I'm piece piece piecing away here. A couple days ago I finished this relatively fast flimsy. It's a free pattern from Timeless Treasures called "Marvelous Maze" by Osie Lebowitz and is part of their Broome Street Patterns collection.
There are lots of free patterns put out by the fabric manufacturers, which makes sense. It's in their best interests to make it look fun and easy to use their fabrics and nothing shows off a new line like seeing the designs working together in a quilt. At least that's the theory. Very few of the free patterns appeal to my eye, so when one does, I download it and save it for later. Since the patterns feature a particular fabric line, the older ones tend to disappear. If you can't find one that I've used, feel free to ask me for a PDF copy. Passing it along to another quilter for personal use doesn't violate the usage agreement on most of them.
Back to this one, which I've named Bricks and Stones. All the fabrics are prints of bricks and stones, except one that I think it supposed to be leather but looks quite a bit like stones to me. The blocks are really simple, just a square with the accent color sashed at a 45 degree angle across opposite corners. They can then be laid out in a wide variety of settings, including kind of randomly which then looks a bit like a maze. I kept thinking about wandering through Home Depot's outdoor paving section while I pieced this.
I did a quick layout on the design bed, mostly to get the lights and darks scattered nicely across the quilt. I then carefully stacked each row and column and carried them upstairs to sew. After stitching all the pairs and taking them to the ironing board, I discovered that my matching of all those sharply contrasting black accent angles was, um, really lousy. And then I discovered that these fabric, which were someone else's scraps bought on eBay, were really el cheapo low quality fabrics that stitched fine, but whined and complained when I ripped a bunch of seams out. Oh, wait, maybe that was me whining and complaining. And squinting since I used black thread on black fabric. Ugh.
Somewhere in all the ripping and whining, I lost track of my initial design layout since the rows weren't labeled. Eh, it was fairly random anyway, so I soldiered on. When I got the finished flimsy hanging up for a few photos, I realized that my lights were a bit clumped together, but decided I could live with that.
Then, I noticed that my random placement resulted in a giant swastika in the middle of the quilt. ARGH!! Once seen, it couldn't be unseen! No, I didn't take a photo. Fortunately, I realized that I only had to rotate a single block 90 degrees to fix that, although (of course) that single block was right in the middle. And that single block was (of course) the el cheapiest of el cheapo fabrics that practically shredded under the seam ripper. But I got that sucker ripped out and turned and all's well that ends well.
I certainly learned my lesson about keeping better track of my rows and columns! So the project I'm working on now, the strippy scrappy rainbow blocks, was handled differently. I put pins in the first block of each row: one pin for row one, two pins for row two, etc. I was so proud of myself until I sewed row two to row three...yes, that's one of row three's pin heads sewn right into the seam. The Juki punched through the plastic flower head pin like it was butter and didn't even hesitate. Oof.
Fortunately, the stitch length was short enough that it basically perforated the pin head so I was able to pull it out of the seam easily. Now I'm looking for other ideas for marking rows and columns. What method do you use?