Thank you, everyone, for commenting on my Niigata Traveler quilt and entering my 256-lozenge giveaway. I absolutely love playing with color and your color concepts produced a swirl of activity in my scrap bins and stash (leaving my sewing room quite a mess, I must say). You provided me a lot of ideas of color combinations I would not normally use, and helped me identify the weak spots in my stash (mauve? yikes! don't have any).
A note to those just joining this conversation: I will be traveling to Japan for the Japan Great International Quilt Festival later this month, and plan to take lots of pictures. I'll also be learning traditional Japanese stenciling and tie-dying, and enjoying the Spring festival in Kyoto. Not to mention shopping for fabric!! Followers will have a chance at a fat-eighth bundle of Japanese fabrics. So bookmark my site for a virtual tour!
That said, we have a 256-lozenge winner. Congratulations, Mara!
Mara kindly provided a Design Seeds color template,
which my stash of scraps accommodated quite well:
In fact, I had been planning another quilt based on the Arkansas Traveler block, and it includes some of these colors... So I could just crank out a few extras and get started cutting for that project, as well.
Mara's quilt may have to be called "Aegean Traveler," though, as her blog, Secretly Stitching, tells the story of an adventurous young American woman exploring Europe, receiving a marriage proposal from a native Grecian--and going for it! They now have two young children and live together at the bottom of a most amazing rock formation in central Greece.
Now, for those of you who didn't win and don't have a Go! Baby or a 60-degree diamond template, here's a quick tutorial on cutting out lozenges.
The diamonds are 3.5 x 3.5 inches. So, first, cut a 3.5-inch strip:
Then, with a ruler that indicates the angle, cut a 60-degree angle. (Be careful not to accidentally use the 45-degree marking, which is much more common!)
Then, position the ruler along the angled edge, and cut a width of 3.5 inches. Repeat.
Every so often, you'll want to check the angle and make sure you haven't gotten off track. Good luck! Block tutorial to follow in a couple of days.