What is that song from "Porgy and Bess"? "Summertime, and the living is easy. Fish are jumping and the cotton is high." Or something like that. That says it all. It is summertime here for me. Which means, late nights, daytime naps and summer league volleyball. It also means that I am usually in the studio sewing up a storm and making new quilts. Well, not yet this summer. I have been out of school two weeks and haven't accomplished a whole heck of a lot. I did start a new quilt based on a quilt posted my first day of summer, June 4th, at the Patchwork Times' design wall Monday. You can go see it here. I had seen a couple of other quilts posted from time to time that were similar, but when I saw this one, I knew I needed to make it. I also knew what strips I was going to use in this quilt. I had purchased one of those Moda bags of end scraps. I love those. When I get one home, I open it up and start trimming the strips to the largest size each strip will trim to. For example, this bag had some strips that I could only trim to 1 1/2" and others to 3". Ideally you would want them all to trim to 2 1/2" so you can have a "jelly roll". Some bags have fabrics that will almost all trim to 2 1/2" strips, but others don't. This one had mostly 2" trimmed strips, but I don't really need to have a jelly roll when I am making projects so I am pleased with whatever size they come out to be. This set had been sitting around just waiting for a project for almost a year (or more - time flies when you are having fun). So, now to start my first quilt project of the summer.
I sewed all my strips, longsides together. Then, I cut them into the right width. Of course, I didn't completely read through all the directions - who actually does that? - and cut my finished strips to only 3" wide. (the blog says 3 1/2"). Oh, well, nobody has to know that, right? It's my quilt and I will make it work. I then added two white strips (cut 1" X WOF) to both sides of the strip. Once I had that done, I then cut as many lengths (10 1/2" ) that I could get out of what I had. I was able to get 42 strip sets so then I knew I would either make this quilt top 6 X 7 or just 6 X 6. (six blocks by seven blocks, etc.)
Since my finished strips are 1/2" narrower than the original pattern, I had to figure out how much to cut off the ends to get those perfect points. I know, totally confusing with out pictures so let me send you to this website to see what all she has done on this pattern. After reading that, come back here and I will tell you what I did about the triangle cutting thingy since I didn't read through the directions. I will wait . . . . .
Okay, are you back? Did you see how she made the pointy thing on the ends? To get the exact measurement for your triangle all you have to do is divide the width of your strip in half, (mine was only 4" wide) make a square of tape that size, (mine was 2") and then cut in half diagonally, attach one cut side to the longside of your ruler. Do you want me to tell you how I know it has to be to the longside of your ruler? Just trust me. You can't cut your blocks if you square up your tape square with your ruler. You need that longside of the triangle (I know it has a name, but I didn't ever take geometry and therefore don't know the correct terminology to call it so I will call it the longside or even the bottom? no, that is too confusing - longside it is) ANYWAY - tape the longside of the square half to the edge of your ruler.
OKAY - I know that last section is totally confusing. Here is a picture of my ruler. I took painters tape and layered it so it would be wide enough to make a square 1/2 the width of my finished strips. Then I cut it diagonally. I actually have two pieces I could use, but I only need one. I peel it up from my cutting mat, flip it over and lay my ruler over the top very carefully - okay, it's painters tape so I don't have to be really careful. If I mess up, it will simply peel off and I can re-tape it again, and again. Once that edge is lined up, you can start cutting the ends of your strips. I cut them one at a time since I was afraid the strip would move on me. If you are feeling brave - go ahead and cut two or three at a time. I was not brave about it. I cut all 42 - one at a time - X 4 cuts - that is - a lot of cuts - no, not really, LOL - I will do the math - that is 168 cuts and this is only the middle of the block!! Whew.
Next comes the outside edges of the block. On Cathy's quilt, she used a variety of prints and I absolutely love the look. However, I couldn't decide if I wanted to do that or not, so I just selected one solid Kona that I had laying around and started cutting. Now, since I made my centers smaller - I had to figure out what size to cut my squares. I started out with 5 1/2", but that was way too big and I didn't have that much fabric. I ended up using a 5" square, cut on the diagonal and then trimmed the finished block to 7". Wow. That is a lot of instructions with very little pictures. When I find my camera - I will have to add more pictures to this posting. For now, I will just save it to draft. As you can see, I finally found my camera and it made it's way up the stairs to the computer. I am not finished with this quilt. It still has three more borders to be added before I can call it finished.