Monday, April 22, 2019

A New Project

For me one the most fun parts about quilting is playing with fabric palettes. Recently I've been collecting fat quarters when they're on sale, and I seem to have accumulated a nice palette of masculine prints. Kind of mineral and metal colors.

My plan is to make a simple Plus quilt to let the fabrics do all the work. When using fat quarters, I cut 4-1/2" squares and I can get 16 of them from one FQ.

What's up with fat quarters that measure less than 18" ? Okay, I know you get what you pay for and I bought most of them at the $1.00 FQ sales, but come on, they should at least measure 18".  And they should be cut straight, not like a parallelogram. About a third of the FQs I wanted to use measured too scant or were too crooked to get the full 16 pieces, and would leave a lot of unused scraps left over. Wasteful!

My solution was to cut 4-3/8" squares. I'll still use the standard 1/4" seam allowance, and my quilt will end up measuring about 58 by 77" instead of 60 x 80".  Still a good size for a man's throw quilt.

My 15- by 20-patch layout requires 300 pieces, but I cut about 320 to have a few extra so I could move them around as needed. I put squares up on the design wall, starting in the center, working my way out, mindful of value contrast. First layout:

I see a couple of problems in the photo that weren't as apparent in real life, but that need to be fixed. The problem is not enough value contrast in a couple of places.

Okay, much better:

I see one little change I want to make, then I can start sewing the patches into rows.  It's not critical, but it bugs me so I'll fix it.

A note about the color and light in these photos:
The windows in my sewing room face east, and these photos were taken in the morning when there's good natural light in there. The layout completely fills the design wall from 2" below the ceiling to the baseboard at the floor, but the cutting table gets in the way of the light and shades the lower portion of the wall. To brighten the bottom for photos, I use a small portable LED light placed on the floor. You can see that it casts bluer light than the natural light on the top of the wall. The light yellow Plus motif near the lower left is the same fabric as the one at the upper right near the drawn arrow. See the difference? Not a lot I can do about it; if I don't light the bottom of the wall it's even darker and greyer.

In real life I like these metal and mineral inspired colors together. This is intended as a donation quilt, and since it's such a masculine palette, it will probably go to Mercyful Quilts. I don't know if I'll get it done in time for the Hands2Help deadline, but late is better than not at all.

Linking up with:
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Moving it Forward Monday at Em's Scrapbag
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt


  1. What a great palette. I really like the colors together, too. Fat quarter sizes run all over the place. To be safe lately when I do design work I assume 17" x 19" because of how much squaring up is required of so many.

    1. This is Yvonne - clearly I need to sign out and sign into Google again. I'm not sure what is going on with my account.

  2. Lighting quilt pictures is an age old problem (at least for me...) I am amazed at the difference in those yellows considering they are the same fabric. Your design looks great and I hope you get to have lots of sewing time over the next week so you can move this quilt along. H2H is coming to a close and I'm still trying to get things done.

  3. I am using a number of those fabrics and in my yellow/gray king project (that I need to get back to).

  4. I really like this color palette! Very soothing and kinda zen :)

  5. I like the color palette, too - and this is a great design to show those colors off.

  6. Great Color choices!! it makes this quilt shine!

  7. I'm not sure that I would EVER have chosen those colors to go together. I've always been hesitant to "mix" neutrals. You have proven that the practice can work. Oh, it works SEW well!!!