Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Turning Squares Quilt

Here's my next project! I'm seriously on a bit of a crafting binge. So this is another Moda Bake Shop pattern which features a quilt from Kitchen Table Quilting, but I've made it much much smaller than the original pattern, because it's for baby Button! 

Here is my inspiration. Turning Squares Quilt

Gorgeous isn't it? I love the colours of it as well, but since this is for a baby boy, I wanted something a little less girly and pink. So I chose the Giraffe Crossing line by Riley Blake Designs.

It's hard to see the patterns, but there are giraffes, and it is adorable.

It's not specifically boy fabric, but I like that. I'd rather have it somewhat neutral anyway. I originally planned on having 3x4 squares for the quilt rather than the 6x6 squares of the original, and as usual I miscalculated the amount of fabric I'd need. For some reason I find this really difficult. Ask me to calculate a drug dosage and I'll give it to you in 15 seconds, but after an hour of trying to work out how many strips of each thing I needed, I got it all wrong.

So anyway, you basically need 3, 2.5x12.5 inch strips and 6, 2.5x6.5 inch strips for each square. This is a great jelly-roll project, as seriously cutting is so tedious without a rotary cutter! Also I feel like I'm more likely to have things straight and in line if they're precut in some way. Plus I'm a bit lazy. Hah!

In the tutorial, she has you just making a bunch of squares, however I know that if I just made the squares I'd end up with all the light coloured bits on one side and it wouldn't look random enough. So I chose to lay out the strips. I also drew a sketch of how I wanted the turning squares bits to look, as I was making it so much smaller so wanted it to still look okay since it wouldn't be able to be quite as symmetrical as the original.

As I was laying it out, I realised that, once again, my plans were a bit too big for purpose, so I decided to do a 3x3 square quilt instead, which is a bit more portable and can be used as the cradle quilt and a pram quilt. Plus now I have oodles of fabric left over and can make lots of other things with this adorable fabric!

I'll spare you the details of the actual sewing bit, as I basically did as Erica described in the tutorial. I did struggle to line up the seams, as usual, but I managed to muster the patience to unpick a few bits and lined nearly all of the seams up pretty well. I imagine this would be easier if I had a rotary cutter and mat and could trim the pieces to exact squares, as at the moment I'm really just eyeballing if things are square.

Now here's where I went off on my own for a bit. My backing fabric was from the same line, the lightest of the stripey fabric, but I wanted to do something a little more exciting with it than just slap it on the back. Partly this is because it was just after lunch and I still needed some way to occupy myself for the rest of today, and partly because I like how the last quilt had the patchwork detail, and I felt this one needed something interesting on the back as well.

After a few sketches of various ways to treat the striped fabric, I came up with a sort of play on the turning squares, and made kind of turning triangles for the back.

For this I needed 4 squares of the fabric, each measuring half the dimensions of the quilt top. I measured the quilt top at 36.5" (93cm) square exactly, so I halved it and then added some extra to make sure I had some leeway to line things up if the sewing wasn't exact. So I cut out 4, 50cm squares of my backing fabric. I then pinned it all together to keep it stable, and folded it in half into a triangle and ironed it to have a line to cut on. Sorry I didn't take pictures of any of this process, but basically it's as easy as it sounds.

Once I cut the triangles, I again laid it all out onto my table, played around with it a bit to see if there were any better ways to do it, and then started sewing!

Somehow I managed to match the corner seems up perfectly on the first try. This nearly never happens with me, so I was quite excited about it, and I think the back looks pretty neat!

Tomorrow, it's on to fixing the batting and starting to quilt it together! I'm thinking at this point I might try a new quilting pattern. I'm thinking doing either one big spiral around the quilt to contrast with all the straight lines or doing random wavy lines out from the centre. My only issue with this is trying to make sure I have the centre of the top and bottom lined up exactly, but I have a plan to accomplish this. More on this tomorrow! :)

In other, non-crafty related news, I had a midwife appointment today, and all is proceeding as planned. Button's head is engaged, and he's getting ready for his big entrance! Ahh!

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