Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Big Block Challenges

Before I talk about this next quilt, I wanted to update you on my current WIP, the scrappy bargello.  I spent most of Sunday and half of yesterday making sure that I had enough strips cut for the final three panels.  The side panels for the quilt are 50 strips long so this flimsy is eating up the scraps.... although I feel like I haven't really put a dent in them!!  I now have strips cut and stacked ready for sewing :) I was able to get one panel sewn into a tube

and cut into 2 1/2 inch strips

 and then I stopped.  I was tired and knew if I pushed on, there would be seam ripping in my future :)  Today I will sew this panel together and hopefully get the next tube at least sewn together if not cut and sewn into the panel. . . I can smell the finish line!!! LOL

As I am working on these last panels I am contemplating what I am going to do for boarders.... Originally the plan was to do a 2" solid border and then do a friendship braid.  Honestly, I don't think I have it in me! This quilt needs to finish right around 110" x 117" . . . that is A LOT of friendship!! haha I am thinking that I have several large pieces of fabrics that are in the quilt, maybe I do a black (thinking muted mottled black) 2" border and then do a 4 or 5" border of those fabrics sewn together at a 45 degree angle.... a little scrappy but definitely not as intense as the braid would be.... what do you think?

On to big block challenges! I bought the layer cake and yardage for this quilt at Missouri Star Quilt Co.  It is Urban Oasis by Kitty Yoshida for Benartex.  When I saw the fabric online, I had to have it... And then when I got it, I wondered why.... has that ever happened to you?  The prints are pretty big and I have already admitted to not being into flowery and cutesy.... Lots of big flowers in that layer cake!  Some of the pieces in the layer cake were very mod and geometric.  I guess that is what drew me to it in the first place.  The backing is yardage bought at a LQS. I call it The Ugly Quilt (TUQ for short...) haha

Close ups of quilting:

I decided I was going to do a Disappearing 9 Patch (DP9) starting with the 10" squares. Partly because I wanted to keep the large print in tact and partly because I figured it would go together quick and easy :)  Now that is a BIG 9 patch block! lol I struggled with cutting the block into quarters.  I tried folding it in half and ironing a crease, measured each side and it would be off. . . I tried laying my large square ruler (22 inches) and my 8 x 24 inch ruler next to each other and moving them until I had them meeting at the center.... that's great but then one has to cut them and the rulers aren't long enough!  In the end, I got frustrated and cut them on the half fold line.  The cutting was not very accurate (and that is putting it nicely!) and even though there were no matching seems it was a challenge to get the blocks to look right.  Recently, I stumbled upon a very helpful tutorial on how to square up huge blocks written by Rossie over at Fresh Modern Quilts.  There are definitely more big block quilts in my future so I need to put one of those together!

Also, very valuable lesson learned - DO NOT spray starch on a block that is hot from being ironed!  I did that to one of the blocks and it literally SHRUNK before my eyes!!!  Has that ever happened to you?  Hmmm, I'm having some issues with getting this quilt put together!

When I bought the yardage, I intended to use it for borders.  After laying the blocks out on the design wall (a side note, using layer cakes for DP9 means you have 6 squares 'left over.'  That's a lot of left over fabric that I just did not like!), I decided it was not long enough.  At this point I decided I would not put borders on the quilt and instead put sashing between the rows of blocks.  This accomplished two things - made the quilt just long enough AND did a pretty good job of hiding the fact that my squares were not the same size! :)  It also breaks up those leopard prints a little.

Once the top was sewn together, the rest of the construction of this quilt went pretty smoothly.  I FMQed the blocks with an all over design alternating flowers and hearts, spirals in the middle sashing and flowers in the top and bottom sashing.

On to binding, what to do?  I decided that I wanted to have the binding fabric on the sides to match but be different from the top and bottom binding.  I used the method of attaching the binding taught in the Sharon Pederson tutorial on reversible binding but did not make the binding reversible.  I really like the clean look that results when using this method, without the fiddling that comes with continuous mitered corner binding :)

Linking up with Heather and Meagan over at Quiltstory for Fabric Tuesday, Connie over at Freemotion by the River and Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts.  If you are here visiting from one of the linky parties, welcome to my blog! Have a look around and feel free to comment!

Fresh Poppy Designhttp://www.conniekresin.com/    Sew Fresh Quilts

Until next time, keep on quilting!


  1. Gorgeous colors & love the quilting!

    1. Thanks! And thank you for taking the time to comment! :)

  2. I have been known to buy fabrics on impulse and then go "huh?" too. My biggest challenge seems to be that while I'm drawn to a lot of the new fabrics they don't really work in my home decor so then they sit.

    Thanks for including the link for the large block squaring up. I can't imagine working with blocks that big. I think your quilt turned out great by the way and I hope your love for it grows now that is DONE!

    1. I buy on impulse a lot... Gone are the days when I made my very first quilts and bought just for the quilt I was making!! My stash is not huge by any means but I could quilt for the rest of the winter and not use all of it haha

      I do have to say that it has grown on me :) Thank you for stopping by!

  3. I try to stay away from precuts because I do the exact same thing....wonder why I bought them. I think I get sucked into buying them when looking at the edges...all those pretty colors :) You did a nice job with this quilt and I think your wide sashings really "make it". Look on the bright side. Even if you don't care for TUQ at least you used up (most) of your layer cake.

    1. That is so true about pre-cuts! I have to really love the entire collection to buy now.... I haven't bought any for a long while haha

  4. I think your quilt looks wonderful and I have to admit that I have done the same thing.....ordered some fabric and when I got it thought.....hmmmm....this isn't me. Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

  5. I just recently made a large D9P from 8 inch squares, but I cheated. I cut some of the 8 inch squares in half and quarters. Then sewed each quarter of a 9 patch together. After reading your experience, I am so glad that I did cheat. TUQ did turn out neat. I do like the strips between rows.

  6. what a wild way of making strips! I'm new at quilting so everything is so exciting! Thanks for the tip about the spray starch. I used it after washing and drying my quilt blocks - they weren't hot. {:-Deb

  7. This is heavenly...actually, it looks like an old silk quilt when I view it on the computer screen. Absolutely beautiful. Thanks for your comment on my blog. I really do appreciate the comments. genie

  8. I really love this actually... I can understand your dilemma's and questioning yourself. I have in fact wondered why I wanted a certain fabric after really rolling it out to do something with it. I do love the colors that are put together in this one along with the back... Ugly or not... it's great in my book!


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