The monthly Schnibbles parade has been postponed. Unfortunately, Sinta is not feeling well and is trying to get over the flu. We will have the parade later this week...I'll keep you posted! Please read on for my second post in the American Patchwork & Quilting Quilt-Along.
Today I'd like to share some of the process I'm using as I stitch my "Tone it Down" blocks for the American Patchwork & Quilting Quilt Along (The quilt is designed by Lissa Alexander and appears in the most recent issue of of AP & Q. You can read my first Quilt-Along post detailing my fabric selection here). It was a happy day on Friday as my February issue arrived; the latest magazine is a terrific issue (as always), and if you're a subscriber yours should be arriving soon (if it hasn't already arrived). The magazine should also be available on newsstands beginning this week.
The first thing I like to do when starting a new project is to make a test block. This allows me to read through the block construction directions and get a sense of how the colors I've chosen will work together. Sometimes I'm not super happy with the test block and use it on the back along with my label or add it to my "orphan blocks" bin. (Someday I plan to make a scrappy sampler quilt or two or three with my left-over and practice blocks). I was pretty happy with my test block for this quilt, however, and I'll definitely be using it on the front of my quilt! Even though some of my background fabrics seemed like they might be a little "strong" I really think they are working out well and creating the low-volume look I'm going for.
After making a test block I like to see if I can do any "assembly-line" sewing or chain piecing to make the quilt construction go faster. Since all of my block centers use one fabric with a variety of low-volume backgrounds it was super fast to stitch up all of the block centers. Half of my block centers will be red...
and the other half of my block centers will be orange. It didn't take long to put these together, and now I have a great start on the blocks.
Do you have favorite blocks...so far these are my two favorite block centers!
I also realized I could do a little more chain piecing to speed things up, so I sewed the already cut strip sets together. I have these sections arranged in pairs so I can keep the original groupings together as I planned. When I get some extra time this week I'll cut these strip sets into the required pattern sizes and again keep them in organized piles. After that I'll probably sew the blocks individually so I can make sure not too many pieces of the same background fabrics end up in each block. I didn't end up with enough background pieces to have every piece different, but I think it's going to be scrappy enough that it won't matter in the end.
I do have a few more strip sets to sew, and I have everything stored and organized for now in a plastic shoebox. This makes it easy to pull out and work on the quilt even when I just have short segments of time.
I hope some of my thoughts and ideas about the process I'm using for this quilt are a little bit helpful. I really love this project. It's just one of those projects that I know is going to be a favorite!
Thanks so much for stopping by!