Learning New Things! · Quilt Design · Quilting · Use Up the Stash

Experiment DONE!!!

Our playtime is supposed to be fun, and this was not. The New York Beauty block and all it’s wonderful variations are totally someone else’s happy place. I’ll give you the quick picture story and then I am done, done, done with this block.

Ready to go and to use my small scraps and have the variation of fabrics the way I want, I decided to try the template method.

And I added seam allowances as you usually do with templates.

Don’t do this. Not for improv anyway. Oh, and it helps a ton if you make your drawing correctly in order to preserve your points! I did not.

As soon as I try to make these into a block, all my points will be cut off. And I knew better but didn’t pay enough attention when I was drawing this out.

Second attempt–still using templates, but correct drawing of pattern. Easier to cut with scissors, too.

Better results, but brain strain for me while I sewed and mixed up my fabrics for that variety I was after.

Conclusion: It would be much easier to do this without trying for the fabric variation. Four fabrics, four arcs, one circle block when done–that’s the way to go! Still need to get your drawing correct, though. And those who love paper piecing would most likely find it even easier. Not enjoyable for me, trying to use those small scraps–there are better ways to use those!

Had extra pieces from my arcs and threw them together.

This part WAS fun! Put this on black scraps and now I’ll have a little block of wonkiness to play with.

For the moment, all the bits and pieces are put away on a shelf. I will most likely finish making the blocks at some point for little wall hangings, but right now I’m done with those little triangles!

I do believe some type of thread play will be next on the agenda! I don’t need to draw a pattern for that!!!

12 thoughts on “Experiment DONE!!!

  1. Oh, dear! This is such a good reminder to help us appreciate antique New York Beauty and Pickle Dish quilts, made by quilters who had only paper, pencil, and scissors at their disposal. Like some of the others have said, foundation paper piecing is a total game changer (especially when you harness the power of modern technology with EQ8 and sneaky machine piecing/applique techniques like I did on my last quilt that had arced flying geese). But that picture at the end — your improv pieced bit using up odds and ends of leftover fabrics! That’s really interesting! Hey, I know you said you aren’t into FPP but EPP would be another way to tackle NYB blocs that would be more foolproof. You’d just want to use a stiff cardstock instead of paper to ensure that your skinny triangle points didn’t bend or soften, but you could reuse a handful of triangle templates over and over again. I applaud you for experimenting with this block, even if you decided you never want to go there again!


  2. I applaud your efforts but as far as I am concerned, paper piecing is the ONLY way to do a NY Beauty. It’s a little fiddly, but fun once you master it and it so, so accurate. You can have the tiniest spikes and they will be perfect with no cut off points. I did a couple of big quilts several years ago, but don’t think I’d want to do it now.


    1. Aaaah—we obviously have different goals when working on this. I WANT wonky improv and precise, paper pieced accuracy would kill me to work it that way. Aren’t we lucky to have so many options?!!

      Sent from my iPhone



  3. great visuals… I’ve been thinking of doing NYB blocks again but wanted to do improv style. Love the color with black and white, and you have great fabrics


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