Tuesday, March 11, 2008

lots and lots of little squares


Well dang, blogger ate my first post... I’m never as charming the second time around, but here goes.

Last month when I got ‘snowed in’ I started working on a little one-block lap quilt for myself. I have actually been working on it; I just haven’t been posting my progress.

A knitter once asked me what was the garter stitch scarf equivalent in quilting… now quilting and knitting involve fairly different skill sets… but I’d say this is it, a small one sized-square block quilt. M5000 over at State of Craft recently posted a tutorial for making a quick crib quilt in this style. If you’re interested in making a quilt but don’t have any real-life quilters handy to help you – that’s a good place to start.


Mine is a bit different in that mine has smaller squares (2 ½” before sewing), it is also much pinker. ;)

Actually, while contemplating the overall pinkness of this quilt I did decide to throw in a few bright yellow squares for contrast. Also I didn’t lay out all the squares to decide on the final pattern before sewing. I matched up the individual squares one by one and chain pieced them together. Then I matched & chain pieced them two by two, and four by four etc.


My plan calls for the quilt to be 16 squares across (one strip) and about 25 strips long. So when I had almost all of the strips sewn up, I started auditioning them for final placement. I laid each strip down and added the next strip to see if they looked okay together.




I have about 30 different fabrics in this quilt so there was more than enough variety to avoid having two identical squares next to each other. With fewer fabrics it’s surprisingly tough to get a nice random look. Even with as many fabrics as I had, I still had to try a few different strips before getting the right one. This is why I didn’t wait until I had all of them done… so I could be a little more specific with some of them if I needed to.

There’s an art, or I should say, a trick to putting together a scrappy looking quilt without using actual scraps. So I stood there and stared at my final version to make sure it looked *just right* before I started sewing them all together. The thing is, it looked okay once I got to the end but felt like I should change *something* so I decided to try to scatter the yellow squares a bit more. But then I had to finagle like the entire rest of the quilt to get it right. I should have just left it as it was. Anyway I got the final layout that looked nice and scrappy and started sewing them up. And that’s where I am now.


I’m making more of an effort than I usually do to get the corners of the squares to line up just right. I swear I measure them all at 2 ½ inches square, then sew them with a ¼ inch seem… but a tiny error here and there can really add up. It’s nothing you can spot from a prancing pony, but I am trying to do better. I’m still a beginning quilter, but one day I do want to display one of my quilts in a show… and people look at those quilts from a very close range. I’ve been known to get about an inch away from a quilt to admire someone’s stitches… nothing I’ve made so far would stand up to that kind of scrutiny.

So that’s the quilt I’m currently working on. True to form I have about three other quilts in mind right now… oh and four or five knitting projects on the needles. I may need an intervention soon!






14 comments:

Bezzie said...

I like it! Not bad for just sewing them together. Since I don't have a pony, I can't see the error.

IamSusie said...

I think it is terrific! The color combination you used here is very pleasing. I like the way the yellow nad the white squares sprinkle around and make it sparkle. The trouble with these square quilts is getting all the squares to line up, but yours is looking perfect!

Melissa said...

I really like the bits of yellow you added. Where on earth did you get such a large blocking/cutting board and how much did it cost you? (If you don't mind me asking.) I'm covetous.

Rebel said...

Thanks everyone.

melissa - the cutting board is actually just cardboard. I got mine at JoAnns I think, but they have them at Fabric Depot and probably lots of sewing stores. I'm sure it was less than $20... possibly less than $10, but I just can't remember. It folds up so I can put it behind the door, and lacking a decent sized table I use it quite a bit.

Andrea said...

The addition of the yellow really brings the pinks to life - I love it. Is it a gift or for yourself ?

Magatha said...

Lovely pink quilt. You're becomming quite the mass quilter. What is it now, 12? It is a lot, I know. ;-)

Rebel said...

Thanks Andrea - it is a gift to myself!

Mags... I've only made seven (and only one was bed-sized). I think I need to hit at least 25-50 before I'm considered a mass-quilter! LOL

Zonda said...

Very nice! Love those colors!

IrishgirlieKnits said...

I absolutely love it!! Gorgeous gorgeous! Umm..it could be the pink :) Perfect color choices!

Olga said...

neat! My SIL made a quilt I think was called the postage stamp quilt with little squares left over from all her projects and it was so cool I really thought of making one with my scraps. Hey! Your not thinking of defecting from knitting are you? 'cuz we may kidnap you and do intervention, like the they do with moonies. quilting is our rival cult you know.

Rebel said...

LOL - no so far the two cults are co-existing peacefully. =P Eventually one of the stashes is going to take over the other one though, and you don't want to be around for it!

Exuberant Color said...

Great color combination. It is easy to match the corners if you push and pull to match each intersection. I always have a few that are off a tiny bit, but hey after all a HUMAN made the quilt.

Kim West said...

Very nice - I like the accent color - it does add just enough interest to not make it "too pink".

Michael5000 said...

@Olga: She is ours! She is ours!