That title sounds like I'm going to write about the adventures of a couple of misfit friends, doesn't it? Ha, sorry but no. Today, I want to share some progress I made on quilt blocks: more scrappy squares and my first block for the Rainbow Around the Block project.
Over the past few months, whenever inspiration strikes and I find a moment of "free" time, I have been making more blocks to add to my scrappy quilt. The colors I still needed were brown, yellow, red and purple.
I like the red ones, but I'm not too psyched about the yellow and brown. I think I should have been a bit more thoughtful about how to piece the busier vs mellower prints. Much to my dismay, I discovered that I had no purple scraps whatsoever! I found some periwinkle, some lilac, some fuchsia in the midst of other prints, but no purple that would stand out enough to establish the color of the block. Hmmm. So here I was, missing 2 blocks in my big quilt master plan!
Sifting through my scrap box, I really couldn't find another color theme that hadn't already been used. So, despite my 2010 resolution to stick to stash fabric AND the purpose of this quilt being to use up my scraps, I decided to purchase a few 1/8th yards and fat quarters of purple fabric. I figured they would come in handy anyway, filling a suddenly obvious gap in the rainbow of colors in my fabric stash.
Here are the two last scrappy squares I made this weekend.
I can't wait to lay them all out and decide on some kind of order and organization. I still haven't decided what kind of neutral fabric to use for sashing and border. I go back and forth between white, natural and grey. Kona cottons have so many options. I know I want a fun, funky print for the back and a bold binding. Both of those will be much easier to figure out than the stupid neutral!! Got any input for me?
On to the other part of my progress this weekend... Since I had all the purple prints out on the table, I decided to tackle my first block for the Rainbow Around The Block project launched by the (hang on, bowing down in adoration...) amazing Anna Maria Horner.
I don't know what this type of patchwork is called, but I have seen it many times while browsing quilting blogs and also in Denyse Schmidt's designs, for example. Is this another application of log cabin? It's basically a bunch of squares framing each other.
Doing the math was a bit of a hassle, but shocker, I actually got it right! I drew a little sketch of my vision in my crafty notebook. The total measurements needed to be 12.5 x 12.5, and since my design was symmetrical, I figured out my dimensions by splitting the square in half.
One half of the square is 6.25 inches. I counted 4 seams in that half a square. With a 1/4 inch allowance on each piece of fabric, that adds up to an additional 2 inches. When including seam allowances, that meant each half needed to be 8.25 inches of fabric. From there, I played with how narrow or wide each layer should be and I ended up with numbers that worked: 1.5 inches for the center square (i.e. .75" for the half square), 1.5" for the next layer, followed by 1.75", 2" and 2.25".
When sewing, I made sure my seam allowances were 1/4 inch, and I trimmed the square to correct accordingly, if needed, after each addition of a layer. Lo and behold, my final square was exactly 12.5 x 12.5 inches!! I am especially proud of the back: no messes and pinched allowances, yay!
I'll be sure to post when I've made a few more. I'm going to shoot for 4 total. If I can get more done, great -- and I shall try. But I think 4 is a reasonable goal and contribution, considering the pile of gifts and household items I have to make in the very near future and the upcoming plans and visits for the summer.
Have you decided what color you're starting with? What patchwork style are you going with, I think you mentioned wonky log cabin? Can't wait to see what you come up with!!
Good morning Jenny! "Scrappy and Rainbow" definitely sounds like a sidekick TV show, I'm thinking something along the lines of "Dharma and Greg" but with a dark side. I'll get back to you after I pitch the idea to some friends in Los Angeles.....
Your squares are REALLY coming along! The purple square for the Rainbow project is beautiful. I pulled out my fabric yesterday, and my scrap bag must be quite paltry compared to what you're working with! I did start making piles of fabrics that would work together, and I plan to use your example above for the first one at least until I get my bearings!