Thursday, September 5, 2013

Free pattern: Monty Python and the Holy Grail!

Not long ago, Fandom In Stitches featured Schenley Pilgram's killer rabbit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  She did an amazing job!  Being a huge fan of the movie and married to an even bigger fan of it, I not only wanted to make that block, I also wanted to add some blocks of my own so I could put together a quilt for my husband.

The computerized image.

I am new to this whole designing business, but I managed to (hopefully) get it right on the second version.  The first time around, I had a lot of extra, unnecessary piecing that I had to crop out.  This version should have done away with all that and is much simpler than my original.  I have to say that I first designed the block in QuiltAssistant, which does the basics and works great for a free program, but I recently purchased The Electric Quilt Company's Electric Quilt 5 to test it out and see if I wanted to upgrade to Electric Quilt 7.  I love the program and it makes my designing life much easier, but even better, I sent a few questions about this seriously outdated version of the program to customer support, and within the hour I had a polite and very informative response.  I am very impressed with the company so far!

The real deal.

I designed this to be a 10” paper pieced block, as I do with most my blocks.  It features a hand holding the Grail, inspired by the cover art on the movie we have here at home.  I tested this out on my daughters by asking them what they thought it was, and one said a hand with a goblet, and the other said a hand with a cup.  I suppose if a 6- and 8-year-old can recognize it, I might be doing alright.  I wish I had a better flesh tone for the hand, but it was late and I was impatient to finish and beggars can’t be choosers.  :)  I used this block as a bit of a stash buster; the tan comes from my Project of Doom quilt, the gold from an Army unit crest quilt I made, and the blue from a Tardis dress and apron.  I may have miscalculated on my purchase there and ended up with a few hundred extra yards of blue broadcloath.  Whoops!  (And a word of warning:  when you go to sew your very first garment ever, do not choose a Victorian dress with bustier and coat that you have to alter to appear as a telephone booth, and attempt it in a two-week time crunch.)  I am seriously considering adding some kind of Shisha mirrors or rhinestones to this for some flair.  What do you think?

Some notes about piecing this:  The piece numbers are on the pattern, but the section numbers are only on the top and bottom piece.  Unfortunately, this is based on an algorithm in EQ5 that cannot be changed.  I have included the piecing guide to help with this.  Because this is a simple pattern, all you really need to do is compare the number of pieces and the shapes to figure out which section is which, then mark that on your paper with a pen for easier assembly.  The pattern also would not print in color despite my best efforts, but fortunately there are very few colors and again, you should be able to figure it out from the picture and mark the colors on your piecing paper.  When I upgrade to EQ7 I will post a revised version of this pattern to fix those problems.  This pattern is quite forgiving, though, and great for newbies.  There are very few points that have to match up, and few if any of those difficult angle pieces to cut and sew.

You can download the pattern for free here or on Craftsy.  I would love to see how yours turns out!


I welcome your comments and feedback! I will try to get back to you shortly.