Monday, April 12, 2021

New Addition-BlockBasePlus: Whirling Star


We added dozens of new/old patterns to the new Encyclopedia
of Pieced Quilt Patterns and the new BlockBase+
Here's one.

Someone counted and there are 4,264 pieced patterns you can print out any size you want them. Available for Windows 10 & MAC systems.

"Whirling Star" came from the designers at the Alice Brooks/Laura Wheeler
syndicated pattern company. Here the copyright holder is Household Arts. 

The older versions of my indexes were short on Alice Brooks designs. I hadn't seen many but a few friends told me the lack was a serious omission so I got on it and found quite a few to include in the latest editions.

I was lucky enough to buy a scrapbook with many clippings from the Alice Brooks column in the 1930s. And Newspapers.com became a great source for finding the clipping online and the date. The
Whirling Star was published in 1940 (see the copyright date on the pattern.) 

Merikay Waldvogel is the authority on Ms. Brooks, and I give her
a hard time by photoshopping the mysterious designer as the evil Mrs. Danvers.
The unknown designers DID generate some tough-to-piece

But today we laugh in the face of difficult piecing. Especially if we have a good pattern.

Which of course we do now that it's in BlockBase+

This could be easily paper pieced for the whirling parts. 
The hardest part would be doing the Y seams to connect those to
the center square (and that is not really hard.)

One of the great new features in BlockBase+ is that you can not only print the pattern
on your printer but you can export it as a PDF if you want to store it digitally or send it. In the past I always did a screen save and then saved it ---many keystrokes. PDF easier.

I enjoy making the patterns for my various blogs though, so I still import a screen share of the pattern to Photoshop and then add and subtract things, which I did below. Good practice in the new Photoshop and my new computer too.
Print it out on an 8-1/2" x 11" sheet of paper 4 for each block.

BlockBase+ has another new feature with QUILT LAYOUT down towards the bottom right. You get several ideas and I liked the On-Point layout the program generated.

I thought I'd recolor it so I went to my EQ8 program and under 
Block Library I searched BlockBase+ and imported #3162.5.
I dropped it into an On Point Layout and tried different shading & coloring.
(Note: You have to load a free update of EQ8 to get these programs to coordinate but its easy enough to do.)

This will keep me entertained all afternoon.
My theory on computer programs: Work at least an
hour a day every day for a month and you will get
good enough to enjoy it.

One problem with these complex Alice Brooks designs is that the quiltmaking audience of the 1940s just didn't want to tackle them and that must be why I have no finished examples of Whirling Star to show you (not even some wacky orphan block.) Have you ever seen one made up?

I think this is from Western Ontario Canada.
UPDATE: Hours after I posted this I found one. 

The people at Electric Quilt (who did all this amazing work) have a series on the new features in BlockBase+.

Christine shows you how to use the seven sample quilts layouts here:

Here's the first page of comparisons between old & new.
See the whole thing here:

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