Oh no!!!

Don’t you hate it when you only need inches of fabric, but all you have are slivers?

Let me tell you how I ended up there……

At our last guild retreat, my friend Linda made amazing blocks for a Quilt of Valor project…..

After making 5 of these intricate blocks, she decided that she would turn them over to the local QOV committee here and let them plan a quilt around them. I asked if I could take them instead!!

My original plan was to line them up along one side of the quilt, but first to border them with gold fabric to make them shine.

I pulled out one piece of fabric and roughly calculated that there was enough to add a 1-inch border around all of the blocks.

I added the borders to the top and bottom of each block and then pieced the remaining fabric together and started cutting the right and left borders. That is when it happened…..

I needed ONE more strip the size of the ones at the top, but I couldn’t quite get it!!!

AND, all I had left was this small pile…..

While I stood there, chastising myself for not calculating more accurately in the first place, I started wondering what would happen if I made it more scrappy in nature.

So, I pulled out my 1.5-inch scrap bag and found several gold fabrics that would work equally as well!!

In a short time, I had the blocks bordered and on the design wall…..

…and I really like the scrappy values!!

Now it was time to figure out the quilt design. Normally I would pull out a scrap of paper and doodle my design, but today I had the idea to use a whiteboard and it worked SO well.

I was pretty sure that I wanted to surround the blocks with strips of red, white, and blue fabric. The first design used 2-inch strips, meaning that there would be SIX strips per block. I was afraid that it would be too fussy…..

Next, I planned with 3-inch strips, so only 4 per block…..

….but that might be too plain!!

So, how about if I split the difference and make most of them 3-inch but add some 1-inch white accents along the way…..


Come back tomorrow for the finish!!

From 5-inch to four patch

I have been talking this week about a Quilt of Valor that I was making using a panel and lots of 5-inch squares that were given to me by my Guild Charity Bee.

I knew that leaving the squares at 5 inches was way too big so I came up with a method for turning those 5-inch squares into a four -patch and then those four-patches into a checkerboard. Check the video out here……

Note to self…..PLAN the quilt before you start!!!

As I finally had some time in my studio, I really wanted to work on something that was simple piecing and didn’t require much thinking….boy did I miss that mark!!!!

Our guild has been working with the “Quilts of Valor” program that gives quilts to returned servicemen and women and it had long been on mind to make one.   On a recent fabric buying trip with friends, I had purchased 1.5 yards of a nice red patriotic fabric and figured that this is where I would start. 

Many QOV quilts are being made with the “Disappearing Four Patch” block so I thought that would be a good way to go.   The block is made in three steps.  First a four patch block is made…..

Then it is sliced into 9 pieces…..

 A few of those patches are flipped and it is re-sewn…..

Now this block is nice enough, but I found it very hard to put into a pleasing arrangement.   I started by adding some white blocks…..

…..but it seemed pretty boring.  so I decided to add a star block in the middle…..

AND, about this time, I started running out of the red fabric that I had bought so had to start improvising on that as well.   The next step was to add some yellow and red blocks…..

When I started laying the quilt out, I realized the real problem with these blocks is that they have a definite diagonal feel to them that makes it hard to put into a pleasing arrangement.  I tried a few other options…..

….but just didn’t like how it looked.

Also, I was trying hard to keep the quilt from being square by adding more and more rows to the top and bottom.   Finally, I started laying the blocks out so that the red fabrics came together and formed a secondary square and decided that it looked ok.   Then, as I was continuing to make blocks to add more rows, I decided that it would just be square and I would be thru with it!!!!……

It is not my favorite quilt, but it meets the size requirements and I hope that the recipient will know that it was made with gratitude for the sacrifices that they gave so that I can be free!!!!

But next time, I will do more planning first!!!