Sunday, April 27, 2014

Believe Circle May Quilt Plans

It's my turn to choose our quilt for the Believe Circle of do. Good Stitches. The last time it was my turn was way back in December so I've had quite a long time to ponder our design for May. This time I am inspired by this quilt made by Lucia Wilke (lulubloom on flickr).

I asked her if she was okay with me using her design and she shared that she had been inspired by a quilt that crazymomquilts (on flickr) made. I wonder just how far back that path of inspiration would go if I tried to follow it? It's great that we have so many sources of inspiration.

Not wanting to exactly replicate this quilt, I spent some time on Design Seeds for some color ideas. Here is the palette I'd like to use for the "sticks" in our quilt.

I believe that fourth color is almost black, but I pulled really dark purples for that one. Let's try to keep this quilt boyish if we can. I had a few girlie prints pulled but resisted using them for this project. The inspiration quilt uses solids only but it is fine to use prints for ours. I did try to stay subtle with the prints I selected but again, these quilts are always a creative adventure so feel free to choose what works best for you.

The first step was to do a pull from my stash against the color palette.
These blocks are very improv so feel free to make them in whatever way works best for you. This is just one way to make them. Lucia had given me a tip that she first made larger strip sets, then cut them down for her "sticks" so I decided to follow her advice. First, I cut a foundation to sew on. Sometimes strips that are cut from scraps and then sewn wonky can get stretched and misshapen. Using a foundation keeps everything sturdy. Your foundation can be any lightweight cotton. I believe this was a cotton batiste.

I wanted plenty of play room so I cut my foundation square to 15 1/2" square. We're going for 12 1/2" finished blocks for this project so you could choose to cut something a little smaller.

Next, I cut strips from each of the fabrics. I generally cut 3" strips so I would have more flexibility in how wide or how narrow each piece would be. Some of the fabrics already had narrower strips cut so I went with those if they were already cut. I arranged the strips in the order to be sewn.

You will see in a bit that I have far more strips than are needed. To sew them to the foundation square, the first strip is put along the edge, right side up.

Then the second strip is placed right side down on top of the first strip. It is intentionally set at an angle. The final result is supposed to look random.

There should be more pictures following this one but I got caught up in the sewing of it and forgot to take more. Basically, a quarter inch seam is sewn along the fabric on top. Any excess fabric from the piece below can be trimmed away to avoid bulk. Press the fabric up toward the foundation, then proceed with the next piece. When it is completed, it should look something like this:

I went a little overboard with my piecing and extended past the foundation, but that's okay.

 And I did not use some of the strips simply because there wasn't room for them. The next step is to cut the panel into "sticks".

This is way too many "sticks" for two blocks so feel free to scale this down a bit. For the background, choose a white or off-white low volume print. Again, I cut my squares way bigger than the final size just to make sure there was plenty of room to move things around and square up the block at the end. I placed "sticks" on each background and pinned them down so I wouldn't forget the arrangement.

Each "stick" is then pieced into the block and the block squared up to 12 1/2".

 There is no rule about how many "sticks" to include in each block.

Believe Circle...please make two 12 1/2" blocks.
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