It turns out that once you give yourself permission to make a few changes to a pattern, then it's easier than ever to make a few more. It's like opening Pandora's Box. Any little thing that you might have any doubts about becomes fair game for substitution.
I started with the blocks in Long Time Gone called "Crosses of the UK" which look like this:
I'm just not crazy about the way the blue foreground cross and the red background cross look unbalanced. Also, it looks to me like a round peg was jammed into a square hole and the points got chopped off, (but I"m sure that's just me.)
Anyhow, I decided the Crosses would go, and a Sawtooth Star would be their replacement.
Long Time Gone requires 6
After sewing them up, I ended up with these:
For the second row of stars, I started with some busy prints for the 3 center squares and surrounded them with squares from the same color family:
Here is how they looked in progress:
And here are the two finished rows:
Now for the next substitution...
The pattern also calls for 2 Bow Tie blocks like this one:
The Bow Tie pattern is fine, but compared with the tiny pieces all the rest of the blocks, they looked too big to me. Here's an idea of scale of the Bow Tie blocks compared to the others.
Whenever I looked at the pattern, my eyes were drawn to the large gaping hole in the center of the Bow Tie block, ( but I'm sure that's just me!) I decided to substitute a Bear's Paw block which has that nice little square in the center, and also lots more opportunities for additional fabrics:
I needed two blocks, so I started by picking the fabrics for the larger squares:
then I cut the rest of the smaller squares using bits and pieces from the scrap pile.
Here are my two finished Bear's Paw blocks:
Then, I made one final substitution.
The pattern calls for a set of 9 4-inch Jacob's Ladder blocks like these:
No matter how I played around with the color placement, I just couldn't settle on something I liked. It was too directional with those longer diagonal pieces. (again, probably just me!) Now that Pandora's Box was opened, I figured one more substitution didn't matter. It was my quilt and I had to like it when I was done, right? I decided to substitute a set of 12 3-inch Broken Dishes blocks instead:
There you have it. My quilt will be roughly 80% as the pattern is written, and about 20% of my own design changes. I guess from now on I have to call this quilt Long Time Gone Rogue!
Number of pieces in the Sawtooth Stars: 102
Number of pieces in the Bears Paws: 90
Number of pieces in the Broken Dishes: 64
Number of pieces in the quilt so far: 1,647