Friday, April 10, 2015

Building Blocks

I've designed another quilt, inspired by a guild nametag that a blogger somewhere out there made.  I've drawn out an entire quilt and I've been doing the calculations for fabric, as it might just become another pattern in my as-yet-unborn pattern collection.  Now I'm cutting the components that make up the blocks and strips for this quilt.  It is going to be an interesting method of construction...but I'm getting way ahead of myself!

When I was cutting the fabric this morning, it struck me that I automatically do this little trick I learned while watching one of Alex Anderson's "Simply Quilts" shows that used to be on HGTV.  The guest, whose name I cannot recall, showed how she, in my own coined phrase, "cuts backwards".  I have found that this results in a "more square" square or rectangle.  Here is the tip!

For example, this morning I was cutting 3 7/8" squares from a WOF strip.  Instead of cutting each 3 7/8" square individually, I cut a rectangle from the strip that was 3 7/8" X2, so 7 3/4". Note that the strip is a double layer of fabric.

From here I backed my ruler up (cutting backwards, get it?), put the 3 7/8" mark where you see the 7 3/4" measurement in the above photo, and cut across.  Yield: (4) perfect 3 7/8" squares.
For some reason, this keeps my edges more square, probably because I am using a longer length as one of the guidelines.

You can do more than just double the measurement of your squares.  For example, if I have a bunch of 3.5" squares, which I do have in this particular quilt, I will cut perhaps a 14" section out of my WOF strip, and then back the ruler up to the 10.5" mark; cut.  Without moving the strip, back the ruler up again to the 7" mark; cut.  Back the ruler up one last time, again with moving the strip, this time to the 3.5" mark; cut.  Yield: 8 very square 3.5" squares!  Tip inside a tip: place that line of each measurement as you are backing up your ruler, exactly on the cut edge.  Otherwise you will find that you do not have 3.5" (or whatever your squares are) left to cut your last square.

Here are the components so far of this newest quilt:
A few Moda fabrics here...yep, I think I've often waxed poetic about my love for Moda fabrics over the last what, decade(?), and it continues...I've always loved the Moda Marbles and own/owned several pieces, and I now love the new-to-me Marble Swirls.  The purchase of the Moda Marble Ombre Dots was a bit of an accident; the darkest part of the fabric was showing on the bolt and when she unwound it to cut some for me, surprise!  Even in this 6.5" square you can see the colour shading change.  Coolio!

I know...there's looking to be a lot of white (Kona Snow, love it) in this quilt; however, there are 3 more coloured "sections" of fabrics I have not yet cut.  Exciting!  Still, there will be a nice, make that fabulous amount of negative space for quilting!

I also made two more placemats which may grow up to become a bag of sorts, since pink does not really have a place in my dining ambiance, but I want to be able to experiment with triangles in Angela's Dot to Dot Quilting class.  There was a LOT of math figuring in this:  one placemat required 4 different sizes of 60 degree triangles!  In case you're wondering: 2 sizes of full triangles, and 2 sizes of the half-triangles needed at the ends of each row.
Reversed the colour placements in each.  Kind of cool, the effect, no?
Here are the two styles side by side.

When I showed my grandson the other night, he said, "I like the green one; it looks like a Minecraft face."  Who knew.  He loves quilts, so I always like to show him what I'm working on.  Again, the difference in colour between the first, outside on the lanai, photo, and the second, inside my sewing room, amazes me.  The bottom looks like blues here, but it's really blueish-greens. The lanai pic is the true colour of the pinks.

Woo hoo, I'm doing a happy dance because of TWO more, three if you count the 2 placemat designs, of my own, original designs!  I'm linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict  and Pink Doxies, buttons on sidebar.


  1. Love those triangle place mats!! And the fabrics for your new quilt are very yummy :) 'Cutting backwards' makes sense - definitely going to have to try that. . . if I ever finish quilting what I'm quilting and get back to piecing again :)

  2. Your "dining ambiance" LOL - I love the phrases you turn Sandra!
    Your placemats are so cool - and the perfect thing for you to take to Angela's class! The designs you came up with are great!
    Neato, I do that cutting backwards thing too. I didn't know it was backwards. It definitely helps to speed up the process, as well as making squares more accurate.

  3. Your cutting method is so interesting. I will have to try it. :) And I look forward to seeing more of all of these projects. Maybe once you get it quilted, it won't seem like a face looking at you on your table. Lol.

  4. Those look great, I love the design.

  5. Love all those colours, great job!


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