QIP – Quilt in Progress

quilts 202, originally uploaded by Compwalla.

This is the “real” version of the practice quilt I made last week.  I made 27 blocks for it but I’m not going to use them all. I make them in sets of nine because of the stack and whack technique that I use to start them and the second set of nine included a fabric that made the whole block look, well, ugly. It just didn’t go. So I made another set of nine and mixed those in and I like it much better.

It’s much brighter and busier than the practice quilt. I knew it would be because this color palatte isn’t monochromatic but I’m ok with that. This line is so bright and fun and summery and that feeling is coming across in this quilt which is just what I wanted.

Chaos Contained

My test quilt is finally finished and even though it’s supposed to be just a practice quilt, I’m actually quite madly in love with it. It turned out far better than I imagined it would. It’s not perfect – the wide 6″ borders came out a little wavy in spite of what I thought was careful measuring – but overall it’s a beaut.

The blocks began as stack and whack wonky nine patch blocks that you make by stacking squares of your fabric. I knew I wanted them crazier than that so I cut those wonky nine patch blocks apart, spun the pieces, and sewed them back together the way you do when you make a disappearing nine patch. Then I squared them up and set them in Kona Snow. I didn’t want the quilt to be square so I added a little piano key strip made of leftovers to the bottom to turn the square into a rectangle.

The quilting I made up as I went. I originally wanted to do the mitered quilting on the border and then free motion quilt the insides of the blocks but I couldn’t get the machine to cooperate and I went with concentric circles instead. And I pretty much love it.

This shot of the back really shows the quilting well:

And close-ups of the back:

I can’t wait to start the “real” quilt. There are a couple of things I will do differently but overall I’m going to make a larger version of this little practice one. And I think I’ll love them both. We’ll see!

Proof of concept

wonky disappearing nine patch, originally uploaded by Compwalla.

These squares have been made into a small version of a quilt that I want to make from Jenean Morrison’s California Dreamin’ fabric line. I know I want to make the blocks wonky but I am not following anyone’s pattern for this quilt. It’s going to be all my own. I’ve had the fabric for a long time and it’s now discontinued so before I jumped into making the quilt with fabric I can’t replace should I hose it up or not like the results, I decided to pull some fat quarters from my stash and do a test run first.

The blocks started out as 8″ squares and were turned into wonky nine patches using the tutorial at Oh, Fransson! Then I further liberated them by slicing them through the center once vertically and once horizontally, rotating the bits, and sewing them back together. It’s a combination of wonky nine patch + disappearing nine patch and I really love the way the blocks turned out.

I pieced them together into this quilt top:

And I’m madly in love with this! The things I am going to do differently are start with a larger beginning square and move the piano key strip farther down. The blocks ended up at 6″ by the time I got done slicing and dicing and putting them all back together again so the squares in the quilt are only 5.5″ square. I want the ‘real’ quilt to be bigger so I’m planning to start with 12″ squares and go from there. I still have not decided on how I’m going quilt it. I’ve got several test sandwiches and so far I’m not happy with anything I’ve tried. I’ll figure it out, though.

Thumbs up for the Fat Cats ruler!

***Note*** Several people are finding this post by searching for “template of the fat cat ruler.” But the fat cat ruler exists because people were tired of using templates to make trapezoids. So you want a template for a ruler which replaces a template? I don’t understand the internet.***End Note***

I usually don’t like rulers that do just one thing but I got an itch to make another New Wave Quilt from the Oh, Fransson pattern. The first time I made one I used a template and cut around all for all those trapezoids. Saw a shortcut posted later using the Fat Cats ruler and I decided if I ever made another New Wave I was not doing it without that ruler. It took forever to cut all those trapezoids using the template.

I ordered the ruler a couple of weeks ago and now that I’m done with my Quilts for Kids quilts I was ready to try out my new ruler. Holy moly. I cut out enough trapezoids for a twin-sized quilt in less than fifteen minutes using that ruler. I’m going to do this one in white, pink, and black with the sashing solid black Kona cotton. Or maybe pink sashing. I am worried the black will not contrast enough with the rows of dark fabric. Maybe bright pink would stand out better. I still haven’t auditioned the sashing yet so we’ll see. Either way it will be very graphic and bold and I can’t wait to start piecing it.

I did it! Four Quilts in Eight Days!

I have been making quilts for the Downy Quilts for Kids program over the past year or so. The program takes leftover fabric – often fabric that’s discontinued or not quite perfect – and instead of throwing it away, volunteers cut the fabric into quilt kits to be mailed to volunteer quilters all over the country. The volunteers sew the kits together, finish the quilts with batting and binding of their own, and mail the finished quilt back for distribution to a hospitalized child. Kids who are sick can’t take their stuffed animals with them for comfort because they can’t be washed but quilts are snuggly and can stand up to repeated washings in hospital washers and dryer so Quilts For Kids helps give as many kids as they can something warm, fun, and colorful as they go through treatment.

The program also asks quilters to make a second quilt out of their stash fabric to send back to double the donation. This time I accidentally ordered two kits so I decided to challenge myself to finish four quilts – two kits and two from my stash – in one week. I made it in eight days and I’m calling that a win. :)

The quilt pattern is very easy and the kits are definitely beginner level. If you’re a new quilter, these kits are a great way to hone your skills for a good cause. They ask that you return the quilt within six weeks which is plenty of time for a quilt this small and simple.

The kit quilts:

The two from my stash: