Friday, March 27, 2015

For Greta, From Jenny Doan

My newest granddaughter, Greta, was born last May, but I'd already started working on her quilt.

I love the Missouri Star Quilt Company's tutorials with Jenny Doan, and when she came up with the Disappearing Pinwheel, I knew that was the one.  But instead of the muted color palette that she used, I decided to use primary colors.  Babies like bright colors, and since my son and daughter-in-law had decided not to find out whether they were having a boy or a girl, the quilt had to be gender-neutral.  As luck would have it, the Disappearing Pinwheel was featured in one of the first editions of MSQC's Block magazine.

I started with one layer cake of bright colors and yardage in white that I cut into 10" squares. 

Complete instructions for the Disappearing Pinwheel blocks can be found at the MSQC website, on YouTube, and in Block magazine.

For each pinwheel, stitch one white and one colored square together around the outside edges.  Cut each stitched pair from corner to corner and press open.

 Sew the resulting half-square triangles together to make a pinwheel.  (No apologies here for switching from block to block for the photos.  The fabrics were just plain fun!).

Now, just like we did for the Disappearing Nine-Patch, square up the pinwheel blocks and the cut them into thirds in both directions.

Square up and determine the measurement  for the 1/3 divisions.

Arrange the resulting pieces as desired.  Jenny gave directions for both Churn Dash and Monkey Wrench blocks.  I fiddled around to make another one, too.  Ultimately, I preferred the Monkey Wrench.

Churn Dash.  I just didn't like this for a baby's quilt.
Monkey Wrench.   The shape reminds me of a toddler's crayons, flat on the sides.

Just seeing what else could be made.  Meh.
After the blocks were finished, I put them on my current "design wall" -- the bedroom curtains.  I had trouble figuring out the color placement, so I took black-and-white photos so I could focus on the values.  Many quilting websites sell "rose-colored" glasses that help you see value.  But all you really need to do is take black-and-white photos with your phone, tablet or digital camera.

These look a little wonky.  That's just because I was running out of pins.

Black and white photos are a great way to focus on the color value.

What I really noticed was that I didn't much like was the blocks touching each other (the way Jenny did it).  I cut some test sashing strips, and liked that much better.

I found some really cute flannel for the backing at JoAnn's. 

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