I did a pantograph on a customer’s quilt one day last year and I fell in love with her quilt top. This is a common thing that happens to someone addicted to fabric. I love scrappy quilts and I am happy to adapt a pattern I see to something that so readily uses what I have a plethora of.
I have made 3 long cabin quilts with 2” strips and I am so enamoured with that pattern and how much scrap fabric I use making the pattern that I have a 4th log cabin quilt precut and in a tub to go to a quilt getaway in July. That will be another story for another day. Since I have made so many log cabins, the 2” strips are getting short (in length, not in abundance) and I needed to find a pattern to use the smaller pieces that litter the tub.
I opened up the trusty EQ7 and designed the 36 patch square block which is framed with a solid fabric. The charm of the customers quilt was that the scrappy squares are framed with different solid fabrics. All were sashed with narrow white strips which made the scrappy squares pop.
My designing session resulted in a nice paper with a printout of my quilt top in black and white. I needed 63 blocks for this top. I spent several weekends pairing small strips into groups of six that would get sewn into a group of six and sub cut into 6 rows of 6 blocks. I put 6 different sets into use pulling one strip set from each to make a block and had 5 strip sets left over to mix together into other combinations. Because I needed 63 blocks I needed 63 sets of 6 strips. Clear as mud? Of course I did not photograph this process because it didn’t occur to me I would screw something up and need to tell you about how I overthink things.
I made the 63 blocks and then dug through my glorious stash looking for enough plain fabric to make 63 frames. A width of fabric strip could net me frames for 2 blocks so technically I needed 32 colors to get a good mix. (I had that!). I messed up a couple of frames cutting off the selvedge. Lesson #1: I did not have enough fabric to make two frames if I cut off the selvedge.
I am merrily sewing frames to blocks and happy I was so far along on the sewing of the quilt top and started thinking (the brain freewheels when I do mindless tasks) about how big each block is and I did the mental calculation and realized 63 blocks was going to make a humongous quilt top. Hmmm. Where did I make the miscalculation? My top would be 9 rows long and 7 rows wide and would make a twin. That was my goal. 9 x 12 is 108 and this is without the 1” sashing! 7 x 12 is 84. Right there is a queen and I didn’t want that. I wanted white sashing too! I looked up my pattern in the EQ program and see I have blocked out the pattern of 12” blocks using a 9” setting tool. OY. At least that problem is solved. I see where I made the mistake. Using less blocks is a good solution and the extra 6 give Pattie plenty of throw-away options in her laying out the top.
The rejects went on the back.
Yesterday I sewed the rows together, found a fabric to use for backing and sewed the extra blocks into it and even had time to load it onto the frame. Today I quilt! I love getting to the end. My brain is already on the next quilt.