Monday, July 7, 2014

Stack n Whack revisited....have YOU made one?

Large print 24" repeat 
I remember when I first heard about the book Magic Stack n Whack Quilts by Bethany Reynolds. I began to see people online making them and loved the kaleidoscope effect you got by stacking fabrics and cutting. So I hunted down the book and studied the technique. You need a fabric with a large pattern for it to turn out the best. It doesn't matter what the print is, but the design you get after you cut and sew it together.

Sometimes the fabrics on the clearance tables work the best because they aren't always as versatile so quilters have passed them by. If you don't get the fabrics stacked correctly, it won't work. You have to be meticulous with your pinning so you will end up with 8 matching triangles or diamonds.  Since that time I have taught the technique and several different quilt designs from that original book.
Flying Kite Triangle A
Making one of these quilts changes how you look at fabrics. After making one you will look at large, unusual prints and wonder how they would look as a Stack n Whack project. I bought the fabric above several years ago on the clearance table because I liked the colors and thought it would work for a S & W. Since I've been busy designing and teaching other classes, I hadn't gotten around to making it.
Triangle A, reversed
So when a group asked me about teaching this class again, I said yes and started cutting out some blocks of my own to use as models. I could probably find the models I used in the past, but it was a great reason to cut into that pretty print I had purchased years before. It has a 24" repeat ( the bigger the repeat the better for this technique) so I could get lots of blocks from one section of 8 repeats. (You figure out the repeats by looking along the selvage edge and finding a spot on the design. Look on the left side of the fabric in the picture above and find the small white triangle in the purple area. Not look down til you see it again. That is the repeat.)
Flying Kite Triangle B
Some of the quilters are making the Flying Kite block and some are making the LeMoyne Star version. So I cut a few of each from my section. I debated about background color and decided on white. Since there aren't that many different colors in the print, I thought white would show them off the best.
Triangle B reversed
Once the triangles or diamonds are cut, you can play around with the orientation of the kaleidoscope. There are always 2 ways it could come together in the center. Sometimes both ways are so pretty and it is hard to decide.
Flying Kite Triangle C

Triangle C reversed
But you do have to decide eventually and sew them together with the background color.

LeMoyne Star Diamond A

Diamond A reversed

LeMoyne Star Diamond B

Diamond B reversed
There isn't as much difference in Diamond B when you switch the diamond points around. But I liked the design in the middle on the first one the best.
 LeMoyne Star Diamond C

Diamond C reversed
I have the models ready for class tomorrow...These are mostly sewn together, and I have some that are partially sewn together which I will finish after class. I'm looking forward to seeing which fabrics everyone chose and how they work out cut into Stack n Whack blocks.

Have you tried this technique to make a quilt?
Here are several of mine.


Karen said...

Another one of those quilt patterns that I would love to do. Love all the different looks you have gotten with that fabric. Hard to believe all the blocks came from it.

Barb said...

I have not made one...but I so love the results. I know you love teaching and probably do a great job at it.

A Nudge said...

I have made two - one a baby quilt and a twin size one. I finished the baby quilt and gave to our neonatal group. The twin size is just a flimsy I need to get out and quilt. Lots of sets left. now where did I put those? Great fun.

Andra Gayle said...

That is really cool! I love the designs that fabric resulted in. How would you eve know it would turn out so cool!!?

Heather's Haven said...

They look intimidating but oh the possibilities with colors and patterns. Love them.

They remind me of the pinwheel block.

Heather's Haven

Chris H said...

These remind me in a small way with Convergence quilts... where you cut up and re-arrange the fabrics.
Something else I want to do again, I've made a couple of quilts in Convergence style.