Thursday, December 10, 2009

Catalogue Quilt II: Mrs. Starbucks saves the day!

Meanwhile, back at the Catalogue Quilt....
I completed 32 blocks before running out of catalogue pages. That gave me 5 x 6 for the top and 2 extra to put on the back.....and a way out of including that one block that goes in the opposite direction!
In a burst of non-creativity, I decided that the sashing should match the diagonal strip in all the blocks (the consequences to be revealed later!).
Continuing in the brainless sewing mode, I put 5 blocks up on my design wall, and then 5 more below that. All I cared about was if there were two fabrics the same next to each other.

And, quite frankly, after awhile I cared less and less!
But the point is that all you really have to do is work out two rows at a time. When I got to the third row, all I looked at was the second one. Etc. etc. etc.!

I took the blocks off the design wall in pairs, and sewed them along a strip of fabric...usually in the same order I intended.
It's better to sew with the narrower fabric on top (not always possible) and anything with bias on the bottom, so here is how I sewed the sashing to the blocks:

It's one of those "duh!" moments when you realize yes! you can add new pieces by putting them under the strip on top!

This gives you a nice chain of blocks. It's better to press the sashing strip away from the blocks (or open or however you like your seams) and then trim the blocks apart. It keeps them squared.
I know, it looks like you can just cut the sashing even with the edge of the block right after you sew it, but it never comes out right. I bet we have all made that mistake with Log Cabin blocks sometime!

I decided to put the sashing on the right side of the block, which means the last one in the row (left to right) does not get a sash. Yes, you may add the sash on the left and not do the first block in the row!

Here's the first row all sashed and that last block in the second row just hanging around waiting while the others are at the machine being sewn onto a strip.
For this quilt, nothing really mattered much....but on others, this can be a real life saver. Well, until the block falls on the floor, but I have finally learned where to look for anything that goes missing.
After I had two rows done, I went ahead and did the horizontal sashing:

Pretty nice, but after I had four rows together, suddenly it struck me: I was going to run out of purple fabric!
Well, there was none at the store where I thought I had bought it. And nothing I liked to take its place.
I usually don't worry about running out of fabric. Once I get over the shock, I replace it with something and the quilt often benefits from that slight variation. Sometimes it turns out to be a BIG change and that's good, too!. But I was already past the point of changing colors or values.
The next day I was headed down state to visit with Mrs. Starbucks. You already know what happened when we went to her local quilt shop! But also while there, I looked for purple fabric, and actually found one I liked.
Mrs. Starbucks liked it, too, but when she saw my swatch (I can hardly believe I remembered to bring it along!) she said she thought she might have that fabric at home.
And she did!
And she gave it to me, even though it turned out it was a Moda Marble, not the cheapy fabric I thought!
What do you think?

I like the one I found at the quilt shop (on the left), but Mrs. Starbucks" fabric is the better one!
So I was happy to be able to finish the quilt, even though at this point it seems really dark to me.

If I were doing it with my own fabrics, it would have been much brighter, but you may recall these were strips donated to my quilt guild in a big batch of assorted stuff.
This will make a nice quilt to give away, maybe even for the Wounded Warriors project, which we'll be doing next year.
Here are Cherry-Cherry & Rita holding up the top:

Another quilt top done...thanks to Mrs. Starbucks!


Cindi said...

Great Quilt - love your color choices. You picked the right sashing color. It really enhances the quilt!

Pat said...

What did you do to get the nice, big, readable type?