Armchair quarterback quilting!
So, want to feel like you've done a Mariner's Compass star block, and an obnoxiously complicated one at that, without actually going through the effort of doing so? Thanks to my handy-dandy digital camera, now you can! (Full flickr photoset is available here.)
So say you've started off by designing a star you think is complicated but nifty in Adobe Illustrator. You extend out lines so you know how to cut fabric for the negative space around the star, and then print out one quarter of the star, like this:
Sure, I can do that
['Sure, I can do that']
You stare at it for a moment or two and realize how you need to cut the piece apart. Remember this, because assembly is going to work the same way, just in reverse. First, the square is cut into fourths:
Ice cream cones
['Ice cream cones']
-- and then you dissect those fourths down into their component parts:
I've had bigger splinters
['I've had bigger splinters']
Since this will be a dark-background star, you start tracing out the background shapes onto your fabric, marking where the angles change, because those are your sewing points that you absolutely must hit for your pieces to lie straight:
I have the urge to draw faces on these
['I have the urge to draw faces on these']
There. Now your background pieces are all done:
Now with sugar on top
['Now with sugar on top']
-- and through the magic of time-lapse still photography, we fast-forward through a lot of tracing and cutting and cat-petting until we have all the pieces cut, like so:
Do NOT let the cat near this
['Do NOT let the cat near this']
You start reassembling the square out of its component parts. First, join up the two slanted halves of each of those ice-cream-shaped quarters:
FrankenCone in progress
['FrankenCone in progress']
and then very carefully join those slanted halves together, making sure you nail that point where all four pieces of fabric meet.
Repeat until all the little ice-cream fourths are done, and then start joining them together, doing your best to make seams match ... or in the case of us mortals, making sure the seams hit within a single stitch of each other:
A double helping of FrankenCone
['A double helping of FrankenCone']
and continue until you've got all units of two. Breathe. Have dinner. Pet the cat; he's bored and wants to play with your paper pieces. Then start joining those two-unit pieces back together into squares:
and rejoice when you finally sew the seam that puts it all together. Could you have maybe gotten it a half-stitch closer here and there? Oh, probably, but anyone who nitpicks can make their own Perfectionist Quilt. You take a snapshot of it on the kitchen table, like this:
Definitely not accidental.
['Definitely not accidental.']
and realize that it'll look better once you've spritzed it with water, making the water-soluble marking ink disappear:
Done. Spritzed. Naptime.
['Done. Spritzed. Naptime.']
...and you look up and it's nearly 11pm and you think, "Where did my Sunday go?"