Saturday, April 9, 2011

Tip - how to keep a random pattern in order

The pattern I'm currently using for the pink & purple and blue quilts is from a quilt-along hosted by KarrieLyne at Freckled Whimsy back in July last year. Its supposed to be sewn as 9-patch blocks made completely randomly - she even recommends placing all the HST blocks in one bag and the squares in another then lucky dip to make up the 9-patch blocks but if you're like me thats just not going to happen. Relinquish control to a lucky dip? Uh uh, can't do it. I like to see exactly how the whole quilt will look before I commit to sewing all those pieces together.

The problem is how to keep everything in order between laying it all out and sewing it up without dedicating floor space or wall space (OMG I so need a design wall!) to a quilt that may take anywhere from a day to a month or longer to sew up. My solution is this:

I assign each block a grid reference,
write that reference on a little dot sticker and label all the blocks. 
Then I can stack up each row in order and if things get knocked over, dropped or messed up, no probs, I know exactly what needs to go next to what when I sew them up.
If I was able to sew without distraction, which is virtually impossible to do with 2 little ones, I wouldn't bother with labelling them and would just stack them up in the order that I want to sew the blocks into rows. I couldn't tell you how many times these little dots have saved my bacon when wandering little fingers have rifled through my carefully stacked blocks. I also find them really handy for quickly checking every now and again while sewing that I haven't accidentally picked up a block from the wrong pile.

I've had to wait until Little Sir sleeps before I could lay out the 2 quilts I've been working on otherwise he treats the fabric pieces like confetti, ie colourful lovelies to be thrown into the air with squeels of delight (from him) and horror (from me). Here is the layout for the pink and purple quilt

and for the blue quilt

I plan to begin sewing these tonight or tomorrow depending on how distracted Steph and I get with our brilliant plans for world domination...I mean our future financial peace of mind.

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