Sep 23, 2010

I thought this would be a simple quilt...

I wanted to make a quilt. I wanted it to be quick and easy. I wanted it to be flannel, front & back with batting. I had these flannels in my stash from a Black Friday sale at JoAnn's years ago:

They're very juvenile but go together perfectly.

I saw a free pattern on the internet but I discarded it as it was made for a larger number of fabrics than four and I wanted to use just these and not buy more. I decided I wanted a "simple" rail fence quilt with large blocks for less piecing.

Here are the blocks spaced 4 inches apart with a 12 inch border 

This looked huge and the scale wasn't right.

I then spaced the rails 3 inches apart with a 9 inch border and some white fabric to block it down to 9 inches

This looks more balanced to me and the blocks are only slightly smaller. I also searched Google for images of rail fence quilts and decided it needed a small inner border to contain it.

I have at least 3 yards of each fabric so I started designing big making it 8 X 8 array of blocks in Inkscape. I liked the look of it and figured the size to be 96 inches square. Then I got out the book Machine Quilting in Sections by Marti Michell to start planning how to tackle this quilt to quilt it in sections. She has lots of great examples with flannel quilts. I looked in the appendix to compare the size of the quilt I designed with bed sizes and realized I designed a quilt big enough to cover a king size bed when all I wanted was about twin size for in front of the TV! So it was back to the drawing board, Inkscape, to trim it down a lot! I let my desire to use up fabric overrule the size I wanted.

Here's what my finished quilt should look like with the red border standing in for the print:

So now it's 5 X 7 blocks and more appropriately sized, after making several revisions. I then wrote up what I needed to cut and sew. This took me all afternoon and evening on Tuesday. I also had a massive sinus headache that slowed  me down a bit.

I didn't think it would take so much planning to design a "simple" quilt. I believed I could just jump right into it and have the strips cut Tuesday night and have it ready to quilt by the weekend. Is it just me? I don't like not having a plan and a picture of the end product before starting any project. I have graph paper in square and hexagon grids so I can plan the outcome and then I have to color it in or I use the computer. I think that is why just grabbing strips and sewing them together doesn't appeal to me very much. All this figuring out and planning is fun and not fun at the same time. I do like the planning but at the same time I want to go straight to the fabric.

I have cut into this particular fabric already. I've made up 2 sections of it and I'm ready to finish the rest of the center and get batting for it. I really shouldn't have done this quilt when I have a few on the side but it's for a good reason, really it is, and the other projects just weren't calling to me. My hexies are turning into flowers whenever I have to sit and wait somewhere. I really need to cut more.

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