Last post showed a log cabin block arrangement with modern prints from RJR fabrics and Quilty Box, along with some batiks. This was my first ever traditional block design and I was liking it. Refresher photo:
Well, here's how far the quilting has gone on that project...
|One-third of the quilt. Doing it in sections requires more prep time, but is much easier to handle.|
A break (distraction) was needed. With the most insane election ever looming (should have turned off the tv), and yet another Quilty Box fabric selection (the Free Spirit Fabric 'Wander Collection' by Joel Dewberry) sitting idle, I impulsively retrieved the fat quarters from the latter and feverishly set about finding stash fabrics to coordinate with them.
|The fat quarters at the top are from the Quilty Box. The rest are from my stash.|
(Notice, the 'logs' in the lighter blocks run in reverse order of the ones in the darker blocks. That way, each fat quarter was nearly used up, with only a few short strips remaining for the scrap drawer.)
But here's the kicker--the 'duh' moment--and I've yet to find this idea anywhere online, though I suspect a few thousand people are already doing it: You know how you can spend hours and hours arranging and rearranging your quilt blocks on the design wall, and then how ratty they sometimes look by the time you decide on the final arrangement?
No need for all that. Because you can do about 20 arrangements in an hour--without touching the fabric blocks. Here's how:
1. Put one each of your different blocks on the design wall (see photo above).
2. Snap a photo.
3. Upload the photo on your computer, and on regular printer paper, print out however many copies you need to give you as many blocks as will be in your finished quilt. (I needed 24 total--four each of the six different blocks, so four copies of the photo.)
4. Cut out the paper blocks on all your printouts with a rotary cutter (I keep one just for paper cutting...use it for coupons, too!)
5. Arrange the paper blocks in whatever way you choose on a solid background (preferably black or white, but I used the back of my green cutting board) and photograph the arrangement.
6. Then rearrange the blocks, and snap a photo again.
Do this with as many arrangements as you wish, making sure to photograph each finished arrangement.
TIP: Move the blocks around with the eraser end of a pencil. It's much faster and easier than trying to move them around with your fingers!
7. Upload all the photos on to your computer, and then eliminate the ones you like least. I went from 17 arrangements to 3 pretty quickly. (It took me two more days to decide on the final one.)
8. Print out your final arrangement as large as possible on regular printer paper.
Use this to guide you in joining your blocks and in drawing your stitch pattern design. To do that, simply put the photo inside a transparent vinyl sheet protector (available at Walmart and office supply stores), and use dry-erase markers to draw your design on it. The lines are easily erasible with a paper towel, cotton ball or scrap of fabric, and you can start over as many times as you wish. (Sorry, the photo below is for the first quilt, and the blocks were done with color pencil before I figured out I could just take a photo of the actual blocks. Double duh. Haven't designed a stitch pattern for the blue and gold quilt yet.)
Next time, the finished quilt top (the blue and gold one...in fabric, not paper).
Linking up with Whoop Whoop Fridays, which I haven't done in months due to computer issues. All fixed now. Check out Sarah's Christmas presents and all the great linkups at the end!
Have a great weekend!