. I'm worried that when you account for seam allowances your points in the middle of each block will will not look like you want them to. At the very least, mock up some illustrator blocks cropped by 1/4".

    But maybe I'm worrying for nothing and you've already figured it all out.

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    1. You always know how to talk technical and I love that.
      As for seam allowances... um... I was hoping it would all work out just fine. That's my "make it up as you go along" streak for ya. It'll be fine.
      Right?
      Right.

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  7. I'm with Dan, make a test. You could make the test with paper which would be quick. If the test works, the I think you should chop it because I know you want to.

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    1. i do... so want to... chop chop chop!

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  8. People are always trying to talk me out of cutting the things i've sewn together into different pieces to sew together. Therefore, I say, go for it. What's the worst that could happen? You might end up with lots of blocks that find themselves in other projects instead of the the quilt you originally envisioned. Or you find yourself recreating the stacked coins (which you're not in love with anyway from the way you're writing about it) and that's merely making another quilt top since, let's face it, you're going to sew more quilt tops in the future anyway. You have nothing to lose but a little bit of time and sanity - both of which are overrated. :-)

    My only advice is to pull out the spray starch since you'll be cutting on the diagonal and working with bias edges on all sides.

    Remember - no guts, no glory - and without a few risks in this life, no one would ever have discovered the awesomeness of cheese. :-)

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    1. ah, yes. i'm a guts kind girl! i tried to make it seem like i was ambiguous, but you're right... i don't love the coins. not how i put them together, anyway. i'm glad the consensus seem to be to chop away!

      as for the bias edges, i starched the hell out of everything before i cut and pieced :D

      oh how i do love cheese!

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  9. You keep being tempted to chop so I'd just go for it! You're a modern quilter after all, so do it & see how it goes - then you'll have even more to share with the rest of us. imho I particularly would like to see the lower left design a reality.

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    1. yes. i like to learn by trial and error, and if i fail, you'll all get to hear about it for sure :D

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  10. You are not insane, and if I were you I would try it! By the way, I have just nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. See my post at http://www.piecedbrain.com/2012/07/liebster-blog-award.html. Have a great day!

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  11. It would be so hard to cut it up but I do love the bottom right layout... It looks great as is too! Not much help I know!

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  12. CHOP it UP!
    But like I said on IG--scootch those paper layout pieces together in order to mimic how much quilt will show because you have to factor in seam allowances (which will smallerize your quilt). And if you still like it, go for it!

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    1. lol, those little paper pieces were about an inch big, and they're long gone. i love how everyone's concerned about seam allowances! i know it will shrink things a bit, but i'm ok with that. it's pretty huge as it is. as for points, it seems to me like everything would shrink equally, and the points would still match up.

      is that not how it works? i've been dumbfounded before, and i'm not so great with the mathematical details of quilting so i wouldn't be all that surprised to get it cut up and find that i've misjudged the whole thing.

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  13. Oh gosh I'm so not the person to ask, I have way too many what ifs inside my head! I like the bottom left one best if its any help xx

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  14. I think you should leave it as is, I totally love it!

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  15. Another vote for bottom left! It totally caught my eye, and you know you want to cut so do it!

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  16. Do it! If you were happy with the coins as they are, you wouldn't be dreaming of something else.

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  17. You never intended this to be the finish anyway. So, unless you really need a King size, Chop it up! The coin quilt top is ok, and lovely and cheerful, but for you, perhaps a bit, ?? ordinary? The other options seem much more exciting, and more you! I think.

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  18. Chop! I like the one that creates "X"s. That would be a neat effect. :)

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