Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More Than One Way To Skin A Cat

...and more than one way to make a DJ block.

When I first saw this block in Jane Stickle's quilt, it looked a bit tough, but I thought there was a chance that it could be paper pieced. When I looked at the directions in the DJ software, it said "My recommendation is to hand-piece Fireweed Flower. However, the foundation pattern is excellent." Sounded promising...

However, when I opened up the alleged foundation pattern in the software, this is what it looked like. (Sorry for the bad photo, but it's just a quick shot of my screen.)


Granted, many of the paper piecing patterns in this software sometimes look like this, but there is an easy way to move all the pieces to fit on one page. However, even if I moved all these pieces onto one page, ONLY THREE OF THEM are suitable for paper piecing! What's with that? Am I missing something here? I don't think so. I'm afraid this doesn't meet my definition of "excellent foundation pattern".

So, after a bit of studying, I decided to use the raw-edge machine-buttonhole stitch applique method for this one. No, it doesn't have all the seams that Jane's has, but if I plan it right, I can quilt some faux seam lines in later.

Can you spot a peculiarity of this block (other than my weird construction method)? The outer four diamonds are not exact diamonds -- the sides pointing in toward the center are a touch longer than the sides pointing out.

This is "M-3, Fireweed Flower", an advanced (!)-level block.

P.S. If anyone knows anyone who works for the company making the software...PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE ask them to come out with a new version correcting all the bugs! It may not do me any good, but anyone new to this quilt would benefit greatly (and would be a very happy customer).


Jackie said...

I am with you. My reaction was the same when I saw the second photo. I don't think I would be paper piecing this one either. I love how yours turned out, you are one smart gal.

karenfae said...

By looking at that I wouldn't have the first idea on how to paper piece that one. I agree - I have not used the software but it seems that something should be different on it.
Your block looks great

Barb said...

WOW your block is wonderful, it certainly is good that you are a talented quilter and clear thinker! I am guessing a new person working with this software would have been ready to cry by now with the experiences you have had! Good job Anya, YOU CAN DO IT!! Have a great day!

Vivian said...

You tricky lady! I love your approach to this block. I've avoided it because of its complexity. The DJ software has stopped me in my tracks now & then too. The first time I printed 4 partially-filled pages like you photographed, I used very colorful words. Thank goodness they have the "move" option.
I totally agree. Some thinking, updating and cleaning needs to be done on that software. This is the 2nd quilting software I've bought recently that has not been rewritten to keep up with computers. One I just bought stopped at Windows 98! --and they're still selling it. They slapped a sticker on the box, saying it "also works with Windows ME, 2000, XP, Vista. (well, barely!)
They just let us limp along, assuming we'll find a way to work with it and not complain. Yes, we quilters are inventive, but there's a limit. (Sorry for venting.)
Again, thanks for a great plan for doing M-3.