Saturday, March 3, 2012

Otsego Lake

The quilt is designed around this print.
March is National Quilting Month, and I'm getting ready.  I spent the last week cutting the pieces for a pair of quilts for my family's cabin in northern Michigan.  Last summer I made curtains for one of the bedrooms -- an off-white/beige with an 8" strip of a forest print just above the hem.  I liked the print a lot, so I decided to make quilts for the beds using the same fabric.  Just before the end of the season, I ran into town and bought a couple of yards of both fabrics, no particular plan in mind.  Now the project begins, and I'm realizing how many difficulties I'll be facing, due to my lack of experience.  I'll get the quilts made (not by summer, though).  But it'll be a challenge.

Designing the Quilt

I've played from time to time over the winter with different blocks and quilt patterns.  I wanted to some pieces big enough to feature the forest print, but didn't have much luck.  I finally found a block that I liked in a free quilt pattern on the web, but it didn't have directions.  I scanned the forest print fabric, added it to Quilt-Pro and re-created the block.  A little more toying with the software and I could print out the yardage requirements and head out to the quilt shop for the rest of the fabric.
 The large square-within-a square is the forest print or the off-white/beige from the curtains.  I wish I'd made the blocks larger.  The print would show up better and there would be fewer seams. 

The two outer borders haven't been determined yet -- this picture just uses some fabrics in Quilt-Pro.  But I kind of like them.  We'll see what's available after the blocks are completed.

Patches for two twin-bed quilts.

What Was I Thinking?!?!

 It took almost a week to cut all the patches, and they aren't done yet.  For two quilts:

80 patches of forest print
80 patches of off-white
320 patches of small floral
320 patches of red
320 patches of dark green print*
640 patches of beige paisley*
8 red strips for inner border

* These are just the squares -- 960 of them -- that still have to be cut into triangles!  What was I thinking??

 Should Have Known Better!

This was a HUGE mistake.  I should NEVER have cut the squares in the first place.  I should have cut the triangles directly from the strips -- I have Easy Angle and Flying Geese rulers that would have saved me hours of cutting time.

This is simply a matter of inexperience and maybe hubris.  I looked at the cutting diagram in Quilt-Pro and saw squares subdivided into triangles, so that's what I did.  And I should never have dived into a quilt for which I had no directions!

I'm really tempted to start over again on these two fabrics.  It would take just as much cutting as it would to use these squares, but it would be much easier.  Now I have either cut the squares one at a time or line 2-4 squares very carefully before cutting.   I could just pile these things into my stash; I'm sure I could use them within the next 30 or 40 years (potholders, anyone?).  Or maybe I could get rid of them at one of Bonnie Hunter's "Quiltsville Yard Sales".  (Check this out if you're looking for fun quilting stuff -- fabric, books, notions).

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