If ever I wondered if it was worth the hassle to create a design wall in our small apartment, this weekend answered that question.
I finished the quilt top I was working on. It is the combination of two separate PIGS (Projects in Grocery Sacks) that I’d decided to put together into one project. PIG #1 was a large stack of half-square triangles (HSTs) and PIG #2 was this small quilt top. It was 45” x 59½”.
The little quilt top is made with three different blocks.
The blocks are all simple, nothing fancy at all.
I believe the yellow print is from a dress my daughter-in-law made for one of my granddaughters in about 2002.
I’m not sure why I made the pinwheel blocks a different size than the nine patch and rail fence blocks. But they are framed to make them big enough, once with the light yellow print and then, sometimes a second time with scraps.
I played in Electric Quilt 7 and designed the rest of my quilt. Because I was using 4” half-square triangles (HSTs) for the second border, the sides of the center of the quilt had to be a multiple of 4”. Here’s my design.
I’d cut most of the half-square triangles with my AccuQuilt Go, but an AccuQuilt Go Baby will also do the trick. I used a 4” HST die. I love die cutting the HSTs. They are shaped so there are no dog ears to trim when I am finished sewing. That’s a good timesaver. I cut 8 layers at once, 4 layers of yellow and 4 layers of the yellow floral print. And by stacking the two fabrics right sides together in sets when I cut them, I saved even more time.
Notice in my design from EQ that all the HSTs in the fourth border would be going in the same direction. The yellow triangles were all to be on the upper right side of the squares. You know what they say about the best laid plans, don’t you? I just plain didn’t think. I sewed all the HST sets together in strips – all facing the same direction. That’s not right. Rather than unsew two long strips, I changed the design a bit. I think it is one of those mistakes that if I don’t point it out, most people won’t think it’s a mistake.
Now on to the back of the quilt. The quilt top is 88” x 104” so I needed a back that measures 92” x 108”.
I didn’t find any orphan blocks for this quilt but in my other PIGS, I found this small PIG.
I laughed out loud when I saw it. Just last week, I was thinking I’d finished using almost all the leftovers from a wedding quilt I made in 1999 and here is a whole 36” square section of the extra blocks. So this for sure has to go on the back.
I didn’t have much in the way of leftovers from the front of the quilt, so I had to go to my stash right away for more fabric. To be quite frank, I just finished a blue pieced back and I was bored with the all blue look. So when I was shopping my stash, I hit the yellow bin first. This back will have lots of yellow.
I sewed for a while and then went to the design wall and hung up the pieces. This is where I quit for the night. It measures about 68” x 74”.
This morning, I’m looking at my quilt back and that first section – the part from the wedding quilt doesn’t look like it belongs. It is all blue and the blues tend more toward the gray side where the rest of the blues I’m using are brighter. So that part of the back needs some of the yellow and maybe some of the brighter blue added to it. I will simply cut across that section with my rotary cutter (maybe even a wavy cut) and add a piece of yellow. It will go back on the design wall and depending on how it looks; I may add some bright blue as well.
Next, the navy blue square in the upper left corner is too big. It also needs something to break it up. I’ll cut it and do something there, too. An easy thing for the first try is to simply cut that section in two pieces vertically and flip one of the pieces end for end. Before I sew them back together, they go back on the design wall to be certain that is enough of a change.
It’s at this stage in the process when I am grateful for my design wall. If I’d just been sewing pieces together without that step of hanging them up and staring at it for a while and seeing how the pieces worked together, I’d have been stuck with that big chunk of navy blue in the corner and the gray-blue patchwork piece in the center of the back of this quilt. With the design wall, I see the problem areas before everything is sewn together. And yes, I’ve always laid everything out on the floor but to see them on the design wall gives much better perspective.
Speaking of the design wall, we made it when we moved into our apartment. It was a half-day project and I really like it, but look what I found at QuiltandSewShop.com … a design wall, all ready to go, with no hassle for you.
Meanwhile, I can’t wait to get home tonight to work on my yellow and blue quilt back.