Monday, January 22, 2018

Comparing Methods for Trip Around the World Quilts

Scrappy Trips Around the World

I've made this quilt pattern more than any other. You might even say I have a thing for it. One patch quilts are very similar in design and creation, and I love finding new variations on both. 

The one patch can also be used to create a Bargello look, and I have a quick tutorial for the tried-and-true labeling and sewing method I use. I think you will find it very helpful. Making One Patch Quilts

My Typical Trip Around the World Style from 

Usually I design my Trip Around the World quilts with one center unit, and radiate from there. Numbering the layout, and chain and web piecing make this a very quick quilt to complete, but there is another method I had not tried. Quilt-in-a-Day type methods propose the tube method many of you are familiar with already. 

Note on following video: This is modified method that does not line up seams, and is based on a rectangle one patch vs. a square one patch as I am using. She is also using a pastel palette, which slightly blurs the transition between colors. It's a slightly different concept, but the tube method is the same. 

The Traditional Tube Method Experiment

Tube Method for One 16" Block Producing a 64 Patch 

1. Cut 8 strips into identical widths. I used 2.5" x 21". 

2. Sew lengths together long side by long side side in order desired. 

3. Sew the last side to the first side forming a tube. Do not press. 

4. Flatten the tube on your cutting table, and cut crosswise into strips equal to original width. (2.5" here) 

5. Carefully unpick one seam at a different place of each strip. 

6. Arrange, press alternating seams in different directions, and sew together. (Whew!)

4 Blocks In 2 Sewing Sessions

I was fairly excited to try this new method. It seemed so revolutionary! But I was shocked at how long it took. Think starching to cutting, keeping those long 1/4" seams from getting wavy, etc., and how little control I had over the color scheme. Yes, I could eye the fabrics next to each other as strips, but I saw I was depending heavily on making all the colors high contrast or opposite sides of the color wheel. One of the really beautiful aspects of Trip Around the World is using subtle color combinations and gradations. I am glad I tried the tube method, but was a bit disappointed in how it worked for me. As they say, YMMV (Your mileage may vary.)

But there's no crushing this gal's spirit, and I pressed on. Really. I went back to my original method. I cut those strips into 2.5" squares, and pressed them onto my design wall individually. I had far more fun doing it this way, and could control color combinations. Where I had a few odd squares left, they were used in the corner units needing odd numbers. 

Note: One dark fabric per block creates a secondary pattern or chain effect, while the other fabrics are lights and mediums. I had used a variety of dark navy for this chain, and my method made it easier to place it more appropriately.

The fabric appearing black is navy blue, but changed with the winter light.

When the border blocks were all laid up, I labelled with numbers, and took a picture for reference. Chain piecing and webbing went so much faster than the Tube method. I had the whole outer area done in one afternoon. Hmmm.

The Tube method makes creating an alternate pressing direction difficult to determine. Laying it up as squares, and piecing it in rows leaves no doubt. There were several places I had to flip the pressed seams to nest.

Natural light is wonderful!

This baby quilt top finished at 44" x 44", and will soon be available for sale.

For more ideas check my blog archives for one patch and charity quilts.

Come on, Doxie girls.


Linda Swanekamp said...

Right on my design wall right now are 8 blocks of Scrappy Trips, Bonnie Hunter's pattern. I have all the 6 strips for each block all ready to sew. So, I am a little confused- the first photo- what method made that one and what was the square size? I have no objections to laying it out square by square, but would have to try laying it out first because it gets confusing where you are. I have the Eleanor Burns book also. Since I have so may scraps, this particular quilt is of great interest to me. Yours are beautiful.

Jayne said...

This is one quilt block I haven't tried. I've done plenty of small squares! I've seen the tube method and it looks very interesting. There are some blocks that can confuse me easily...this may be one of them!

Tish Stemple said...

To be fair, I've never tried tube piecing, but I struggle with the idea of it. I understand it, but I still scratch my head. I think I would prefer your method any day of the week. I like the control and to see/know exactly what I'm doing.

Rebecca Grace said...

Yes, I've found that many of the "quick" methods of doing things compromise design control in favor of speed. Perhaps you would get quicker with the tube method if you kept at it, but I really love the effect when you lay the whole quilt out on your design wall first. And yes, the navy is what really makes it pop. Gorgeous!

Home Sewn By Us said...

Hi Julie,
This is so funny - the very first quilt I made for my friends mom was a TATW using Eleanor's method. I absolutely hated that quilt. I didn't like the fabrics, the method it went together, nothing. In fact, when I read that it was your go-to pattern, I was amazed. I had no idea there were other ways to achieve the same thing - I never gave it a thought because I HATE that quilt. HAHA! Thanks for providing a fresh perspective to this pattern. I may not be trying it anytime soon, though - it's hard to let that dislike go after only a mere 30 years. HAHA! ~smile~ Roseanne

Janine @ Rainbow Hare said...

I joined a scrappy qal once and used the tube method but I never liked the quilt I made. Yours is beautiful. I think it's much better to properly see what you are doing before you sew everything together :)

audrey said...

So interesting to read through your post. I've long wanted to make one of these quilts, but some of the methods drive me crazy just reading through the instructions! Great to hear that sometimes 'slower' really ends up working better in the end.

AlidaP said...

Thanks for sharing your comments on the different methods and the beautiful inspiration of your quilt! I think it's great to try several approaches and know how you personally like them, as everyone is different!

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

Thanks for the review. Good to know. I haven't made a Trip Around the World.

Angie in SoCal said...

Excellent post, Julie and I love your versions. Blessings,

Stitchin At Home said...

I like the control of your method best. I have tried the tube method and it was ok. said...

I absolutely do love tiny pieces of fabric in gorgeous colours !
You arranged them very very beautiful !
Love from Belgium !

Bonnie said...

Did a tube method TAW last summer as a QAL. Amazed me how fast I put it together and all from fabrics in the stash. (Was I jazzed or what.) I've wanted to do the scrappier block at a time method. May be one of these days I'll give it a try. Thanks for all the info on this quilt.

evaj said...

Thank you for your link this week to Show and Tell Monday !! Bambi

Kate said...

I've seen the tube method, It does sound like you get much better control with your approach to Trip around the world blocks.

Gosia @ Quilts My Way said...

Thank you for the review. Awesome quilts !

helenjean@midgetgemquilts said...

I was never able to get my head around the tube method of trip around the world, and now I understand it. I made my sister a trip around the world, 19 years ago now. It took me forever, having said that, she still as it and it reappears in the cold weather

Linda Swanekamp said...

Love. love the fabrics and the quilts. Let me get this straight- you are not using the tube method, but individually cut squares? Then webbing the individual squares- like the earlier post you did on these quilts? Boy, I wish I could come and take your class and go through this step by step as these are awesome and I love scrappy. Your studio looks awesome also.

Anonymous said...

Hi Julie, I know I'm late to the party but here goes.
I'm a self-taught quilter of a couple of years. My second quilt was TATW.
I bought a designer's line of fabric started with the "tube method"
and absolutely hated both the fabrics and quilt.
I had 3 of the 4 quadrants made when I wrapped it up and sent it to a charity.
The desire to make another one came when by chance I saw yours.
I googled scrappy TATW quilts didn't see any I liked. Scrolled down the page
and saw yours. Reading the different ways you've tried and that the tube method
wasn't for everyone was the answer I needed.
I've started going through my scraps and cutting the squares at 3 1/2".
I don't like quilts with a lot of white.
Thank you from Sheila (This is the Irish for Julie)