Thank you for taking the time to fill in our survey, we have had 311 responses so far (go here if you have not had a chance to add your answers too). Jess and I thought you might be interested in the results, and, in case you were wondering, I thought I would share my answers too.
Do you enjoy quilt math?
Leanne: Yes, I actually love math and especially geometry. In case you forgot, the light blue answer is "I wish I understood it better". It looks like Decipher Your Quilt will be a welcome series.
When you see a block you like, are you able to make one for yourself without direction?
Leanne: Yes, almost always, although I often don't bother to try and look for instructions or a tutorial instead. I do want to try a computer program like EQ, but I have not used one yet - so far I use just plain old geometry and logic to decipher quilt blocks.
Do you have trouble finding the block in a quilt?
Leanne: Sometimes. I find it harder than I would expect to find the block - that part that repeats to form the overall pattern - but I am getting better at it.
Do you own a compass - the kind you find in a geometry set that is for drawing circles?
Leanne: Yes, I even have a fancy one to make big circles, and I can borrow one from the teenager in a pinch too. You know I love circles, right? I am looking forward to explaining them to you too.
Do you have graph paper?
Leanne: Yes, I do. In fact it is my favourite note taking paper at work as then I can doodle quilts all day long too in the margins.
Do you have trouble figuring out how big your quilt will finish at?
Leanne: Not usually, but I do sometimes get my calculator and paper for a sketch to double check. The more seams, especially ones at an angle, the easier it is for me to miscalculate.
Do you find it easy to increase the size of a quilt?
Leanne: Yes, at least most of the time. I like to either increase the block size or increase the number of blocks. But medallion quilts are special and borders can be hard to resize without ending up cutting some blocks in half.
Do you find it easy to increase the size of a quilt block?
Leanne: Yes, most of the time. Blocks with curves are harder to easily change the size of.
Do you have trouble calculating the size of borders if you are adding them without a pattern?
Leanne: I can usually figure out borders but I'm in the I hate borders camp so border size is not often an issue for me. We will explain how to do borders and to avoid wavy borders, because borders are sometimes just what you need, even if they are not your favourite.
Do you know how to check the accuracy of your 1/4" seam allowance?
Leanne: Yes, because I find maintaining a consistent seam allowance hard. I learned recently from Matt Sparrow that darker fabric and thread is thicker than lighter, which explains why I work the seam allowance out and it still ends messed up.
Do you dislike making half square triangles?
Leanne: No, I love to make and use HSTs. I do find it frustrating to get accurate sizes and have learned several ways to make then. We will be sharing some different construction methods and also the reasons why these blocks are so much harder than they look.
Do the points on your stars and half square triangles sometimes disappear into the seam allowances?
Leanne: Yes. I sure wish I could say no but honestly, it is hard to piece accurately all the time, at least for me. Most blocks are calculated based on perfect 1/4" seams, and those are challenging for me. Once your seam allowance is out, it is hard to keep the points. We will share some tricks for keeping the points even if your piecing is a little out too.
So, how did you do - are you in the majority or the minority and is it consistent for all the questions? It is interesting to see how the answers break down.
Jess is busy analyzing the long answers and putting together some "Dear Jess and Leanne" questions. I am going to make another form that we will keep open for the whole series so that you can continue to share your questions - but I am too sleepy tonight to get it done. Look for the link on the Decipher Your Quilt page tab.
Given the numerous suggestions and questions, we are going to kick off Decipher Your Quilt with how to accurately cut fabric and 1/4" seams - two of the keys to making the rest of the quilt math actually work as it should.