What is more fun than working on a quilt top made of great fabrics and clever piecing? (OK, maybe winning a tropical vacation but work with me here.) I am having a grand time putting this all together. I am practically petting the fabrics as I cut them. Plus the pattern is a pleasure to work with, it's just a great time. Did you miss the first post about this quilt? We can't have that. Read it here... Up to date? Let's read about template free piecing, part two.
Here are the strips with a background strip attached. At this point the pattern wants you to cut them into the block size. That is a fair amount of cutting. I am all about working smarter not harder, ie, cutting half as many times if I can. I have 32 long units here which I am just about to reduce to 32 half as long units.
I cut each lengthwise strip in half and sewed it to another half strip. That will give me 32 half as long units sewn together. That way when I cut the block units, it's half as many times. With 32 half strips there will be enough variety that you won't notice that 4 times, the same two fabrics are right next to each other. These four will be sprinkled throughout the quilt.
If the quilt was bigger, I might have sewn three together. On the right you can see how this progressed. I was zooming along! Above are the half units before they are sewn to another half unit. On the bottom are sewn half units.
When I had them all the half units sewn together, I cut them into block length. I made half as many cuts this way but the cut was longer. However, once I have the ruler lined up and the rotary cutter in hand, that is easy. And I think it is way easier than lining up the ruler twice as many times.
I love trying to cut the work down a bit when I can finagle it. I can't always but I am always trying to think of a way. That is the beauty of template free piecing in my opinion. (And come to think of it, it's my blog so what other opinion would I give?)
This is another stage I love of a quilt, when you have all the piecing done of the small parts that will make the whole. I think I just love piecing in general!
I spread them out on my design/cutting table. I don't have a design wall. My sewing room/quilt studio is the loft of our condo. It only has three walls and two of them slope. I am tall so I avoid walking towards the ends like crazy. The back wall has a modified V shape with two windows, my machine, ironing board and staging area for the Longarm. In other words, no design wall and I have never bemoaned it. If I felt a great need I would figure something out but so far, so good.
You can see that I am almost done putting the strips together. Then the sashing and BAM on Gladys, my Longarm. Well, not quite BAM but this fun quilt is stitching up pretty quickly.
Why didn't I finish it over the weekend? Well, it was pretty much Kathypalooza around here with my 60th bday, Father's day and my youngest in from Spain to celebrate all of the above. Yep, I did it. I went ahead and turned 60.
Sew happy I did!
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I've been working on quilts all year. Here's a post about another one.