How many 9 patch strip sets can one girl do in an HOUR?! THIS MANY!
You all motivate me so much, you really do!
Last night around 9pm I turned the Quilt Cam on while RE-DOING my 9 patch strip sets to see just what I could do in one hour.
227 of you showed up to cheer me on!
I’m working from an image in my memory because the photo of this quilt was lost in the damage of my laptop ----and I’m searching my memory to try to remember how these blocks were shaded. At first I thought they were the traditional 9 patch with darks in the corners, but that leaves way too much light showing when the blocks are joined and I don’t THINK it was that way in the antique top I fell in love with at the Vermont Quilt Festival.
That should teach me – next time….just BUY THE DANG TOP!
I was then left to wonder if each 9 patch block was made with 2 fabrics, both of them colors ((no neutrals)) and well, that’s just a lot more work because I have to actually PLAN for those to have enough fabric for each block. I don’t want to think that hard.
So I set last night determined to do this with completely scrappy 9 patches, leaving the neutrals out for how they are joined!
As I’m sewing I’m trying to think of ways to explain how I choose what --- I peeked at the comments from last night’s Quilt Cam hour, and it was Colorado Lady’s comment that made me think of going a bit further into detail. She said:
Bonnie....I think I see part of my problem....I am trying to match fabrics and never pick and sew...that might help with more progress!
When I’m going “scrappy everything” All I’m going for is variety, and that means I go for variety not only in color, but in the scale of what I’m putting next to what so that things catch my eye as “more interesting” rather than “more boring.”
I took some photos of some strip sets as I was ironing to show you what I mean.
We’ll start with the most ordinary one.
This is my least favorite of what came out of my machine last night. WHY? It isn’t because of the colors. It’s that the scale of the pattern on each strip of fabric is nearly the same. It will cut up okay, and I’ll have it scattered throughout, but to me it’s boring.
Let’s look at another:
The plaids are separated by a print. This strip set makes me smile because that is my grandpa’s shirt at the top, next to my shirt in the center ((From my 1990s line dancing days!)) and of course the orange at the bottom is a different scale than the other plaid, and well – it’s ORANGE!
This one is good too.
I’m not saying the print has to always go in the center, there are many that don’t have prints at all – but prints do add a lot of interest. What I’m talking about here is the scale of the pattern on each fabric. The larger plaid at the top is going to break up the monotony of the tiny “expected” look of small plaids. So in my strip sets I am trying to not only have the color combos interesting and unpredictable, I want the scale of the design in each fabric to vary.
And this is where things get fast and fun!
I do love my Accuquilt Studio for cutting strips. I pretty much use it ONLY for strips, but oh the strips I can power through! And then after sewing strip sets, I can lay them cross-wise on my die tray and cross cut them into three-sies! If you look carefully you will see I’ve drawn perpendicular lines across the die foam as a placement guide. This helps me to NOT cut parallelograms!
Load it up, put the plastic sheet on top and crank it through!
Here I’m sorted in to two main piles. The upper left has squares with seams pressed to the center square. The lower left corner has seams pressed out toward the corners away from the center square. That small pile? Those are 2” squares that were left over trimmings from short ends that are ready to be sewn back into three-sies.
As I’m joining sections I’m looking for the same kind of thing…I want variety in color and variety in the scale of what goes next to what. I want each square in the 9 patch to stand out against its neighbors. This becomes a bit more picky-choosey as I decide which three-sie goes next to what!
plaids in different scales, stripes going every which way, prints and polka dots!
Yep! This is what I’m shooting for!
I’ve got a few “to-do’s” on my plate today including a much needed massage this afternoon!
And I had the weirdest dream last night --- all about how I mistakenly brushed my teeth with the water in Bali and got sick. OH! NO! That is my one big fear! I’m praying it’s just a nervous dream with my brain working on things while I sleep. I had no problems in Mexico or the Caribbean. I had people emailing yesterday to avoid salads, avoid fresh fruit unless it has been peeled. Do not drink anything with ice in it because the ice could be made with tap water. OY!!! This could be interesting!