Monday, 28 October 2013

Mrs P's makes a Quilt Top!

I'm still trying to compose the blog on different computers and thus be able to post more effectively. So far, it's far from perfect- but it's an adventure !

I'll start today's blog, but it will take awhile to tell the tale. 

It began with the seemingly simple question- how big is a jelly roll? 

I can answer that- it is 40 strips of fabric cut across the fabric widths.  Usually, it's a complete collection of fabric with one or two extras ( that blend or play well with all the others) tied up looking like an old fashioned jelly roll cake.  They are very intriguing because you see a bit of all the colours & you can start imagining how they'd look in a quilt.  

I was captivated by Grant Park ( Minick & Simpson ) by Moda.  A 'simple' colour scheme of blue, red and white/beiges.  I have toyed with a jelly roll in the past- I used it to provide 2 &1/2 inch squares for making quilt blocks but this time, I wanted to see how big a quilt a jelly roll would make but I wanted more than just strips...

I toyed with the idea of a jelly roll 'race' quilt.  In this, the strips are sewn together (diagonally) end to end and then sewing that long, long strip together lengthwise.  You keep sewing the long sides together until you get to the width you are looking for.  It's makes an interesting quilt, but I wanted to make blocks....

I found on YouTube, a tutorial by the Missouri Quilt Company,  "The Coin Quilt with a Little Pizzazz."  This involved sewing 4 strips together, cutting those into rectangles instead of squares and add a colour to the sides of the rectangle to give the 'pizzazz'.  I think I can do this!

Armed with a jelly roll, I looked for colour to add my pizzazz...probably white or off white was my thought...turned out- it was harder than I thought. 

Taking a deep breath, I took the wrap off 'my' jelly roll.  Wow- it's always so awesome.  I picked 4 colours I liked together.  Sewed 2 stripes together for their almost 45 inches length- then sewed the other 2 and sewed those sets of 2 together.  Did I mention the pressing...or the empty bobbin half way down one of those lengths?  After a bit, I had a piece of striped fabric about 45 inches long and 8 & 1/2 high. 
Inspired by these, I went for another set of 4. That night, I had 4 sets of these made.

Before I cut these long stripes into to 5&1/2 inches wide rectangles, I laid them out on my possible 'pizzazz' colour and found out....white is too white, the off white didn't add much and so on.  Finally, I kept coming back to 'Apple Picking Time' by Benartex. 

Below is the strip set cut into its rectangles...

Now to add, the 'pizzazz', a 2 inch strip of that fabric is cut ( I used the width of fabric).  Instead of cutting the Apple Picking Time into correct size strips, the rectangles were chain pieced ( sewed onto the strip of fabric one after the other) onto it and cut apart after. The length allowed for 5 blocks on one side.  

Then another long strip was added to the other side of the blocks, sewed and then these were separated giving a finished block.

Above shows the extra fabric sewed to each long edge of the block. 

The reveal of the 'pizzazz' !

On average, each original 4-strip set gave 7 blocks and there was 10 4-strip sets, so a total of 70 blocks was possible.  I got less....remember measure twice, cut once!  

Next was the lay out...


By turning each block, the illusion of a border was created around each rectangle, adding more 'pizzazz.' 

I'm amazed at how quickly I made the blocks and the fact I made all the blocks.  It was quick, easy and interesting to make the blocks.  

The rows across are sewn together  then the rows are to be sewn together making the quilt top.  

I laid these out on a double bed until 'my eye 'was happy.  As, I sewed the rows, I realised there are 2 the same in some areas but if I switched them around, I didn't like the whole as well.  Sometimes, it was right but it looked better rotated around.  

I also planned to add a 5 inch blue, it's massive and maybe not a beginner project! 
I decreased the size to 5 blocks across and 7 blocks down surrounded by a border of 1/2 inch red and another 5 inch blue.  It's a much more manageable size- like a twin size or a perfect 'couch napper' size!

I started this top last Monday and this Monday, I have it finished!  For a non-quilter, this is an amazing feat!  This week, I'll need to pick the type of batting and a backing...although, I probably have enough blocks to make the back too!  Then comes the quandary ... hand or machine quilting...

I'll post a good picture of the finished top tomorrow, if it doesn't rain! 

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