Sunday, March 19, 2006

Finished Top, YAY!

Hurray, I finally finished the top of my Spring Break quilt. I had some trouble with the borders, but that was because I kept cutting the triangles to the wrong size--once a size too big, and once a size too small!

Now it's done. I just need to get it to mom and have her quilt it for me. Overall, I'm happy with it. The purple worked better in the borders than I expected. I was worried at one point that this was going to look like something out of Rainbow Brite land, but it's not too bad. I like bright colors after all.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Spring Break Quilt- 2

I was planning to post here this weekend with status updates while I worked on my Spring Break Quilt. Once I got going though I didn't want to stop. The good news for this blog is that I didn't finish over the weekend, so I will update now.

When I work on a quilt I learn so much in the process. Unfortunately, I forget the lessons when the time comes to make another quilt. So I'm going to record these lessons! What a brilliant idea! Hopefully, I will remember to come back and reread them! ;)

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Lesson 1: Planning

I tried to plan this quilt as completely as possible. I carefully made a my own version of the pattern, so that I wouldn't get confused by the colors in the original pattern. Then I treated my pattern like a grid: a, b, c, etc. along the top and 1, 2, 3 along the sides. I labeled a file folder for each square in the grid: A1, A2, A3, etc. All of those things were wonderful helps. I have especially enjoyed using the file folders. They not only helped me keep track of where each square should go, but they also provide organized storage for the squares when I'm not using them.

What I should have done is make a minature fabric mock-up by glueing bits of the fabrics to a printed pattern. I've even made a fabric mock-up before in a class, but I didn't think of it this time. If I could have seen the fabrics laid out ahead of time, I would have had a much better idea of the coloring and placement. By the time I put these blocks on the design wall, it was already too late. The blocks just aren't that interchangeable, so I should have played with the fabrics in the layout ahead of time.

Of course, making the quilt like I have, it's added a bit more randomness to the overall design. I might have made all the fabrics too matchy-matchy. So maybe I'm better off this way?

Lesson 2: Fabrics

If I'm already making a scrap quilt from my own stash, or, in other words, if I have more than enough fabric for the quilt and won't have to buy any extra fabric, then there is no reason to repeat fabrics. Either way, I'm going to be dealing with scraps since the pattern doesn't call for that much of each fabric. Plus, having the same fabric repeated in squares too close together really drives me nuts, especially when the fabric in question just happens to pop.

Lesson 3: Half-Square Triangles

Cutting the half-square triangles down to size worked like a gem! The main difficulty here is that I should have made some of the squares a little larger, so here, while I still remember them, are the measurements:

For half-square triangles: Normally add 7/8 inch seam allowance to the finished size. When making it big and cutting down, add an inch or even 1 1/8 inch.

For quarter-square triangles: Normally add 1 1/8 inch seam allowance to the finished size. When making it big and cutting down, add 1 1/4 inch or even 1 3/8 inch seam allowance.

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So that's it for now. I still have about four squares that I need to re-do because I wasn't happy with the original squares. I made four extra squares last night too. There were some squares that were too light, too dark, or too busy. I've add in more fabrics and laid the new squares out. I think these additions will be a huge improvement!

I'm going to have SO MANY extra squares! I have two blocks for each half-square triangle and each of the blocks that required a quarter-square triangle made up three squares. Of course the quilt only uses one square, so that means for each square I made I have AT LEAST one extra square. And then there are the squares that I made and didn't like. In that case, I didn't use either one, AND I made two new squares only using one. All in all, I think for every one square that I have put into the quilt, I may have TWO extras squares that I'm not using! I suddenly see a room full of half-square triangles: pillows covers, a throw, coasters, and more!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Spring Break Quilt 1

Measure Twice, Cut Once! Is my motto for this project which I have officially begun!!!

Last night I laid out the fabrics.

This hasn't even made a dent in my stash. Maybe I have too much fabric?

Then I spent this morning making a computerized version of the quilt. I'm switching colors around, so I really needed my own version.

So now, I'm on to cutting. I worked out the measurements for the cutting a week or so ago, so hopefully that won't slow me down too much. I have a feeling though that I'm going to have to think out these blocks one at a time.

We'll see. I'm planning to record my progress here throughout the day/week.