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!!!