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Definitive Decisions

There are a lot of decisions involved in constructing a quilt from start to finish. A few of those decisions involve pattern choice, fabric choice, efficient ways to construct the top, quilting designs, and thread choice. There are a couple of quilts on my to-do list for which I have begun to make those important decisions.

One quilt is from a pattern called Swoon Sixteen by Camille Roskelly. It features sixteen 16” blocks in a unique star design in a finished quilt that measures 74” x 74”. Since I would rather have a bed-size quilt instead of a square one I decided to add an extra row of star blocks resulting in a quilt that measures 74” x 90”. In doing so then I needed to refigure the fabric requirements - 20 fat quarters instead of 16 as well as extra yardage for the sashing and background.

I was first introduced to this pattern by Sherri McConnell and Chelsi Stratton on their A Quilting Life podcast. As a result I thought it would be fun to use fabric from one of the lines that they have designed for Moda. I found a Sincerely Yours fat quarter bundle online that included 30 different fabrics in purples, pinks, corals, reds, and low volumes that would be just right for this project. I also needed sashing and background fabric so I checked the leftover fat quarters to see if any of those fabrics might be possibilities. In that way they would coordinate with the fabrics in the blocks. Sure enough - there was a floral with a few tiny flowers on a pink background that would work perfectly for the sashing as well as an ivory with ivory dots that would make the perfect background. I was able to find yardage of both of those fabrics online from the Fat Quarter Shop and Hancock’s of Paducah.

I cut all of the pieces from the fat quarters one afternoon while I was in Omaha at my parent’s house. I brought my Mom’s iron and ironing board upstairs to the kitchen and used her counter - as well as my cutting mat and rotary cutter - to quickly cut out the fabric while I was visiting with my dad. I then sorted the fabrics into the 20 blocks with three fabrics needed for each. I put each block’s fabrics into a baggie so that I can just grab one and sew away when I’m ready. I also ran across a YouTube video filmed by the pattern designer so I plan to view that before I begin sewing. Hopefully that will eliminate any trial and error - mostly error!! - that I might have when I start to sew.

Another quilt is a kit that I purchased from the daily Stash & Save emails that I receive from Connecting Threads. Depending on the day I can purchase a precut, notion, or a quilt kit at a greatly reduced price. The kits sell out especially fast so I was excited to get this one as I thought it would work nicely for a donation to our quilt guild’s charity project. When I received the kit in the mail I noticed that it was titled “Almost” so I decided to make it for Lindsay instead as that is most fitting for her. And not to worry about a donation for the quilt guild’s charity. I have another one in mind for that.

This pattern features six different dark solid fabrics that are mostly cut into 2” strips - 98 to be exact. I also cut the black fabric into eighteen 3 1/2” strips as well as eight 2 1/2” strips for the binding. My strip cutter ruler made quick work of this step.

The next step was to sew seven 2” and 3 1/2”strips together into 14 strip sets. I deliberately took care when sewing these strips together so that I alternated the direction I was sewing. What a difference that made when it came to pressing as my strips were so much more even. Then I cut the strip sets into 270 2” strips. Once again the strip cutter template made quick work of this.

As I have been working on the blocks for this quilt I have been thinking about the quilting design and thread color. The first decision for the quilting design is custom or all-over. Since this is a quilt that Lindsay and Dustin will use I think an all-over is the best choice. So which one of my all-over designs will work best? It should be one with a lot of curves to offset all of the squares in the pattern. It could also be on the busier side to provide some interest with all of the 1 1/2” blocks. The pantograph I have called Bossa Nova fits all of those parameters.

The next decision is thread choice. Hot pink would be a fun choice. Bright blue would be a more classy choice. So the question is - fun or classy? I recently stitched a customer quilt with bright blue on black fabric that turned out really great so I’m leaning toward that color. I think I’ll reserve judgment on that decision until the quilt top is made.

Stay tuned to see how these two projects come together. There will surely be more decisions that need to be made.

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