Monday, July 13, 2015

#BFTPqal - Finished Top

I finished my Blocks from the Past quilt top! I'm pretty proud of myself -- I really wanted to do a big, fat sampler quilt (a la Camille Roskelley's Farmer's Wife quilt), but I've come to peace with a "time and a season" mentality, and it's just not the time or season for this project. I'm so glad I've done as much as I have, though, because someday it will be my time & season, and when it comes I'll remember all my mistakes! :)

If I had it all to do over again, I'd definitely make this quilt differently than prescribed in the book -- almost every block that I made with Marie Henry's instructions had major problems. A few were too big, so I had to chop off my points, and one was almost 1/2" too small -- and I was REALLY careful with that one! For the most part, I'd probably paper-piece most of these blocks. If you do that, you end up with a perfectly sized block, with minimal mistakes.

One thing I'm super pleased with, however, is how I went out of my comfort zone color-wise. I used a whole lot of colors I wouldn't normally use together, and BLACK -- I've only made one other quilt with black, and it was a black-and-white quilt! There are a couple of blocks I'd change if I hated them more, but all things considered, I love it!

(Isn't this a lovely artsy shot? I've been playing around with my camera a bit, and it's really fun to try new compositions! For example, in this shot you can't tell that my sewing room is a COMPLETE DISASTER...)
One little trick I have is to make the binding after I'm finished with a quilt, especially if I'm doing a scrappy binding. If I make a regular binding, I don't mind making the it before I start the quilt, but with a scrappy one I'm always nervous I won't have enough fabric for my quilt top if I make the binding first. BUT... if I don't make the binding right after I've made the quilt, then I have to keep all that lovely fabric separate from my regular fabric stash, and I can't use it for anything else! So, I measure the sides of the quilt, add 15-20", and make enough binding to cover the quilt, give or take a couple of inches. Then I can stuff it into my fabric bins neatly put away my fabric, and I'm all ready for another project!

Monday, July 6, 2015

#BFTPqal -- Layout and Setting

This week it’s my turn to talk to you all about my layout and setting squares for my #BFTPqal quilt – I can’t believe we’re already at this point! Remember when I told you all I was doing a different layout than in the book? Well, just like always, my plans changed a couple of times since then, and I decided instead to use the blocks I’d made to make a really great baby quilt/wall hanging – which I may or may not give away, it’s so cute!

The first thing I did to lay out this quilt was to put everything up on my design wall, and arrange the blocks the way it looks most pleasing to me.
Next, I decided to use a white sashing, so I cut as many as I needed, exactly as it said in the book. I played around with the idea of using the prints for sashing and having plain white squares, but now that I’ve laid it all out, I’m super pleased with how it’s going!
Before I cut them all out, I arranged the prints on my design wall, with the blocks in the middle.

Once I found an arrangement I liked, I took a picture so I wouldn’t forget my order (have I ever mentioned that I’m a little OCD when I’m laying out everything? I guess I’ve made plenty of mistakes and want to get those out in the planning phase).
I decided to make my setting triangles a little bit bigger than in the book, just for insurance, so I cut out my corner triangles with 6 ¾” sides (cut on the diagonal).
For the side setting triangles, I cut my fabric roughly 5 ½” x 11”, then arranged them on my cutting mat so the outer side was along a 1” mark on my mat. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t too picky about which side was “up”, but if you’re wanting to be careful about it, then the outer side of the setting triangle should be at the top of your cutting area. Also, please disregard the bottom fabrics – I wanted to lose as little as possible to waste, so I used some funky-shaped pieces, and they’re a little special. :) I lined up the left edge so the top corner was on or close to a place on the mat where the 45-degree angle is intersecting a 1” mark, then cut on that 45-degree line.

Then I measured over 11” along the top line, and made sure the other edge of my ruler was 5 ½” away from the top edge of the fabric.

That makes a perfectly square, bias-in-the-right-place, cute corner setting triangle, a little bit bigger than it needs to be so I have a little playing room when it comes time for quilting.
And here’s the finished layout:

I can’t wait to get this pretty little quilt top done! But I have a couple of other deadlines that need to be met first, so I’ll be showing off the top next week, when Marion rounds up the last little bit of this fun project. I can’t wait to see how everyone’s quilts have turned out!