I love making quilts for people and have attempted, somewhat successfully, to give quilts to my close friend's children on their birthday. With one such first birthday coming up in October, I recently set about piecing a quilt. What makes this quilt especially important is that the baby's mother is one of my closet friend's who lost a baby girl late in her pregnancy the year before. Often it is only through tragedy that we can appreciate the gifts we have.
As most good project do, this one started off with the purchasing of a couple of cute Hubba Hubba charm packs during a Hobby Sew pre-cuts sale. I love the bold colours that still have a girly feel, perfect for a quilt intended to follow a child through to the teenage years. Having spent a lot of my quilting time on appliqué designs I was keen to try a more complicated pieced quilt and eventually settled on this one from the Moda Bake Shop, but half the size. I don't even know the name of this block, but I should end up with a roughly 40" x 50" quilt. Seemed easy enough; charm squares paired with some cute spotted fabric to tone down the sometimes extremely bright prints. I generally really enjoy the cutting out stage of making a quilt. I love cracking out the graph paper and working out how many metres of fabric I need to get the bits I want. In this case however; I think I underestimated the time it would take to do the blocks properly. They are small, cute and a little fiddly.
My workroom can often be a busy space. Between my dog and children there is almost constant interruptions and distractions. Given that I didn't have much fabric to spare with this quilt I was keen to avoid mistakes at any cost and to find an efficient way to work through the various steps. The quilt is made from 80 charm squares which are initially sewn to 80 5"squares of spotty fabric. I thus decided to do each step 80 (and ultimately 320, but 80 sounds better) times.
The first stage was easy, sew the 5" squares together all around the edge then cut twice through the diagonal. Great. I then pressed these now triangles into squares. Not too bad. Then it got tough. I now had 320 squares that needed to be trimmed to 3". Ouch. No kidding, I think I aggravated an old wrist injury from holding the ruler still. Lucky I started the project so early as I am not progressing anywhere near as fast as anticipated. I've just had to do a little bit here and there when I've had time so as not to ruin my body in the process. It's done now though and I'm almost half way through sewing two quarters together to form two halves. The rest of the quilt should come together a lot quicker, right??
Here is the lowdown on this little girl's quilt.
- 2 x Hubba Hubba charm packs (80 squares used)
- 1 x 1/2 yard of four different spotty fabrics = 2 yards (I'm going to use the leftovers for binding). Cut these into 20 x 5" squares per fabric.
- Sew charm pack pieces to spotty pieces with a 1/4" seem all around the edge.
- Cut the sewn squares in half diagonally, twice.
- Press these now triangles into smaller squares.
- Trim the now 320 squares to 3" making sure the seem is centred diagonally.
- Sew into cute blocks pressing seems all the same way to make a pinwheel in the middle (this will be explained further in the next post).
I'm impatient to get through to the quilting stage of this project cause I have some grad plans to use my circular rulers along with some FMQ to create something pretty on top. But tell me, what are your tips for getting through the tedious trimming stage? I honestly think I would have died had I decided to do the quilt bigger.