The Sunset of My Sunshine! Front Assembly, Quilting, & Binding!

Happy Sunday Fellow Quilters!

My most sincere apologies for not posting consistently for the last couple of weeks.  The job that pays the bills has been completely insane so needless to say quilting and blogging had to sit dormant for a couple of weeks.  But…I am back now and ready to wrap up this quilt!  How did block arranging go for you?  I’ve only made a couple of modifications since my last post, but that’s just because I missed some pretty obvious stuff.

Ready, Set, Let’s GO!

The easiest way I found to put this quilt together was to pin a bunch of the blocks then sew them in chain fashion.  Here is a photo of how they take shape.  The important thing to remember is when you sew them together to keep them in the right order…or refer to your photo when done.  Or perhaps you like puzzles and this could be a fun little add in to your day. Open-mouthed smile 

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Once you have all of top half pieces completed you will want to match them to their bottom counter part.  Why not stitch all of the rows together and just have 8 long strips? If you feel comfortable doing it that way I say ‘Go For It!’.  I, however, need to make sure that I am matching my center diamonds and seams on a more frequent basis.  Think about it this way. If you mess up matching a center diamond in the middle of a long row you have to take out an entire long row.  If you mess up matching on a 4 patch block you only have to take out two block’s worth of seams.  Here is what the final 4 patch will look like.

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Now that you have all of your 4-patch blocks matched up to perfection we can start to put multiples together.  I worked left to right and again pinned a bunch before I started.  One key tip here is to pin your seams. Yes, you can eyeball and match as you go, but by pinning you take all of the guess work out of it.  As the saying goes, “If you don’t pin now, be prepared to rip it later!” One trick to making sure your seams match is to pin directly through your previous stitching lines. If you match these up you are almost guaranteed a perfect seam match every time. Here are a couple of different methods I use.  IMG_1641IMG_1645

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I chose to stitch all of the rows together which made for smaller matching stitches overall in one sitting.  Look how cute this is! Did you notice the border? So observant! Here’s how I cut them out…

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Step 1: Clean up your edges.

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Step 2: Measure in 4 1/2” in and cut. Repeat through the end of the yardage.

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For your border you will want to cut out 4 –4 1/2” strips of fabric.  Note: If you are only making one quilt then you only need 1/2 of a yard.  But, since I used a full Jelly Roll and am making two full quilts so I need to cut out 8 strips and used a full yard of fabric.  Make sure you square off your edges. Why didn’t I measure and cut the border pieces?  Simply my friends, this is stress free quilting.  We will be sewing and trimming after the fact.  The up sides to this are a) no math and b) you get an accurate cut every time which leads to an overall polished looking quilt.

They key is to start with a little excess on each side. Stitch your 1/4” seams and then trim so the border is inline with the blocks.  I started with the top and bottom and then worked my way to the sides. 

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Once you have the two tops done you can trim those and move on to the sides.

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Here is the finished front, time for quilting & binding!

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As with most of my quilts I decided to stitch in the ditch around the 4 patch blocks.  I wanted to set off the diamonds and give some focus to the quilt.  For quilting and binding please check out my previous posts for the Paradigm Shift.

I have mentioned in the past that Baxter loves being under quilts.  Here is a fun video of him “having” to be under the quilt after I pinned for quilting and then while I was doing the binding. Crazy little dude.

He must always be in a blanket!

  Baxter

Are you ready?

Without further ado…here is the final quilt! I hope Jenny likes it!

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My Sunshine–Front Design–Stop Resisting and Start Creating.

I have spent the last week stitching, cutting, pressing and trimming dog ears.  Whew, this quilt has a lot of little blocks!  Are you guys as tired as I am? With that said, I decided that since my ultimate goal is a baby quilt that I have WAY too many squares for just one quilt.  I came to the conclusion that I will make one quilt for Jenny and then a second to put up for sale via my Etsy Shop.  Why not make one large quilt?  Well, you see I want this to be a quilt that can fit easily in a diaper bag and can be thrown down where ever and when ever needed.  The final dimensions of this quilt will be around 40” x 48”. 

Now, on to the front layout.  I am not going to lie, I’m struggling a little bit with this one.  You see I am one of those people with a type ‘A’ personality.  I like things with semblance, order, and most of all logic.  When I lay out these blocks I cannot find order and am having a hard time letting it go.  It is time to:

Stop resisting - start creating!  Btw: The workisnotajob. ladies just launched their new project supercraft to help you stay creative and make more!  Watch out for the launch of superwork too - COMING SOON!

Today I will ‘Stop Resisting & Start Creating’. Time to embrace the random!

Here is the initial setting of the blocks. I literally just placed them all up (no method in mind).  Can you feel how your eye is bouncing all over the place? Yeah, mine too.  At first I didn’t like it, but then I realized that it was the kaleidoscope affect at work.  I am going to embrace this new look and that the diamond center block pattern is the way to go. 

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I do think that it is worth mentioning that if you opted for the larger blocks, i.e. 5 strips per block then the kaleidoscope effect is minimized…Just something to keep in mind. Here is a photo of my Mom’s finished front. Same concept, but five per row cluster, not three.

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Now about arranging….Here is the game plan I used: (hey..I’m still type ‘A’)

I placed all of the blocks up and then moved them around to make sure no two like blocks are next to each other. After that was done I took a step back and let my eyes un-focus. Yes, un-focus. This way I could see any major color patterns. Mostly what I was looking for were clumps of the dark green or dark pink.  If any existed I rearranged a little.  Here are the final layouts of the two quilts. What do you think? (I think I’ve learned my lesson about taking photos at night. They just don’t turn out so good…noted.)

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Next week, let’s put these baby’s together! Get ready to pin & match points!

Have a great day tomorrow!

Crystal

My Sunshine Baby Quilt–Step 2 Small Block Assembly

Did everyone have a blast sewing together their strips and cutting out their blocks?  I know it went up fairly quickly for me.  I think you are all going to fall in love with today’s task.  We will have so many combination choices when we are done. How cute are these blocks?

My Sunshine Baby Quilt–Step 2 Small Block AssemblyMy Sunshine Baby Quilt–Step 2 Small Block AssemblyMy Sunshine Baby Quilt–Step 2 Small Block Assembly

How did I get here? C’mon I’m so excited to show you!

The first step is to lay out all of your blocks in pairs.  I was unable to sleep last night so I put this masterpiece together at 2am.  Looking at it the next morning I am still satisfied with my results.  I made sure that each pair of blocks did not have two of the same strip fabric. Meaning no pink on pink stripes with pink on pink stripes, for example.  I did mix like patterns together (there really isn’t any way around that)  That task is easier said than done, but I think It went alright.  (Look closely the horizontal stripes are behind.)

My Sunshine Baby Quilt–Step 2 Small Block Assembly

Next, we need to sew the block combinations together.  You will place the blocks right sides together with one being horizontal and one vertical.

My Sunshine Baby Quilt–Step 2 Small Block AssemblyMy Sunshine Baby Quilt–Step 2 Small Block Assembly

After you have placed the right sides together we need to sew around all four sides.  Your end result should look like this:

My Sunshine Baby Quilt–Step 2 Small Block Assembly

Notice that I DID NOT pivot on my squares. Instead I chose to chain stitch one side of all of the blocks, then go back and do the next side in a chain stitch as well.  Eventually you will have all four sides closed off.  Why did I choose not to pivot?  A couple of reason actually; first this is a much faster technique. Second, I didn’t have to worry about when to stop…”am I 1/4” from the end or not?!”.  Finally, it gives you a nice guide for where to cut on the diagonal, but more on that in a second.

My Sunshine Baby Quilt–Step 2 Small Block Assembly

Line up your ruler through the intersecting lines from you 1/4” seams. See, I told you I would get to it in a second. Cut on the diagonal, then rotate and to the same thing on the other corners.  A rotating mat works very well for this application.  I do not recommend picking up your blocks and moving them at this stage.

My Sunshine Baby Quilt–Step 2 Small Block Assembly

Once you have cut diagonally across both corners you can open up your four NEW blocks! Here is what you get! How cool is this!? Talk about a fake out, right?! (don’t for get to press your seams.  For this quilt I have found it easier to press towards the fabric without three seams.  For example, on the bottom right square I pressed toward the white daisies on green fabric.

My Sunshine Baby Quilt–Step 2 Small Block Assembly

Anyone want to guess the next step?  If you said trim the dog ears you would be correct!

My Sunshine Baby Quilt–Step 2 Small Block Assembly

Ready, set, GO get ‘em! Time to finish up all of your blocks and we’ll meet back here for final layout and front assembly!  Have any questions? Leave a comment below and I will answer as quickly as possible.

Have a fantastic Sunday!

Ciao,

Crystal