Modern big pieces of fabric quilt - tutorial part one

It’s been cold here in the Chicago area nearly the whole month of January. I take that back. It’s been cold, really cold and frigid. At night I sleep with two extra quilts on me. Yes, two! I have an extra one all ready for cold nights at the bottom of my bed. The second one I’ve been taking them from other parts of the house. I need more quilts, yes need them.

However where to put an extra quilt, hmm how about on one of the chairs of my conversation grouping? I took this picture from the spiral stairs so you could get a good picture of the area.big piece re 1 When we redid our floors we added this cozy conversation “pit.”

big piece re 2Even before I got so cold, I had this in mind as new quilt territory. I have had these luscious fabrics on my  “next project” table for a while. I bought them at Quilter’s Quest last fall and I adore them. I love them so much that I didn’t want to cut those prints into small pieces.  I wanted to show off those fabrics! I bought 1 yard of four different fabrics and 4 yards of a fifth.

I looked through all my books, past projects, new blogs by others and patterns and found the “look” I was seeking. Are you ready? Let’s do this Modern big pieces of fabric quilt – tutorial part one.

big pieces re 3Here is the pattern which I used as the base for this quilt. I changed the sizes slightly, increasing the bigger strip by a half inch and made the difference between the two strips more pronounced. This is the best part about modern quilting, you can do it YOUR way. I change patterns or create my own and it’s all OKAY!

Here are the strips which I cut at 9″ and 7″. I cut all the grey strips 2″ wide.big piece re 4

I have had the grey for a while. I like to keep basics like that on hand. At one point last year I bought 6 yards of pure white, 6 yards of light grey and 6 yards of darker grey. I hope I use them all up before I get tired of featuring them in quilts.

I made the focus blocks 9.5 inches wide as the pattern states but as I had made the strips a bit bigger I had to increase the length to 14″.

big piece re 7I also did not precut the grey strips which went around the focus blocks. I flash pieced them all around. It gives me the feeling that I save time. Other people might feel it is better to precut and make sure your focus squares end up exactly the size you want them to be.big piece re 8

You decide!

I sewed the two strips of each fabric together with a grey strip in between.

Once that is all done it is up to you to decide where you want your focus blocks to go, in what order you want the other fabrics to go and if you want the shorter strip on the top or the bottom. You can even add more strips of a 5th or 6th fabric, it’s your quilt!

big piece re 9I used my design wall to try to get a rough idea of placement.

After I decided where I wanted the focus block, I would slice the pieced strips at that point and flip one of them. I sewed one on each side, pressed it and put it back on the design wall.

You can see here that the top one is done, the others are just there for me to imagine how I will do the focus blocks. big piece re 10

Here is the top, all done.

I love the way the fabric is featured.

I wanted a fast project which would give me a fun quilt.

Now I just need to even up the top, make the back and put it all on my longarm, Gladys.

Sew happy!

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You might like this post about a modern green quilt. Click here.

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