Friday, July 31, 2009

The Building Part of an I Spy Quilt

Now that the anniversary party is over, I guess we better get back to the quilting tutorial.

We left off putting all the blocks together with the feature fabric and sashings, and now we can lay them out and play around with the look of the quilt.

Mine just barely fit on the dining room table but close enough so I can get an idea of how I want the feature fabrics to be set out.

In this quilt I don't want all the reds bunched up in one corner, nor all the blues in one column, nor all the beiges in one row. I want the colours of the blocks to be spread out so it has a random feel to it.

You'll also notice when you lay out your blocks that the right-hand side and the bottom of the quilt do not have a brown sashing border.

Once you have decided which blocks will go where, you then know where to add the other sashing pieces. All the blocks with edges on the right-hand side need an extra sashing, like so.

Similarly, all your blocks for the bottom row will need an extra sashing along the bottom of the block. Voila.

The block that lives in the bottom right-hand corner will need to have a sashing put on both the right-hand side and the bottom. This is where we'll be using the brown sashing that has two orange 2.5" squares attached to it.

Keep in mind that you still want your seams ironed in such a way as to give the snug fit for easy seaming.

Okay, now we're ready to start sewing the blocks together. Keeping in mind where you had them laid out on the table, start stitching the blocks.

You may have to do some re-ironing in order to get the seams to fit snugly but it's so seriously worth it. At this stage, I'm planning ahead for which seams will need to fit together and ironing to make sure that happens. It gives you some beautiful corners and saves some seaming heartache later.

I have another thing I do when I'm sewing blocks together. I like to do it with as many shorter seams as possible. So instead of sewing a whole row of them together and then joining the long rows, I do it in chunks that look more like this.

And this.

Then I'll join these chunks together. My plan is always motivated by doing the least number of long seams as I possibly can. In this quilt, I had only one seam that ran from the top to the bottom of the quilt. It was a good score.

Use whatever works for you. Some people like sewing many rows together. I'm not accurate enough to make sure every thing is done just right in order to make all those corners work for me. I'm kinda lazy and not motivated to pull things out and do them again if they don't work. This way, I get to avoid as much of that as possible. :)

Next time, I'll show you my completed quilt top and we'll start talking about sandwiching.

Happy sewing, M

Stanley says "Can we go out and play with those birdies now?"


La Tea Dah said...

Stanley is a cutie! My Bucky-cat brought me a live bird the other night --- right into the dining room!

Is it really hot where you live? We've been having temps of about 106 F. SO stifling!


Knatolee said...

My artistic eye says you have an excellence sense of colour balance! :) Love the quilt. And Stanley!!

Katharyn said...

okay, I'll admit at first I was skeptical about the orange and brown fabric... but OMG so cute!