I guess it’s not called frogging when you quilt, huh?

Just a short post today, because I have a 25-page paper due tomorrow.

So you know how you get into a rhythm of something, and it starts to feel almost automatic? I was in that state earlier when I was working on a set of blocks for my Simple Math quilt. Then I looked down at what I was working on.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Let me help:

Do you see it now?

I wasn’t paying close enough attention, and sewed both color strips in place of just one of them. So I got to make friends with my seam ripper. I think we’re both the better for it. I’ve ripped out a couple of other blocks since then, to make them line up square in the center. It may not look that bad, but I would much rather re-do it now than look at the quilt months from now and see only the mistakes I didn’t fix.

And of course, my mother (for whom I’m making this quilt) decided a few days ago that, really, they don’t have any twin beds that need quilts. But there is the double bed in the guestroom…

So I got to do all the math to size up the Simple Math quilt not just to twin size, but again up to full, and to find the fabric I needed to make the extra blocks I hadn’t counted on at first. My scanner is being stubborn this morning, so I’ll scan in my drawings later this week.

Quilt along and scrap challenge

What’s this?

It looks an awful lot like I’m participating in this:

Scrap Attack Quilt-Along

When I first saw this Scrap Attack Quilt-Along I thought there was no way I’d have enough scraps to do anything with. But minis/baby quiltes are okay, so I’m going to go for it. I’m using scraps from the Nine Patch Lattice Quilt a couple of solids and neutrals from a scrap pack I bought from FabricWorm and a little bit of blue leftover from the solid colored blocks I’m adding to the Simple Math quilt.

I’m not really planning this out in advance, other than basing it around nine patch squares. This is a bit odd for me: usually I want to know everything about a pattern well before I start, and exactly how things go together. It turns out it’s kind of nice to just throw a few pieces of fabric together, add something else to the edges and see how it works. I’m figuring on doing four blocks and (if I have enough scraps of it) using the navy cotton as sashing. Backing I’ll figure out later — all you have to have finished is the quilt top, not the quilting, backing and binding.

I’m just hoping I can get it all done by the deadline for Scrap Attack: next Monday! Eeeek!

Simple Math

Of course, now that I’ve gotten to the point where I could, theoretically, bind and quilt the Nine-Patch quilt, my safety pins haven’t arrived in the mail. And I’ve seen tutorials for using a spray-on-adhesive, but I haven’t really got anywhere outdoors to spray it (or any adhesive). I suppose I could always baste the layers together by hand, but I really hate basting by hand.

That delay clearly just means it’s time to start cutting for another quilt, right?

Cut fabric for Simple Math

And maybe piecing a couple of blocks together.

Pieced squares for Simple Math

And then pressing and trimming some of the pieced blocks.

Smallest two sets of pieced and pressed blocks for Simple Math
Fattest cross blocks for Simple Math

And, well, I’ve now made 60% of the blocks I’ll need for a slightly altered (to Twin size) Simple Math quilt.

Thirty two blocks for Simple Math in four colors

I love the way the crosses vary from narrower to fatter, but it’s been making some of the blocks a little bit challenging.

The larger two, with crosses that are 2″ and 1 1/2″ inches wide, are no problem. The smaller two, with crosses that are 1 1/4″ and 1″ wide, pieced into a block 6″ square — well, in that case, you need your seams to be kind of exact — and not all of mine are. There exists the chance that I’ll have to rip a couple of them out and re-do them later, to make them come out quite right — or give them sliiiiightly wider sashing to make a row go together properly. I’ll see when I have more of the blocks done: I did a much better job with the fifth and sixth pairs of narrow crosses than I had with the first four of them.

Nine-Patch Lattice Quilt

This is the Nine-Patch Lattice Quilt from Oh, Fransson!, Elizabeth Hartman’s quilting blog. I stumbled across her tutorial on how to make crazy nine-patch blocks a year or so ago and thought it was genius. So when I got the urge to try my hand at quilting something that actually had a pattern, I thought of the tutorial, visited her blog, and found the Nine-Patch quilt. The practice blocks I did were mock-ups for this project.

I didn’t end up going for crazy blocks, because I preferred the lattice effect of symmetrical squares. I strip-pieced the blocks, which made everything much faster and easier, and aside from learning that I can’t sew a scant 1/4″ seam without a guide of some kind (and even then, I sometimes manage to sew a slightly wider seam, just enough to throw things of a teeny bit overall), it went very smoothly.

I used nine fat quarters I’d picked up at a Joann Fabrics to use together. Originally I was going to use the green sheet I used in the test pillow squares as sashing, but something about it didn’t quite look right to me. So when I went down to Brooklyn General to pick up a 6×24″ quilting ruler, I brought along one of the squares, and laid it against some of the fabrics they had there. This is Kona Cotton in Navy (if I recall the color correctly: a dark blue, in any case) and I really like the way it sets off the greens.

One of my favorite things about this pattern is the back:

The little squares remind me of stained glass windows, glowing in the darker wall of blue fabric.