When I looked at the calendar today, I couldn't believe that we're past the midpoint of February and quickly heading towards the end of the month! I've been feeling so productive lately but I still have a lot of things to finish up before the end of the month! Guess I had better pick up the pace and turn off the Olympics for a few days. Bummer.
Last week's assignment for the second quilt in our Scrap-A-Palooza series was to finish cutting up the squares, determine a size and lay the quilt out on the design wall.
This week we will start sewing and hopefully get this quilt top finished up.
As I said last week, this quilt starts with a pieced center. A rectangle like the one shown below will give you a rectangular quilt. If you start with a square, your finished piece will also be square.
To start sewing the top, you begin by piecing up the center. For my quilt, I went with a 2 by 5 block center.
The next step is to cut the sashing strips. To determine the proper width for your sashing, take the cut size of your squares, subtract 1/2" (seam allowance), then divide by 2. You will then need to add back in the 1/2" seam allowance.
For my quilt with 4.5" squares, my sashing is 2.5" wide.
I have learned from experience that it is a good idea to cut your sashing to length. While it might seem like you can just sew the strips to the pieced center and trim, I find you get better results taking the time and cutting the strips. As I am working with 4.5" squares, I know my finished size is 4". So this means for the first ripple, my vertical strips are 20.5" (Remember you need to add in that seam allowance.) You can also use your cutting mat or a tape measure if you prefer that over the math.
Sew these strips onto the sides of your pieced center. I pressed toward the sashing so I didn't have to press against all those seams.
The next step is to cut and sew the top and bottom sashings. As the width of the sashing is half of a square, the two sashings sewn to the center will equal the width of one of your square.
For my quilt, I need a length of 12.5". (or the equivalent of 3 squares)
The next step is to piece the squares for another "ripple". For the sides, you will add one more square than the center. If you cut your sashing width correctly, these will fit perfectly onto the sides.
Note: I do take the time to add a couple of pins before I sew.
For the top and bottom, you will piece enough squares to fit across the top. To get this number, add 3 blocks to the number of blocks you used in your center.
Once again, I pressed my seams toward the sashing.
Continue in this same method with enough "ripples" to get the size quilt you want. I used my ironing board to pin the sashing strips to ensure they kept the quilt squared up.
After you sew the sides, continue by sewing the sashings to the top and bottom.
Before you know it, you will have a quilt top finished! You can end your quilt with a pieced row or a sashing.
I ran out of the cream muslin at this point so mine is ending with prints around the edge.
That is usually how I roll!
While I don't often heavily piece a backing, I decided to use up more of these fabrics for the back.
Happily, all of these fabrics came from my stash.
In fact, as I cut the squares for the above top, I went ahead and trimmed up the scraps into 2.5" squares. From them, I was also able to sew up this fun baby quilt using the same method.
In part three of each quilt, I always like to share some quilting ideas. Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts, recently wrote a great tutorial on a spiral or oval quilting motif. This would work perfectly on this quilt and can be done with a walking foot.
If you are wanting to try a little FMQing, a simple swirl would also work great. Remember when swirling, the direction you start your "swirl" in is the direction you will be moving along on your quilt. Keeping this in mind will help insure you don't quilt yourself into a corner.
Here's an overview of the important stuff to do before the next step!
- Sew your pieced center
- Cut and sew your sashing to the center
- Continue adding "ripples" of pieced blocks and sashing until you reach the desired size of your quilt
- Remember to pin each ripple to keep the quilt squared up.
- Finish up the top and determine a backing!
I am still seeing some finishes on Scrap-A-Palooza Quilt #1. I will share some photos soon so you can see what others are doing. If you are joining in, I would love to feature your quilt so be sure and contact me soon.
See you next week with my finished quilts!
I will be sharing this with the following linky parties. Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation and Really Random Thursday at Live A Colorful Life, Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, and WIP Wednesday with Freshly Pieced. Be sure and check out these blogs for even more quilty inspiration.