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!
Sorry to hear that Sinta's not well hope she'll be better soon!
Your block is so sweet love how the red and navy pop!
Wish you a happy first advent, Hildy
Omg those blocks are just gorgeous,love all the bright colours .x
Jackie at Adirondack Urban says
I enjoyed reading about your process and your test blocks. That red plaid block center caught my eye right away! I love the vintage feel of that one.
Tanya Quilts in CO says
You are so inspiring! When my magazine came the other day, I checked out all the participants' blogs and I loved your fabric choices the best. I can't wait to see it come together.
Hope Sinta feels much better soon…I'll send her a note.
Thanks so much for explaining your process…very organized and methodical. LOVE IT!
Such pretty blocks!! I love the oranges one so much!! Isn't it fun when the process can be streamlined!
Tracey Holzer says
This quilt a long is SO NICE! I can only imagine what the parade will be like at the end! Best wishes to Sinta!
I LOVE your fabric selections Sherri — this is going to be such a cute quilt!
Helen L says
Thanks so much for the ideas on speeding up the process! I have a box full of so many of American Jane fabrics (I've been collecting it for about 8 years now!!) and I'm dying to hop on this project! I love what you're doing: thanks for the inspiration!! Hugs, H in Healdsburg
Your quilt is looking great.
Vicki P. says
You are adorable and I love reading your blog and quilting ideas. Thank you for sharing and I'm out looking for that magazine, tooooo cute!!!!
Sinta Renee says
I am in love with the idea of holiday fabric. This pattern looks great in every group I have seen!