Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mini, inverse Garden Fence

Wow - I can't tell you how much I appreciate all the positive feedback on the original quilt for Aileen!  Thank you all for making me feel so good - I now understand why people take the time to blog!

I'm a pretty frugal person, and I love the challenge of using scraps from one quilt to make another one - especially because, in this case, the other quilt ended up pretty large, I just adore these fabrics, and I am not ready to be done with them!  I also thought Anne would enjoy having a smaller version to throw over Aileen in the stroller or car seat.  So as I was working on the big quilt, I had lots of strangely sized scraps that I cut into 1" width strips that I could use to make a half-scale, inverse of the original. 

So, I cut 16 (actually 18, because I can't count) 2.5" squares of the white-on-white and then surrounded each square with my 1" strips of the prints cut to either 2.5" or 3.5" lengths.  I ended up with a 3.5" block.  I then cut print pieces that were 1" x 1.5" and sewed them between strips of white that were 1.5" x 2.75".  (I started trying to differentiate between the two sides and was sewing some of the print pieces to 1.5" x 1.75" pieces, but I decided I wanted the design freedom to have them all fit either side, and then I'd trim the extra white off as I pieced the blocks.  There was some level of planning involved at this point, in that I wanted the prints in the outer strip to match what was in each block, so I figured out how many sides featuring each print I'd need (since I'd been fairly random on the blocks, just trying to use up the smaller pieces as much as possible, the prints aren't distributed evenly (because I wanted to save the biggest pieces for the back of this quilt - I thought I had an uncut fat quarter left, but realized that I used most of it for the center square of the back of the other one - d'oh!)).

Then I went to work.  Because many of prints were used in small numbers and I was working from scraps (including extra pieces of the 1.5" white border from the back of the big quilt), the usual method of cutting all the pieces and then chain sewing the units worked well for each little set.  But, I had about 4 prints for which I was going to be using a longer piece, so I used a more efficient technique.  For example, the green with small multi-colored "lanterns" (as I dubbed them) would be 14 sides, or 21" of the print to be sandwiched, so I cut 2 2.75" x WOF strips of the white, cut them down to 22-ish", sewed them to either side of my green strip that was also about 22", pressed the seams open, and then subcut my units from there.  Much faster and more accurate, I think - especially because I could resquare them as I cut along the strip, which I found I needed to do several times.  Also, once I decide on layout, I'll be trimming everything to make sure it is all perfect, anyway, since I'm pretty hung up on precision, especially in a design like this.  I love "intentional wonky", but that's different!

So, here's where I need your help.  I'm very torn on the best layout.  The layout in the first picture was suggested by my lovely fiancee (because he was so helpful in the final layout of the other quilt), and I like that because you see a bit more of the pattern.  But with that pattern, it is slightly more difficult to decide on sashing placement - thus I played with scraps below to try to figure out what would look best.

Then, I decided to try my original idea of switching the sides (below), so that in each block, all of the verticals are one print while all the horizontals are the other print.  And then I thought I would alternate the blocks.  I was then thinking about trying to do a double layer of sashing with the floral print on the white background between the pink and green print.  The downside of that design is that you lose the linking that comes from those little bits of print moving out from the central block.  I should have laid that out, too, but I didn't want to cut that fabric down if I wasn't going to use it.

Anyway, I'd love your opinion and feedback on either of the above choices or on a different way entirely. Another thought is to use the final concept but make it only 3 blocks square, instead of 4, and end up with two tops.  I'd be slightly afraid to try to use them as a front and back, since the chances of me aligning them perfectly seems slim, but I could try.  Or, I could back the second one with one of the fun batiks that I've found to match the colors.  Hmmm...maybe even have a quilt to sell to cover the costs of all the fabric I've been buying for charity quilts of late...that's another idea!

I'll set this aside until sometime this weekend (though it kills me because I want to get it done!), but I'd really like your feedback.

In the meanwhile, I've had an order placed by said lovely fiancee for an eye mask.  I've been wearing ones that I've gotten from airlines for a few years, which is pretty ridiculous since I can sew!  He tried mine the other day and saw the beauty of it (plus, I've never made the black-out curtains that I promised to make back in April, so this will be a good short term solution until I'm ready to tackle that task...after I finish cleaning up/organizing the Woman-cave (aka studio)!).  I'll try to actually take some pictures and write my first tutorial as I go, since I'd guess that these could make fun Christmas presents.  I mean, really...the gift of good sleep is priceless!  And hopefully by this time next week I'll have another completed quilt to show off, and my design wall can once again be covered in a storm-at-sea quilt that I desperately need to finish!


  1. Wow! First, I have to say that I really like the inverse of the pattern! If it were mine, I would do all the horizontals one color and all the verticals another color. I think you'll get a really interesting flow throughout the quilt. Your eye will be carried across or up and down the quilt by the continuity of color. If you don't want to do that, I would make it scrappy. Cut up your sashing strips into random lengths and sew them together to make the sashing. You could even do that if you stick with one color one way and another the other way. Whatever you do it'll be great! Can't wait to see it!

  2. Elle - You are an amazing quilter and one of the most generous people I know! Aileen and I are lucky girls!

  3. I'm all about using the scraps. It's super cute! Sleep on it. Whatever you choose will be cute- there's no wrong answer. :)

  4. for me, the sashing confuses the "connectivity" of the "inverse pattern". I would leave the sashing out entirely. maybe some kind of fun scrappy border to use up extra scraps?

    I second "the Thompsons"...whatever you choose will be perfect! :)


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