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Thursday, May 8, 2014

New Class at Craftsy: Square-agonals and a Free Pattern

Do you love the look of blocks set on point?  

  


Today, I want to share insights on a fun and fast way to make quilts with blocks set on point, using a technique called "Square-Agonals".   

Sandi Blackwell came up with the technique to create an on-point quilt without having to do any math calculations, by first sewing blocks in rows to create a quilt top, which is then cut into three pieces, before being sewn together to create a quilt top with blocks on points.  This technique is called "Square-Agonals".  


While Sandi travels to teach at quilt shows, quilt guilds and quilt shops, as well as teaches on quilt cruises, she also has several books published where you can learn this technique.  You may already be familiar with the books that she has published about Square-agonals:  


Square-Agonals: A New Angle on Quilting


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Square-Agonals: 12 Easy Pieces

  

Simply Sensational Square-Agonals




Here is a sneak peak into the process for Square-Agonals?

You start off sewing your blocks in straight rows.  The number of blocks and rows vary, based on the Square-agonals design you are using. 




Once your top is completed, you use the Square-agonals techniques to cut and re-assembly this quilt top to create a stunning design that is on-point.


How do you learn the Square-Agonals Technique?


As mentioned, Sandi has published three books that share this technique, as well as a variety of designs specific for this technique.  But, to SewCalGal's delight, Sandi is now teaching a class on Craftsy called "Sensational Square-agonals".   And, I'm happy to be able to share insights with you about this new class. 

Sensational Square-agonals Class at Craftsy

  






SewCalGal feels Craftsy provides an accurate description of the class:


Class Description

Create on-point and diagonally set quilts without making calculations, cutting tricky triangles or sewing diagonal rows!  Join quilting author and educator Sandi Blackwell and discover her amazing Square-agonals technique through a quick, on-point table runner project.  Then apply the technique on a diagonally set, medallion-style quilt with a vibrant secondary design.  Plus, piece a charming traditional basket quilt that's set on-point and easier to create than you'll want to let on.  Get help finishing each project with beautiful borders and even find inspiration to put your own style spin on the innovative Square-agonals technique.  Create on-point and diagonal designs with ease and have more time to quilt and enjoy your finished projects!

My Review of this Class:


In this Sensational Square-agonals class you be shown how to create three unique quilts, using this process: a table runner, a Medallion quilt or wall-hanging, and a larger traditional basket quilt design, each finished with blocks set on point.  

Square-agonals designs can easily be made larger or smaller, simply by changing the size of the blocks.  You can also change block styles as you wish, or even incorporate applique' or machine embroidery.  Of course, changing colors will also be one of your options for how to make these designs your own using the square-agonals technique of setting blocks on point.
  

The seven class lessons are organized as follows:

 



LESSON 1: - INTRODUCTION TO SQUARE-AGONALS (6:01)





In this initial lesson, Sandi provides a basic overview of the Square-Agonals process.  Optional tools for this process is a roll of marking tape, which helps ensure you cut in the right place, as well as Arrow Guide tape, which helps you to position your three pieces of your basic quilt top.  You can find this tape for purchase in the Craftsy store, as well as online at www.square-agonals.com 











This is a fun lesson that starts you off using charm squares to create the Charming Table Runner.  You can use a charm pack, fussy cut your fabric, or use any fabric in your stash.  And you even have the option to fussy cut a few of these blocks, which allows you to see how much fun this process, when they magically appear in perfect alignment when set on point!


Sandi loves to share tips and there are some really good ones in this lesson for piecing.



In this lesson, you cut your quilt top using the square-agonals technique to get three sections.  




Isn't it amazing how those fussy cut blocks are centered so perfectly in this table runner, with the blocks all on point?



LESSON 4: THE MEDALLION QUILT (22:25)

In this lesson participants create a design Sandi calls a Big Easy Star, which is a medallion quilt.  You actually 

Sandi shares recommendation on fabric recommendations (e.g. large print fabrics or focal fabrics, which you may have on your shelf, plus other complimentary fabrics), cutting, sewing, pressing steps, as well as many other tips to make the first version of the quilt top where blocks are on simple row layout.


Works well with any large print fabric or focal fabric that you might want to pull from your stash



How to use the square-Agonals quilt to mark and cut this quilt top (row version) and piece the three pieces to make it into a beautiful Medalion Quilt on Point,   






Great tips to square up your quilt and then we add borders to this quilt top.





The third project in this class is a much larger quilt, using a traditional basket quilt block, set on point, using the square-agonals technique with sashing, to create a quilt with 12.5" pieced blocks (12" finished) on point).  But again, the design for this large quilt could use any block design that you want to use, should you not want to make the traditional basket blocks as covered in this lesson.


Sandi shows you how to piece the traditional basket blocks and many tips in this lesson.  She also shows you had to put the rows and sashing together.







Inspirational insights are shared as to how to take this basket quilt design and apply it to different block designs.  Also how to change the size of the blocks for this design.  Refer to class handouts so that you know what your finished size of the quilt will be, based on the size of blocks that you use, to help you determine how you may want to change the size of the borders for your unique quilt made using this technique.



Most traditional designs are 12 blocks so this is a great lesson that can easily be adapted for many other traditional quilt designs.



 
  LESSON 6:  FINISHING THE TRADITIONAL BASKET QUILT (9:40)



This is such a fun lesson as Sandi shares more insights on how directional blocks can be placed to create stunning results, using the Square-Agonals techinque.   While the lesson focuses on a traditional basket quilt, with blocks set on point to a specific layout, you also learn how to work with directional blocks to create a different design.



Sandi also shares tips for how to measure and cut your borders, as well as sew them on, to ensure your quilt will be square and lay flat.




Make the quilt your own using fabric colors of your choice, your own touch to a border, use different block designs and interchange with blocks shown in the sewing layout for the square-agonals design. 


Samples were shared showing how a simple block, put on point, can look so spectacular.


The quilt pattern is for your guidance.  In each of the three project designs in this class, you can make the design your own.  You can change borders, sashing, fabrics, colors.



She also shares inspirational samples, while sharing ideas on how you may want to change her designs to make your own unique square-agonals quilt.



This is a sample of a cute table runner, made with two different blocks: snails trail and friendship star or you could use other blocks that you prefer.  



Here Sandi shows a design called Pretty and Plaid is an example using a simple block made using squares and rectangles, where she echoed the black and white in the sashing.





There is also a free pattern in the online patterns shop at Craftsy, by Sandi Blackwell. But, if you do not yet have a free account on Craftsy, you will need to create one.   This free pattern shows you how to use the Square-Agonals technique to create a small table topper or wallhanging.  You can make this quilt in a 15 1/2"x15 1/2" size or a 23"x23" size, sewing simple rows of squares together and steps with Sandi's technique to easily make this design with squares on point!





SewCalGal feels this is an excellent class for anyone wanting to learn to create quilts on point, using a very easy method.   And the class is priced at $29.99, making it very reasonable.


You can find Sandi at:


Also, for those attending Quilt Market, be sure to pop by the Island Batik booth, as well as Landauer Publishing's booth for a chance to see more of Sandi Blackwell's quilts and a chance to meet her too!

You can find Craftsy at:

http://www.craftsy.com:










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1 comment:

Julia Plunkett said...

Thank you for such a wonderful review! I happen to be one of Sandi's testers and was so excited when she told us about her Craftsy class. Thank you for spreading the word on her technique.