Quilt Update!

Posted on March 01, 2012 by knittingpatterns4you | 0 Comments

I've been working away diligently on my quilt and I'm excited to say that I'm half-way done piecing the top now! What you see up there is the stack of finished blocks: That's 8 completed 20x25 blocks so far. Phew!

I'm having a really great time quilting and playing with fabric. Even though this is supposed to be a "wonky" quilt, I wanted to attempt to distribute the fabrics evenly for a pleasing final effect, so I first separated them into color groups.

In the "gray" group there are only two fabrics:

While the "pink" group has more than 10:

The "purple" group has about 6:

Then there's the "white" group, with 5:

And last but not least, the "neutral" group, with 4 fabrics (plus random scraps):

By the way, did you notice the sheep fabric in this shot? Here's a closeup:

It's sheep! Both fluffy sheep before shearing, and naked sheep after! This piece came from the scraps pile in the class and I'm totally in love with it. So cute! And no, I don't know what brand it is or anything, sorry =(

To make each block, I try to work from all the fabric stacks and alternate big prints with smaller ones and solid-ish fabrics to end up with a harmonious overall impression in each block.

After I made about 4 blocks, I realized that I was using way too much of the solid gray background and I was in danger of running out, so for the next 4 blocks I used much larger sections of the "fun" fabrics and smaller sections of the gray background. You can totally see the difference between the block on the right and the one on the left in the top picture!

I decided not to square up my blocks before the class because my cutting mat is just not that big. Instead I will do them at class on Sunday, with the help of the teacher and the giant cutting mat in the classroom. For you non-quilters, "squaring up" means making each block have right-angle edges instead of the random edges you see above. That's the last step in making blocks, so that they can be sewn together easily into the quilt top.

Oh and that reminds me of another major lesson I've learned with this first quilt: 20x25 blocks are much too big to be easily dealt with! I'm having trouble not only squaring them up, but even just storing them without creasing. And there's no way I can lay them all out to see how they look together next to eachother because I simply don't have enough room.

For example, here's just one block on my "design wall":

As you can see I can fit at most two blocks next to eachother at a time up there. Not great for visualizing how they all fit together!

But let me back up a second and talk about the "design wall" -- this thing is awesome! Just one of the quilting lessons that has already migrated its way over into my knitting brain. What's a "design wall" you ask? All it is, is a big piece of quilt batting put up on your wall. Fabric "sticks" to quilt batting without having to use pins, so you can easily pop stuff up on there and step back to take a look. It's super cheap (this piece cost me less than $10), easy to set up and take down, and a priceless tool for visualizing what you're working on. It's like a corkboard but better!

Do you see in the lower left hand corner that I have a knitted swatch up there now too? On a whim I checked to see if it would stick the way fabric does, and it totally did! Score! I'm never taking this design wall down, ever. Thank you quilting for teaching me so much new stuff in so little time!

Oh and speaking of new things, notice below the knitted swatch that there's something that looks like a color chart? That's from Spoonflower. And yes, that means I've already dipped my toes into fabric design! I'll show you what I made very, very soon.

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