My How Time Flies When You’re Quilting!

Okay, for the last four days I have been working on a new quilt. Well, technically it is going to be more than one, but the intent was to create one.

While organizing and cleaning up my sewing room – ostensibly for the purposes of trying to finish any- and everything that I have started. I get like this occasionally where I will vow not to start something new until everything I have already started is done.

In this exercise, I found a large ziplock bag with 3″ squares sorted by color. LOTS of 3″ squares. So, I thought I’d make one of my favorite quilt patterns (used on one of the quilts on my bed) and zip through this pile of squares.photo

It starts with a nine-patch (5 colored/4 white) and then adds the triangles to each side. I am guessing that there is an “official” name to this, but I like to think this is my own doing. 🙂

So, with this large stack of 3″ squares, I started making 9 patch blocks. It’s amazing how long this can take, especially since this time around, I wanted to keep each block in the same color family. So, after sorting and sewing – about 12 hours worth – I ended up with this:

photo 8The next step would be to cut and sew the four triangles onto each side. I didn’t have these pre-cut, so it occurred to me that I would have to delve into uncut stock, and I was looking to reduce the amount of precut that I had. So, I had an idea… each of these blocks would be set with a block pattern called a “snowball”. Basically a square with each corner replaced with a triangle corner.

UnknownI have found the easiest way to produce this, is to place a block at each corner, mark it and sew it diagonally. I got The Kid to help with drawing the lines. I had way more blocks than originally anticipated. Isn’t that they way it goes?

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In order to not waste the part that is cut off is to sew a secondary line about 1/8″ away from the original line.

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Then cut between the lines (removing the pins, of course):photo 10

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To make all the cuts, again I roped The Kid into helping. I hope that he is gaining an appreciation of what goes into the quilts I make. He has laid claimed to at least a dozen so far. 🙂

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Once separated, you simply iron everything. Depending on how many squares you have, this may take a while. I think I watched a whole movie while doing all this ironing!

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The larger block will compliment the nine-patch and I will use the smaller blocks for a smaller quilt. Or maybe a border on another quilt.

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So, next up is to connect the nine patch to the snowball. I am going to deviate each line of blocks so that it staggers the placement of each block. I may actually have more than enough for a single quilt top, and perhaps might divide it into two. The colors I have most is blues and greens, and it might be enough to spin into two separate quilts of their own.

For as long as I have been quilting, I never seem to be able to accurately estimate the number of squares or blocks I need. I guess that is why I seem to end up with extras, enough to create “orphan quilts”. Some day when I don’t have anything to write about, I’ll do a post on those.

julie

 

 

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