It's been awhile since I've posted. Most of my recent creations were Christmas gifts, so out of fear of the recipients seeing their gift featured, I've waited until after the holidays to post. Well, you know how it goes, time gets away from you and before you know months have past!
I want to feature Crazy Shortcut Quilts, a quilting book I bought in the fall. I stumbled upon it while viewing a quilting video on YouTube. Remember me telling you I get most of my ideas from YouTube? This is no exception! So,one of the authors of this book has some excellent videos on YouTube to go along with the book. For a visual learner like me, that is like hitting a gold mine!
I'm not great at matching fabric colors and patterns so I purchased these coordinating quilting fabrics as a kit at AC Moore (of course I used the lovely 50% off coupons they offer on occasion). I then came up with my own crazy shortcut pattern. Normally, you'd use the same number of different patterned fabrics for the number of blocks you are doing. I did 12 blocks total, but I decided to do 2 blocks of 6 different prints because I didn't want to have to buy more fabric. I did end up not having enough of the striped fabric to do the backing in all one print, so I took all my material to the local quilting store and had the wonderful ladies there help me coordinate the fabrics.
I followed the directions for the "Bright Idea" quilt starting on page 48 of the book. Here is a sample of one of the blocks quilted. When I took this photo I had already decided the layout, that is why there is a tag pinned to the block. Since I went with 6 different prints for 12 blocks, I had some repeating patterns in the same location in some of the blocks. This bothered me at first, but then I decided that since it was my first and handmade it wasn't going to be perfect. Once I got over that hang up, I really started to like how the quilt was turning out. Below is a photo of the blocks laid out on the floor. It took awhile for me to decide in which order I wanted to sew them together.
In order to cut down the blocks in preparation for the sashing, I decided to use a whiteboard marker to draw lines on my template so that the quilted seams were in the same place on each block as I cut them down. They are really hard to see, but in the middle picture you may notice green lines on the template, those are the lines I drew as a guide so I knew where to place the template for cutting the blocks down to size.
Here is an up close look at the back sashing and quilting. What I love about the back is that it reminds me of watermelon! I have such fond memories of stopping by the side of the road in Nebraska at a produce stand, with my Dad growing up, and buying a huge watermelon for us to take home and eat. We'd sit outside and munch away on the yummy treat! I was always perplexed why some chose to sprinkle salt on their watermelon. I thought it was perfect just the way God made it! What sweet memories!
Here are the 12 blocks laid out in the order in which they will be sewn together. At this point, I wasn't so "crazy" about how it looked...the old adage "don't judge a book by its cover" kept running through my head.
It was a challenge to get the colors evenly distributed due to using only 6 print fabrics. Next time I'll be sure to select the same number of prints as the number of blocks I'll be using to make the quilt.
In the end, I decided that since it was a crazy quilt it was okay for it to be a bit psychedelic. I loved the book. The instructions were excellent and straightforward.
The finished quilt front shown on top and back on bottom. Sorry, I couldn't figure out how to rotate them!