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When to keep quilt blocks large

 

Last week on Sunday QUILTing, I showed you a few of my favorite fabrics I’ve been drooling over for a few years and I also showed you the fabric for the first quilt mom and I are going to make. The thing is, it’s been difficult to cut this fabric with all things knitting as it’s not only about my favorite topic, but the print is very large and spreads across. I didn’t think it a good idea to chop it up and interrupt the flow of the print. I decided to cut it in large blocks, or strips and work with it.

 

The print on this fabric is too large and spread across to be cutting it in small pieces. So I cut it into wide and large strips.
The print on this fabric is too large and spread across to be cutting it in small pieces. So I cut it into wide and large strips.

 

By the way, I didn’t use a pattern, rather I let the fabric dictate how I should cut it and work from there. Call it quilting intuitively…

Once I had my strips cut out, I started to place it on the bed, and thought there wasn’t enough contrast between the black fabrics and there wasn’t enough of the white – since I ended up cutting wide strips. I added more fabric to the mix and opted for a medium density red and white fabric and a heavier density red and white fabric to the mix. These two fabrics were perfect for cutting into smaller strips, for contrast.

It’s obvious to say, I love flowers and I’m an editor, so again, not surprising at my choice of fabrics – just saying.

 

Adding two other red and white fabrics made for more contrast and interest to a quilt that could have turned out a little too dark for my taste.
Adding two other red and white fabrics made for more contrast and interest to a quilt that could have turned out a little too dark for my taste.

 

Next, we started to play with the first set of strips and this was option one. What I wanted to achieve here was a continuous path of the black motif, but once I took a picture of it from afar, and looked at it, all I saw were the white strips popping in the foreground. It’s not wrong, but not quite enough fun.

 

First quilt top layout.
First quilt top layout.

 

So we played some more and decided to cut, (gulp…) the blocks with the white strips in half and rotate them for interest, which I thought in the end provided more fun visually. And why not just add more fabric on the sides since we had plenty more and create a border-like edge. I’m not a fan of borders on quilts at all. For me, putting a border on a quilt is like looking outside through a window, whereas if there is no border and the pattern (whatever that might be) is only bound by the narrow strip of binding it’s like being outdoors and looking out. You can imagine the pattern going on infinitely – so to speak. Needless to say, applying borders or not to a quilt is a very personal decision.

 

Second quilt top layout, more interest, more fun!
Second quilt top layout, more interest, more fun!

 

Matching up the corners first then adding other contrasting fabric pieces to keep it interesting.
Matching up the corners first then adding other contrasting fabric pieces to keep it interesting.

 

I'm very pleased how the extra pieces of fabric help to make the zany fabric pop!
I’m very pleased how the extra pieces of fabric help to make the zany fabric pop!

 

To think I only had a yard of the white fabric with the balls of yarn on it. Who does this? Not sure what I was thinking all those years ago! I still think it turned out super!

We can drool over yummy fabric, but we can also drool over tools! You might remember from my last post that I’m quilting with mom, dedicating a wonderful Sunday afternoon to our quilting journey. I adopted the task of cutting the fabric – a task that is super easy and fast with the TrueCut System (rotary cutter and ruler). It keeps me ‘on track’ since the rotary cutter is placed on the edge of its ruler which has a guide. – fabulous!

 

TrueCut System makes cutting long strips of fabric or any other a breeze.
TrueCut System makes cutting long strips of fabric or any other a breeze.

 

This particular Sunday quilting with mom ended with mom’s lasagna dinner! Bonus! Similar to potluck dinners when quilting with friends!

Join me next week as mom and I finish the backing for this quilt which I’ve named, I Love Knitting. And did I mention I love pieced backings? Oh yes, more fun is to be had with these little sheep…

 

The perfect ending to an afternoon of quilting bliss - mom's lasagna!
The perfect ending to an afternoon of quilting bliss – mom’s lasagna!

 

This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1:  4 ways to work quilting into your busy lifestyle

Go to part 3: 1 way to make a diagonal stripes quilt top

 

Carla A. Canonico is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine, QUILTsocial.com, and KNITmuch.com.

2 Comments

  1. Sarah Vanderburgh

    Carla I love the knitting sheep! Such a fun quilt – love your process. And lasagna – perfect!

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