Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Follow My Quilt Part 1

Off topic but I wanted to do a quilting tutorial--

No joke at all when I say I have been thinking about this quilt for over a year.  It's been the longest sewing debate so far, but I LOVE this fabric and spent enough on it I wanted to be sure I'd L-O-V-E the final product.  

I started cutting today.  

I have had many ideas of what to do with this fabric, at first I was thinking modern and "wonky" but the fabric is so geometrical I felt like the idea would conflict itself.  Then I thought simple squares--I just did 4 of those--I needed something new and fun...back to the drawing board--then school started and it sat in the back burner for a while.  I decided to do zig-zag or chevron of some sort, but it seemed too "easy"...  Not that I wanted it to be hard or difficult I just wanted it to look hard but have a different dimension to it.

I found this: Easy herringbone tutorial

So I started drawing and this is what I came up with...

Yes my child helped me with this.  
My husband: "why do you waste your time drawing?"
**Skip this part if you don't want your head to hurt**
There is a lot of figuring to do.  What I decided was to make each finished strip 2" wide and 9" long.  So each has to be cut 2 1/2" and 9 1/2" to allow for my 1/4" seam allowance.  Each piece will be cut at a 60 degree angle (usually they are 45 in zig zag or chevron--I wanted something different).  So, if I cut the strips at 9 1/2" long at the angle they will be 8 1/2" long, so I have to allow for that in my finished quilt size figuring.  I picked 2 1/2" for my width for several reasons, 1 because I wanted the rows not to be too wide or too thin and it would get the best use of fabric (see below).  

So I get out my iron and ironing assistant "Mary Ellen's Best Press" and start ironing my 22 fat quarters and 5 1/2 yards of cream.
(See my fabric choices here)

It's time to start cutting.  So I first square up my fat quarters by lining my salvage up with a straight line on my mat (white edge on left is salvage).  Some of my fabrics are hard to do this with, like the one pictured, because I want my lines straight so I need to square these right so they are cut straight, some of my fabrics it doesn't matter if they are perfectly straight.  

So I cut each of the 3 sides (not the salvage, you'll see why in a minute) so they are straight.  

Now I will cut strips of my fabric the same way as my salvage--this is because the stretch of the fabric runs against the salvage so when my pieces are cut the stretch will be with the 2 1/2" sides this way I'll have less stretch to deal with.  So I'll cut 8-2 1/2" strips and then later will sew them together so I will have one long piece of each color. PS: If you don't have a rotary cutter--get one... 

This is why I did not trim the salvages--It is in my 1" of waste after I cut my strips.  

Repeat until all strips are cut.  

Now I just need to cut the cream (under the strips).  I'll need more than the colors--I have 21 colors and 8 strips of each.  Each strip is about 17 1/2" long so:
17.5x8=140" for each color stripe, I have 21 colors so 

140x21=2940" total.  YUCK!  
Now if I divide 2940 by 43 (width of my cream) that tells me I need to cut a total of 69 2 1/2" strips.  
That's 172.5" of strips or 14.375 feet or 4.8 yards.  So I have enough cream, some left over for mistakes and possibly a border...if needed.  

After I cut the cream I will sew each of the strips together using a 1/4" seam allowance. Including the cream.  I'll press these with the seams going one way then I will start cutting the 60 degree pieces.  I will tell you more about that in the next post--it will get confusing!

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