Here is the diagram that rocked Barbara’s world tonight — It shows the steps for drawing a perfect equilateral polygon in EQ. When Barbara got the email, so many bells were ringing and lights were flashing (I GOT IT! I GET IT!) that I didn’t even need to read the email — I just looked out at all the commotion drifting up from parts south…..

Polygon in a Circle EQ

Barbara, now that you get it, I’ll look at my needs and see what we can come up with together.

Barbara Swirl of Life


BH: Here is my design

Barbara J Spiral star

RM: Barbara, re-draft all your spirals as Pinwheel spirals — you will be amazed at how much more elegant it appears when the spokes flow smoothly from the center spiral into the triangle spirals in the spokes. There’s an exact picture of what this looks like on the first of the PDF download on page Spiral to Quilt — More Than One Shape. Take a look at this before you proceed.

RM 7-18-07:  Barbara, I hope you’re finding the templates for the Texas Star helpful.

The other day it occurred to me that it might be interesting to color it like an American flag — alternating red and white triangles in the spokes, blue centers in the spirals.  Today someone sent me this photo, so I thought I’d pass it along as inspiration.  It’s just an idea to think about.  Don’t change anything if you already have a color scheme you like!  Have a nice day — R.


BJ 7-24-07:  Here are some pics of fabric choices. I think I may need more lights? Keep in mind design is 40 x 40. I would like to fussy cut a main center from black star burst and use light blue w/ silver and the white on outer slices.  I hope I am sending correct file size? [RM: They were 2000+ pixels wide instead of the 300 pixels wide that I need.]

Barb J 1AA

RM:  Barbara, first of all, look closely at your drawing.  The points of the star in the 2:00 and 4:00 positions are upside down — compare them to the other points and you’ll see what I mean. 

Barb J Fabs 3A

The colors are very nice.  I have two suggestions about placement:

1)  Look at the sides of the triangles that are adjacent to the sides of the center pentagon.  Consider coloring the spokes of the triangles that touch this edge of the pentagon in the same colors as the center pentagon.  That way you’ll get the “flow” from the center pentagon into the triangle and create a lovely, spinning star.  (When you try this you’ll REALLY see what I meant above about two of the points being upside down.)

2)  Think about using the fussy-cut black starburst for the centers of soem of the triangles in addition to the center of the pentagon.  You may find that it unifies the design a bit more.

BJ 7-28-07:  Hi RaNae I copied several of the first spiral and also made some mirror images and cut everything out. I re glued and here’s what I came up with. I like the center star effect although it’s not what I was looking for on the outer part? I will do some more playing tonight at break.

BJ Re-done spiral

RM:  Barbara, two of the large triangle spirals that make up the outisde edge — lower right-hand and bottom — rotate in the opposite direction of the other three, so the ring around the outside is not consistent.  If you look at the edges of these triangles where they join the smaller star-point triangles you will see that there is a “fan/point” flow connection at 3:00 and 5:00.  Compare them with the other similar connections, and you will see that all the other triangles have a “trunk” flow connection.  IF you intended to have the inconsistency, fine.  But if you intended to have a consistent spin all the way around the star, these two triangles need to rotate in the opposite direction from what they are now, or in other words, in the same direction as the other three triangles of the same size.

BJ 8-9-07:  RaNae here is a pic.

 Barb J in progress

I don’t think the design will show ? I love the colors but….  I am not sure about the dark batik purple with dots though.?  I also had to find the med. blue and order more, provided that’s what it is when it arrives from Oreg. Help Please !  

RM:  Barb, I do like your color choices and the black fussy-cut starbursts in the centers.  🙂  But, you are coloring the RINGS, not the SPOKES, which is why the spiral pattern is not showing up.  Go back to paper and pencil and color the SPOKES.  Then you’ll see the swirling pattern.   Here’s a very rough approximation done in PhotoShop  from your photo

barb j spokes

BJ 9-18-07: Hi RaNae — I’m so excited I finished it!

Barb Jones star

Sad to say, I think I only got the effect you were looking for on the outer triangles. I now see if I were to have used the same colors it would have been much different. I think I may try again at a later date, maybe when the book is published. I really hope this is useable as I put my heart and soul into it not to mention many hours of work.

As for the sleeve to hang this on the back I have sewn in a small triangle at the top, and two small ones on the outer points so the star pops out. You could hang on a picture hook or push a pin thru the top point. I also have a dowel to fit across the back center from side to side so the points don’t flop over.

RM: Your coloring shows that you can combine “ring” coloring with “spoke” coloring for a very nice effect.  The colors really glow, and your sleeve/dowel assembly to hang it is really clever.  Great work, Barb!


15 Responses to “Barbara Jones”

  1. barbj Says:

    Hello Everyone, I am sending my start of Spiral of Life. I would like to have curling arms comming off of the flat angles. I keep trying to work w/ a triangle but it just won’t go. Any suggestions ? Thanks

  2. RaNae Says:

    If you want to add triangles to the edges, you have to get the project out of EQ, since EQ only likes squares. Sorry! that means either drawing it on paper or working in PhotoShop. I assume that you’re more comfortable drawing on paper. You CAN draw the triangle separately in EQ, then print that out and combine it with the pentagon. You’ll have to experiement a bit to get the sides the same length — I would print out the pentagon the size you want it first, then measure the side of the pentagon and adjust the triangle so that its sides print the length you want. I don’t know a fool-proof way to do this, just have to try adjusting it until you get it right.

    The other option would be to draw the whole quilt as a single block in EQ and then print it out as large as it will let you.

    Did you see the star spiral on the PDF download on the page “Spiral to Quilt – More Than One Shape”? I think that’s what you are trying to create – right?

  3. barbj Says:

    Hi RaNae, I would like to use the Baravelle spiral I started with as shown, I have drawn [ by hand ] triangles to match up to the outer edges of the polygon. I am not exactly sure what A cat. they fall into ? I am looking for the cable to connect my scanner to send you a sketch. I will send it snail mail if need be. Is this a possiable choice or can you come up with something close. I saw no more rainbows, I will need to change my color choices. let me know where to go w/ this. Thanks Barb J
    PS. Yes I did see download and the pics. This helped to draw the outer triangles.

  4. barbj Says:

    The templates you sent are great.They look as though they will really flow… I am playing with some colors now and hope to soon start sewing. I will check back with you about color layout.
    I have one question. How did you come to find all of us Spiral testers ?
    I just remember getting the email and have been wondering ?

  5. barbj Says:

    I think I forgot to add with the colors I am trying to use Black, grays, white /w silver and blues with maybe one lavender. Mostly all have metalic silver highlights or glitter to them.

  6. barbj Says:

    Hi RaNae. I do like the flag idea but, as soon as I see it I think of my Dad, He passed away in Feb. 2007, he was a Fireman. We had the same set up of a flag for his funeral. I have colors chosen but I may change it? Let me know what you think of the colors I have mentioned. This weekend we will be going to the Hershey show. Maybe I could find something else to throw in. I just want to make sure it flows. The black I want to use is a star burst on black backround. This will be fussy cut, so there won’t be alot of black. I have a dark / med. purple with glitter to use with the blues. I did go back and read choosing colors so I will play some more. Have a great day and week.

  7. barbj Says:

    Opps ! when I glued pieces onto the paper I didn’t notice the 2 & 4 were not right. I will try it with the same color on triangles. Thank you for picking up on that! How about some more lights ? I thought I had to many darks ?

  8. RaNae Says:

    Barb, I don’t think there are too many darks. remember, you need contrast for the spokes to show up, because there won’t be those nice pencil lines to outline the pieces in your quilt! 🙂 Before you adjust a lot, go back and play with color placement as I described in comment #1 yesterday. Then see how you feel about light and dark.

  9. barbj Says:

    RaNae I’d like to have a consistent spin on the outer triangles and also have that inner star spin as well. Is that possiable to have both ?

    RM: Yes. when you fix the outer two triangles, it won’t affect the inner star at all.

    I am going to hopefully see Beth B and Linda Cooper today at the Hershey show. We are going to compare projects .
    You say if I am happy with what I have leave it that way? I would rather sew what you need for the book. I will check back tonight. Barb J

  10. barbj Says:

    RaNae I’ve got it !!!!! I ajusted the outer triangles and got the correct angles. I cut up papers and pasted till I got it. I could not get EQ to clone or copy the triangles into the empty spaces. Would you like me to send the picture before I start to sew ?
    Hopefuly I will start sewing this week.
    It was a pleasure to get to meet Linda Cooper and Beth B. this weekend. We attended the Hershey Quilt show. It was nice but I did’t think there were many quilts compared to Lancaster.

  11. RaNae Says:

    Great work, Barbara. Yes, I find I have difficulty with EQ cloning and copying, but I see you were able to print out templates and create the whole star in paper, so you’re good to go! I think you’ll have a lot of fun coloring it — try making the colors weave in and out.

    I’m glad you and Linda and Beth could meet at Hershey. Frankly, if the quilts weren’t as good in Hershey as they were in Lancaster this year, then my guess is it was pretty bad, because I and many of my quilty friends thought Lancaster was atrocious this year!

  12. barbj Says:

    Hi RaNae , Started sewing this past Sat. I have the center made and a point of the star. The spiral is not looking like the swirl that is in the drawing ? I dont know if it’s the colors I am using as the may blend a little to much? any suggestions ? Call me this evening if poss. maybe about 9:30 pm. you have my cell. Thanks Barb J in pa

  13. barbj Says:

    Ranae I am using Sulky soft n sheer for piecing and it is working nicely.
    I am piecing the triangles in seperate sections.
    It was laid out on a plastic bag on the floor at work. I just butted it up to the center, to show how the design was not comming out. Nothing is connected yet.
    I cant find how to get the pic. any smaller.
    As for coloring should I color each section the same ? Like each point of the star a different color? I would like to get back to sewing on Sat . morning.

  14. sewbig Says:

    Hi Barb,
    Your star looks great on the Ta Da page. Congratulations on a quilt well done. The colors really show off the design. I’m sure it took many hours of work. Great job!

  15. quiltfee Says:

    Barb, you are way ahead of me – I did not manage to do my drawing in EQ. I have EQ 5, which EQ do you have?


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