Friday, December 8, 2017

New Quilt Project

I'm running probably 2-3 weeks late, but I finally got serious about the second quilt.  This one is going to be for my son.  Fortunately, he will be more understanding if the quilt is not actually delivered on time.  There is a very small chance I will have the top layer completed by Xmas, but then it takes 2-3 weeks for the long-arm quilting to be completed (and maybe even longer, given that many people are trying to complete quilts by the holidays).  But even a January delivery will be fine with him.

I decided that I wanted to do a Trip Around the World quilt.  Inspired by this post, I had a fairly good idea of how to proceed.  However, a different post warned me that if you have directional fabric, then you end up ripping and resewing a lot of squares (as they end up at a 90 degree angle when you sew the strips lengthwise and then rotate).  So I will just cut out that fabric into squares.  While it does mean extra sewing and some extra cutting, I will have to do far less ripping in the second stage of quilt construction.

I went through the fabrics I had available and decided on these 10.  I've cut out the strips, but still need to turn the directional fabrics (4 of them!) into individual squares.  Also, I have not cut out any of the border material (which will be a bit more autumnal, not quite as Christmas-y), but obviously I need to see how big the final quilt size ends up before I cut out any borders.*

Then I used a photo editor to simulate what a Trip Around the World would look like.  This is very raw, but still gives a decent sense of how it should turn out.  (If there isn't actually an app that does this, there should be, and I may work with my son to rig something up.)

The important thing is that there do appear to be enough offsetting light and dark fabrics.  I have a slight preference for putting the yellow deer on blue fabric in the center of the quilt, so I think I will organize it that way.  I am leaning towards swapping the penguin and the blue mitten/hat fabric, though that might entail slightly more work in the short-term, but I think the contrast would be better.  Perhaps I will mock that up tonight just to be sure.

While I am always excited when these projects come together, there is definitely a sense of "what I am I getting myself into?" that sets in a few weeks into a project.  However, I was able to keep pushing through with the previous one and that turned out well.

Edit (12/9): I've put together one more version of what this quilt might look like, and I think I will go with this pattern.

Also, as I was laying out the strips, it actually looks like the strips are not rotated 90 degrees, so that I could just cut them all at once.  Given some of the issues with getting different fabrics to line up (the red dog fabric doesn't even seem to be 40 inches wide), I think I will just line up 3 at a time to sew together length-wise and then do the stub cuts.  This will mean a bit more cutting, but more control.  And definitely less ripping out of any stitching.  My goal is to actually get a few of these strips sewn together this weekend just to see how it goes.

* It looks like these quilts are usually made with 17 strips across and 21 down.  That works out to 357 squares, which is a bit of a waste, since 10 fabrics leaves you with 400 squares.  I'm fairly likely to extend it lengthwise, and 17 x 23 is 391 squares.  Depending on how it looks, I might actually attempt 19 x 23.  This takes 437 squares, generally 4 squares more of each fabric.  I've checked, and I have enough left over of all of the fabrics, though in some cases just barely.  Anyway, I'll lay it out as 17 x 23 first before extending it.

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