Friday, July 05, 2013

unit blocks--planned randomness


In making a scrap quilt, there is planning done at the beginning, then messing with that plan and adding other rules as I go along.
When cutting down of scraps, one size I cut is 1 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches and finish 1 by 2 inches. This is the proportion of the unit blocks used in preschools.
Tonya Ricucci has a wonderful quilt "Ellis Island" using lots of odd prints. I loved the look of her quilt and used that as inspiration for this one. I stayed with her 1 1/2 inch width, but kept my length at 2 1/2 inches to use up some of the many, many pieces in my bins.
This quilt took 1920 of those patches-- 240 are red solids.
Each 4 inch block uses 8 of the unit patches.
I wanted the block to be not quite symmetrical visually, so I chose a setting (top) that had the red center off center.
After making a few blocks, I realized that in a layout the reds would spin in a predictable way (which I did not want) so I made a second block (bottom) where the center is in a different configuration. The red solid was always kept to the interior of the block.
Then, I made the 240 blocks.
I pieced the blocks into pairs first, with every other block set at a quarter turn.
This made for fewer seams to match.
I put them together in various configurations of the two blocks, making the red rectangles very random in their orientation.
Then, the pairs were pieced into quads, 8s, 16s, and 32s.
I added the piano key border (1 1 /2 by 4 1/2. also out of bins) when the top was still at the 32 block stage. I find this makes less distortion with piano keys. Also, I did not press the piano keys until they were sewed to the blocks--this way I could stay stitch the edges of the keys in the directions that made them nest into the blocks.
 After the keys were attached to the blocks and stay stitched, I pressed them and put them back on the board.
By working in sections, I had just one long seam at the end.
The fabric choices--I kept out most reds from the scraps--there are a few--because I wanted the solid reds to shine. The scraps are prints and plaids (lots of shirt parts), lights and mediums and darks.  I made sure each block had some of each.
This is my design. Let me know if you use this idea and where it takes you!


56" by 88"
Top completed July 4, 2013








10 comments:

Tonya Ricucci said...

love love love love it, Lynn. I can see the inspiration and yet this is all yours. wonderful.

Carol said...

This just blows my socks off! Absolutely stunning. So glad you shared this process. It's one that will stay with me a long time and hopefully will become a project of my own. Enjoy your blog immensely.

Jan said...

Love this! The continuity of red really keeps the eye roaming.

Jan D said...

Wow! Great quilt!

Quilts And Pieces said...

Oh this is wonderful! I've been looking for a great scrap quilt pattern. I think this might be it!

Synthia said...

Your "plan" for this scrappy quilt is terrific. Beautiful result. I also loved your idea of stay-stitching the edges to hold the seam allowances in the correct direction. You do such interesting projects and I love your blog.

Quilts And Pieces said...

Ok you so inspired me! I got a solid today to start!

Connie Pierzinski said...

You have inspired me to make this quilt for my grandson's future graduation. I absolutely love how your quilt turned out!!!! Gorgeous. If I would like to get in on a fabric swap, how does that work and how do you get started? Thanks again for sharing your wonderful work of Art!

Connie Pierzinski said...

Thank you so much for sharing your work of art! Your quilt is absolutely This i s an inspiration for future a Quilt for my grandson's graduation. I am also wondering how to go about a fabric scrap swap. How do you get one started? How does it work? Thanks again for the inspiration.

Ruth said...

Your quilt just sparkles! It must be because you only used the one red throughout. I love scrap quilts and your tutorial will really help me with mine. Particularly color placement. Thank you for the tutorial.