Magic Square Quilt IV

I thought this would be a relatively quick quilt top – simple enough to work on at the sewing retreat a week ago. I began with leftover jellyroll strips – sewed them in groups of four – that yielded a width of 8.5″ – I cut those 4-strip panels into 8.5″ squares. That’s what I took with me to the retreat. While there I arranged two blocks right sides together with the stripes in the two blocks at right angles, stitched around the edge, then cut in four along the diagonals – that gave me blocks with a diagonal – two strips of fabric on one half-square triangle, four strips on the other.

Although the four-strip pieces were colour coordinated, what I didn’t bargain for was the lack of colour coherence in my blocks. I tried several random placements but nothing worked.

I came across a layout that nested bordered squares giving me three sides of a block butted agains three sides of another block – but the layout was just a jumble. There was no obvious colour flow at all.

Layout #1

Several attempts later, I decided to group four blocks into larger blocks with an internal square on-point that would stand out. That organized the colour somewhat but overall the top was still a jumble.

Layout #2

This afternoon I stopped at the fabric store to pick up fabric for backing the grey/batik quilt and came across a Northcott Stonehenge fabric: Monogram-Lichen

Stonehenge Northcott – Monogram: Lichen Marble 21246 71

Perfect for creating sashing between the blocks. The sashing will lighten the whole, mute the strips outside the on-point square at the centre of each block, highlighting the central square.

I’ve cut out the sashing pieces – now to sew the whole thing together. Can’t wait to see how it will turn out.

The way I quilt I’m never sure how anything will look until I see it emerging. I may start with a known quilting technique – in this case half-square triangles created from 2.5″ strips sewn four together then cut to form 8.5″ blocks….

In this quilt top I let colour rule itself with unanticipated consequences. However, I think I’ve found a way to tame the assembly. We’ll see once I get the sashing sewn to the blocks and the large top panel put together in another couple of days.

I Can’t Believe I Did That!

Even experienced quilters from time to time make fatal mistakes – I made one two days ago. I’d finished assembling the blocks for the grey/batik quilt top and had found fabric for the borders. I set up the borders by sewing a narrow gold strip (.25″) to a grey strip (.75″)and both to a wider (3.5″) outer pale grey strip. My plan was to mitre the corner, not by doing each strip separately but by doing them in one mitre.

I added my compiled border to the sides – no problem. I added the border to one end, successfully executed the corner on the bottom left side and then began working on the right bottom corner mitre.

Mitred Bottom Left Corner

My mistake wasn’t in sewing the mitre – although I drew the 45° angle line in the wrong direction and stitched it along the line. No that wasn’t my fatal mistake. My fatal mistake was trimming the seam before opening the corner to confirm I had it laying flat!

How stupid was that.

So when I went to press the mitre I discovered it curled over the quilt corner rather than lying flat.

Screwed Up Mitre – Bottom Right

I unstitched the seam and thought about reattaching the cut….

Useless Fix

There was absolutely no way to fix this mess except by going back to the original fabric joins, rebuilding the binding on two sides and creating a new mitre. Which is what I did – the next day!

Fixed Bottom Right Mitre

I correctly executed the remaining two mitres – checking each when I pressed them BEFORE trimming the mitred seam.

Finished Quilt Top

The lesson – check and press, before trimming a mitred corner – I can always take a seam out, press it flat and stitch it in the other direction if I haven’t cut off the excess.