This quilt is the result of free shipping. No really, free shipping. Here’s how it happened – I wanted to order a fat quarter bundle from Craftsy.com. It was on sale, everything was great and I was nearly ready to check out. Low and behold – shipping was $9 unless I added $10 to my order to get free shipping. How could I possibly not trade shipping costs for fabric? I love Oriental fabrics, but rarely buy them or use them. As much as I love them, I never know what to do with them. I figured it couldn’t hurt to have a few in charm size so I spent my $10 on these two Charm packs from Robert Kaufmann.
They showed up. As expected, I loved them but had no clue what to do with them. I sat them to the side and just let it brew a bit. Then came Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilt’s pattern, Modern Charm. When I saw her pattern, I instantly saw Asian and knew exactly what to do with my charm packs. I knew Modern Charm wasn’t perfect for what I wanted to accomplish and I wouldn’t be able to follow it step for step. It was close enough though that I went ahead and bought it for the basic layout, measurements, and to support a darn fine independent community designer.
My first big change was extending the size of the quilt. I wanted a full size bed quilt rather than the throw size. On paper, I added a seventh row and borders to extend the finished size to 72” x 90”.
<Here’s the part where I wanted to post a picture of my doodle with a bazillion cross outs, start overs, and some crazy math. I can’t find that piece of paper! I’m leaving this note here to myself. Should I come across it, the image will go right here.>
I tinkered around with Lorna’s cover image in photoshop to get a feel of what it would look like if I left the black connecting lines out completely.
I felt like the quilt was really missing something and lost some of its interest without those leading horizontal lines, so I put them back, but only one or two per row.
Woot! Now I had- a plan, some fabric, and time. Remember recently when I told you that a design wall is a must have? Here’s one of those times that it really saved me. I started by putting 7 rows of 7 squares on the wall. Then I just swapped them around in a real visceral “Price is Right” type of way. Move a bunch, step back, take a picture, squint at them and move them again. I left them on the wall for a day or two and moved them when something a bit wonky caught my attention – sometimes from two rooms away! Eventually I had a distribution I was happy with and felt like was well balanced and gave each fabric a chance to really shine.
Because I’m indecisive until I’m not, I took another few days looking at them in their “groups” by putting the black sashing between the ones that would touch each other then moved them some more!
I can’t wait to show you where this quilt is going. You’re not going to believe this, but I decided this was a good time to learn mitered corners. Every single corner, all 168 of them, is mitered and I’m officially pretty good at it! I’ve seen lots of tutorials, crazy math, and different ways of handling miters. As usual, I went for a simpler “just do it” approach. It isn’t one size fits all, but I bet some of you will like it. Look forward to the tutorial next week.
So tell me, how long do you spend on these distribution type problems? Are you a grab bagger or do you fret over it like me?
Big Thank yous to Lorna for her permission to use images of her quilt pattern. Be sure to stop by her blog and see the actual quilt, I love the spiral quilting.