I’ll start by saying yes – it was a long day. But, it was manageable because I have built up a routine. I was all done with any morning tasks like breakfast, loading the dishwasher and getting dressed, by 9:30am. I’d even done Internet Time.
So there I was at 9:30, with a pattern and pile of fabric in front of me. I’d read through the pattern multiple times already so I sorted through the fabric again and placed sticky notes with letters for each fabric listed in the pattern. I had to make substitutions as well, since there wasn’t the same variety.
I don’t normally cut everything needed for all steps ahead of time, especially if I know I have plenty of fabric.
The first step was to take the included panel and trim one long one to size.
I managed to trim one a half inch too short. But in the end, I made it work. I could have used the brownish one instead of the blue, but I went with the blue like the pattern cover.
Another step in the pattern was to use a striped fabric and create four kaleidoscope blocks. There wasn’t any striped fabric included, nor any fabric with a big enough design repeat, but there WAS 4 square designs in the panel that were unused. So I substituted those for the 4 pieced blocks. This also cut down on construction time.
Patting myself on the back didn’t last long, though. The next step was to add sashing strips. The pattern showed illustration done horizontally, for space, but they are vertical in the quilt.
The one on the left has the sashing on the side. The one on the right is correct. Thankfully I only did that twice.
When I had that done and got to the longer strips to frame the pieces I took the time to straighten up the edges.
In the image below it might not seem like much but it does help make a nice straight edge for a narrow sashing.
See? They are all sashed and ready for the next step.
Also in there, I had to create two pinwheel blocks. I realized while cutting the directions said to stack, not layer back to back – which is what I did – so the pinwheels would both go in the same direction. I like them this way and left them as-is. I think it adds more interest, especially since couldn’t add the original kaleidoscope blocks.
Note the middle insert is a teeny bit shorter than the right section. Somewhere in there the 1/2″ too short wound up only 1/4″ too short so I can ease in the difference when they are joined in the next step.
According to the directions, I was to add a border between and around these sections of fabric C, then another wider border around them all of fabric D.
In my notes, I had decided to use the same fabric for C and D, so this wasn’t going to work here for borders. I decided to think it over during my lunch break and continue on with the next steps. This way I could see what fabrics I had left over from making the next blocks and ensure I had enough to both make the inner borders and hopefully play around with some options.
I took my break and wrote up the previous post with the details fresh in my mind, and realizing I had so much to say I really did need an initial post with the background.
After lunch and a fresh cup of tea (and chocolate!) I got back to it.
Now is when I settled in and cut the bulk of the fabric strips needed for the scrappy blocks. I tackled each fabric as I got to that step, cutting exactly what was needed.
Once I had the first strip set sewed and then cut into squares, I pressed it and set it aside in a nice tidy stack. Below you can see me midway through.
And here’s what it looks like when I really get going!
When it comes time to sew the next steps, I put two pieces together and make a huge stack of like pieces, offset a little. This way I can pick up the next bit and chain piece. I sew fast!
Eventually all the strips are sewn, ut and sewn again until I had two sections to piece for one scrapy block. By this time it was mid-afternoon and I’d already had a snack AND a call from my mother.
At some point I got a stack turned around and didn’t double check. On the left is how these two sections should have been pieced. On the right, what I actually did.
I did not unpick half the stack I had done so far, I just continued on and called it a “design decision”. In the end it doesn’t matter to the overall look and feel – even if one fabric wound up next to another of the same kind.
So this is where I decided to stop for day one. I was getting tired and starting to make mistakes. I spread the blocks up on the design wall to have a look.
I still need to choose fabrics for the two inner borders around the panel blocks with the skinny sashing in the light brown, but that can wait until tomorrow.
And here’s what’s left of the fabric:
On the left, scraps left over from cutting strips. On the right – the rest of the fabric that hasn’t been cut yet! Some fabric called for 1/4 yard, but I only wound up cutting one or two strips from it, so there should be plenty there to make more scrappy blocks, or even a large border around the whole thing.
1pm – 2:30
3 – 4:15 pm.
Total day one: 4:45
Total preliminary work: one hour.