Friday, May 04, 2018

Resurrecting an old project

Back in 2014, which was the last time I did a substantial amount of quilting, I led a swap of X and plus blocks. This tutorial was very popular back in the day. I actually made a baby quilt using the tutorial in 2011 but I had always wanted to make a larger one. I diligently made all of my swap blocks and sent them off to new homes. I even cut out all of the pieces for my quilt but did not get around to assembling them completely. After my sewing room revamp, I rediscovered some of these old WIPs and got inspired to finish them up.

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Thanks to chain-piecing and having a nicely organized space, the blocks went together fairly quickly. I took the time to square up all of the block components before assembling them. It was tedious but a good use of time as my earlier piecing efforts were not super accurate. Then I had the issue of integrating my swap blocks. I realized 4 years too late that this block was not a good choice for a swap due to the many small pieces. I actually threw away about a third of the blocks I had been sent because they were either too small to use or once square they were off more than 1/4" on one or more sides and just wouldn't fit with my blocks in a quilt.

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I ended up with 49 usable blocks so I stitched them into a square. As a general rule I don't like square quilts so I added borders to make it a nice rectangular lap size. I kept one cross with all the same flea market fancy print to make a focal point, but interestingly the fabric from my three blocks is significantly lighter than the one from a swap block, so they don't quite match.

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I'm hoping to finish this quilt up and not let it sit forever so I've designed a back and hope to get it pieced soon. Here's a glimpse of how I plan out my designs with all of the math. I plan to use a solid red for the plus and 4 different black and white prints for the 4 corners. I did not include an "x" on the back because I like to try to eliminate as many seams as I can to facilitate the quilting.

I have several new projects I'd like to start but one of my goals this year is to try to get as many of these old WIPs finished as possible to give myself a clean(er) slate.

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