Sunday, March 15, 2015


A year ago I was struggling with a major quilt for our bed, Pinwheels and Patches.  I had a terrible time with the pinwheels.  If you had told me I'd be making a quilt of nothing but pinwheels, I would have snorted in disbelief.  But here I am doing just that.

For this quilt I want all the pinwheels to go in the same direction.  But as I was struggling to understand the process I made some blocks that went the wrong way.  This first photo shows one of those blocks.

I realized today that if I picked the block apart I could fix it.  So I did, and got this proper pinwheel.  I fixed the "wrong way" blocks.

Then I picked up some that had been just begun and thought I'd finish them.  Well, in quilting there are more wrong ways to
do things than you can imagine.

I sewed the two parts together, then the four parts together.  "That's odd," I thought--this was supposed to make four blocks, but I'm getting eight."  Well, all the better!  But when I turned them over to press them this appeared: not a pinwheel, but an hourglass, which is made from half the parts of a pinwheel.  Pick out again! Sew together again the proper way.

Now I was beginning to understand the whole process better, and that really speeded things up.  In just 80 minutes I made 9 complete blocks.

The method: Sew two contrasting 4 1/2" strips right sides together, on both long edges, at 1/4".  Cut them into 4 1/2" squares.  Cut the squares on one diagonal. Press toward the dark fabric.  You now have quarter blocks.  Sew the quarters together, then sew the halves together.

I'm really enjoying this new project.  First new project in a LONG time!

This finished quilt top was begun years ago with no finished object in mind.  I just started sewing together 2" cut squares in an 8 x 8 format.  Once in a while, just for a change of pace from my current project, I'd make one block.

Because I'm really trying to finish up old projects this came out of the closet.  I counted 9 complete light/dark blocks and 8 complete all dark blocks.  It took just one more light/dark and two more all dark blocks to have enough for a nice large comfort quilt.

I really didn't feel like sewing them block to block.  Can you imagine how many intersections would have to meet.  Besides, it would be way too busy.  So I got out a few large pieces of fabric to audition them.  The blue won out.  There are also little dark red cornerstones at each intersection.

The last cut for the border left a smidgen of material.  No waste whatsoever!  The binding is already cut, out of the dark blue.

The last photo shows the nice backing that I found on Saturday.  A deep red with thin beige lines through it.  It's darker than it appears in this photo, and matches some of the reds on the top of the quilt.  I like how the little squares imitate the pattern on the front.
My project this week will be to layer and machine quilt this top.

The week after this I will be needed in the greenhouse, so quilting will be shelved for a while.  Not too long, I hope!

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