Monday, July 25, 2011

Who wants to make a quilt with me?

I ran across a quilt-along of sorts last week. It's called the Summer Beginning Quilting Series over at Suzy's Artsy Craftsy Sitcom, and it's free to follow along. I really like the finished product (which is rare for me for a quilt-along), so I decided to join in.

As you might have guessed, I'll be using my vintage sheet materials. In fact, since I already have scraps cut to 2-1/2" strips, a lot of the work was done for me. It was almost like having my own "jelly roll."

She has great instructions, but I thought I'd address a few questions.

What if I want to pick my own fabrics?

If you're not using a jelly roll and want to go out and buy fabric for this project, you'll need 1/4 yard of 10 different fabrics. You don't want fat quarters, since they aren't 44/45" wide. She recommends that you stick to two color families, ranging your prints from lights to darks.

Once you get those fabrics home, you'll want to straighten the grain and then cut two 2-1/2" x 44" strips from each fabric. When you're done, you will have made your own jelly roll of sorts.

Is the kit a good value?

Of course, I did the math and discovered that the kit she's offering through Discount Sewing Supply is actually a good price, based on regular per-yard prices at my local Hancocks. (I didn't figure in shipping.) It's all a matter of whether you like those fabrics or not. I did notice that the shop offers to work with you on a customized fabric selection.

What is the hardest part of this first step of the project?

Precision is essential in cutting and sewing this pattern. If you vary much at all, you may discover that your "squares" are wonky. Here's an example:

I'm chalking it up to a cutting error, since I was very careful with my sewing. Vintage fabrics aren't as stiff as the yardage you buy in the fabric store (since they've been washed a few times), and mine must have shifted a little during cutting.

Is there any way to correct wonky squares?

If yours ends up like mine did, never fear. Your finished quilt will be smaller, but you can salvage your hard work by squaring them up. Now before I show you how I did this, let me inform you that I have no idea how everyone else does this. This is just what makes sense to me - and works for me.

First of all, I lined up one of the edges so that it was straight on my cutting mat grid at the bottom. Then I determined how much I was going to have to trim off the edges to make them straight.

I trimmed it first on the right side, then on the left side, being very careful about my measurements:

Then I flipped it so that my newly-straightened edges were on the top and bottom. Again, I straightened first the right edge:

And then the left edge:

I ended up having to trim my blocks to 4-3/4" square, so my quilt will be quite a bit smaller than the original. That's okay, though, since I might be able to make up for it by adding in extra sashing. If not, that's okay, too.

Can I do this using the QAYG method?

I'm not sure yet, since there is only one part of the tutorial up right now. Part two will address piecing the top, and that will be the telling part. I'll be analyzing the method of construction to see if I can turn it into a quilt-as-you-go project, and I'll be sure to let you know if/when I figure it out.

So, have I piqued your interest yet?? Is anyone interested in joining me? I'd love to see your progress, if you do. (I'm sure she'd love for you to post a link to your progress at her blog, too.) I'll be posting my results from Part Two next Monday, so stay tuned!

I'm linking to ...


Pamela said...

Love the blues and yellows of this quilt. I have a hard time getting pieces cut out. I'm thinking that a precut one is what I need.

jemilyea said...

Hmmm, I'll have to think about this QAL. I have an unused 20-piece jellyroll from Tuesday Morning, although I had a quilt pattern in mind already. I think this one would sew up faster though.

Christa said...

I'm sure I don't want to know how I missed jelly rolls at Tuesday Morning, but humor me if you don't mind. How much were they? :)

And yes, this does sew up quickly!

Suzy Myers said...

Hi Christa,

Thanks so much for posting this! You supply a bunch of helpful information! And I would love to post yours and any other finished quilts that come from this project! Just send the photos my way when the project is complete! Lesson two posted this morning.


Kathy, Jeff's Wife said...

Love your *usual* beautiful fiber art!

You are one productive girl!!!