Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Scrap Quilt

I wrote recently about making a scrap quilt of white on black, black on white with bright colour accents.  The idea came from a friend at the quilting group who was making a simple quilt from 6 1/2" squares with two 4" squares sewed diagonally on corners.  The blocks were quick and easy to make, and I was able to get 60 of the black on whites and 60 of the white on blacks.

After sewing the square diagonally onto two opposite corners, sew a second seam 1/2" closer to the corner and cut the corners off between the two seams.  That gives you two half square triangles from each block.  I put all 240 of them into a storage baggie.

Then I experimented with possible layouts of the blocks.  Here's the layout
that I liked best.  It looks quite dynamic with the lines twisting down the length in curlicues.  It's 10 blocks wide by 12 blocks long.  As they are 6" each when finished, the top, without borders will measure 60" x 72" which is a good size for a single bed.  There will be borders added.

After laying out the quilt I picked up the blocks in vertical rows, starting at the bottom.  Now they are ready to sew together into rows, and then the rows sewed together into the top.  At this point 4 of the vertical rows are complete and sewed together.

Each of the half square triangles needs to be trimmed, or what we call "squared."  Here's a glimpse of that work:
The untrimmed squares are in the bag.  The trimmed squares are in the upper right.  One square in under the ruler, ready to go.

The diagonal seam of each square is placed on the 45┬║ line of the ruler and whatever sticks out beyond the ruler is trimmed off.  Then the square is rotated a 1/4 turn, and the process repeated, until each of the four sides has been trimmed.

This next photo shows the trimmings.  Exceedingly small bits of material, some only a few threads across.

This is an extremely fussy, time-consuming job.  There are 240 of these little buggers to trim!  I'm doing just forty at one time.  That's about all I can stand!

Is it worth it to do this super fussy work!  ABSOLUTELY!!!  It will make a huge difference when I go to sew them together.  They will fit uniformly and will be easy to work with.

One of the secrets (it's not really secret) of being a good quilter is being willing to take enough time over each step, cutting very carefully and accurately, sewing carefully and accurately, and
trimming very carefully and accurately.  It helps to be a perfectionist!

Here are a few of the ways these half square triangles can be arranged for the border.  I will be trying these out alongside the finished top, but will be looking for the arrangement with the most movement.  Looks like the choice will be the arrangement on the left.

There will be a narrow black border next to the top, then a row of these 1/2 squares, then a wider black border.  Quilting is all about making decisions, having a look at them to see if you like them, and then being open to changing your mind about what looks best.  I'll often ask the Dear One or the other women at quilting group for their opinion, but in the end, I'll please myself.

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