Thursday, January 12, 2012

ABC of Quilting Post # 10

Today's topic is

Jigsaw : Planning your quilt

And we have another guest today... Jacquie Gering from Tallgrass Prairie Studio. She is an amazing quilter, with a book ready to go onto the shelves... Her projects are large and precise. One look and you know they have been made by an expert... :)

So here's about planning your quilt from the expert herself...

Jacquie Gering

So you want to make a quilt. Congratulations! You have a few decisions to make before you begin.

What size quilt do I need? Of course that depends how you plan to use your quilt. You can make a quilt any size you like. Even a small 24" x 24 " quilt can be a snuggly stroller blanket for a baby. Quilts about 60" by 70" are a perfect size for snuggling alone or even with a friend. It's beneficial to know some general information about mattress and standard quilt sizes so you can plan your quilt. The following chart gives standard mattress and quilt sizes. These can be adjusted depending on your personal preferences.

If you're making a quilt from a pattern, the pattern will specify the quilt size(s) that is available in the pattern. Look for patterns that include a variety of quilt sizes. What if the available size isn't the size quilt you need? There are a few simple ways to adapt a quilt pattern to a new size. If the pattern is a set of the same or
similar blocks that repeat across the quilt, you may simply need to add or take away blocks to change the size of a quilt. Be sure to purchase additional fabrics if you plan to make more blocks. With some quilts you may also be able to add or remove borders to change the size of a quilt.

Borders are not difficult to add to a quilt. It is important to measure for borders rather than sewing on strips and cutting off the excess at the ends. This is a recipe for wavy borders that won't lay flat when you quilt your quilt.

Measure your quilt through the middle horizontally. Cut and if necessary, piece two strips to this length and sew them to the top and bottom of the quilt, matching the center of the quilt top with the center of the border strip and the ends of the border strip to the edges of the quilt top.

Measure again through the center of the quilt vertically including the top and bottom borders. Cut or if necessary, piece two additional strips using this measurement. Sew these strips to the sides of the quilt again matching the center of the quilt side to the center of the border strip and the ends of the border
strip to the edges of the quilt top.

Creamsicle whirlygiggles are repeating blocks.  I added borders to make this quilt larger, but I also could have added more of the whirlygiggle blocks.

Multiple borders can be added by repeating the process. Borders can be added to the sides first by reversing the measuring process. You can even add borders to just the top and one side of a quilt if that's your preference.

Perhaps you've found a block that you love and you want to use that block to design your own quilt. You've chosen your fabrics and even made your blocks. Now what? It's time to choose a setting for your blocks. The setting you choose can change the look of your quilt dramatically. The simplest setting for a quilt is a
straight set. Blocks are placed side by side in rows and columns like the squares in a checkerboard.

Grouping a cluster of blocks in the center of a quilt creates a medallion-based design. The center cluster of blocks is the focal point of the quilt and is surrounded by background fabric or multiple borders.

The He's a Star quilt is an example of using a few blocks to create a center medallion and then adding borders. 

What if you make a stack of blocks and they are all different sizes? No problem. Each block can be sashed and trimmed to the same size so they can be sewn together in a straight set.

Sashing are strips of fabric that are used to separate quilt blocks. To sash an individual quilt block sew a strip of fabric to each side of a quilt block. Sew strips to the top and bottom first and then to each side. This frames each block and helps it to stand on its own.

Sashing adds another design element to your quilt. To sash blocks that are the same size, add short sashing strips to the bottoms of the blocks in rows 1, 2 3 and 4. Sew those blocks together to create 4 columns. Then sew long sashing strips between each column of blocks.

The Scrappy Cabins quilt is an example of using sashing to make blocks of all different sizes fit together in the straight set.  

The Pocket Change quilt uses vertical strips of sashing between the rows of coins.  

The Seeing Stars quilt has traditional vertical and horizontal sashing to separate the star blocks.

Quilts can be made in countless ways and you are only limited by the scope of your imagination.

The Connections quilt is an example of going your own way....making blocks and then fitting in background fabric to make them all fit together.  I call this paneling.


That was a beautiful post, Jacquie! Thank you for all that information...

1 comment :

  1. Hi! Shruti

    Loving ur posts -ABC's of quilting ...all the info ...all the online places to buy stuff... great. All this while I used to wonder what a Fat Quarter is!!!. Thanks again.


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