Wednesday, February 4, 2015

dreaming easy: the genesis

i have 8 wips in various stages of completion. it's about time i finished rather than started something. and i most definitely didn't need any more patterns or ideas because if i did start something new, it should be one of the dozens of patterns or "to do" pulls i have sitting around my bawthroom sewing space, waiting their turn to come to life.

yeah, but i have a real problem with all those concepts. and self control. i recently picked up the quilty mag special edition of beginner friendly quilts despite my decision to not indulge in magazines anymore. and most of the quilts in it were even simple enough i could probably figure them out without instructions on my own. but i bought it anyway. (coupon was my enabling excuse.) i especially liked the cover quilt. they call it a chevron pattern, but to me it looks more like a scrappy houndstooth, a pow wow modification, or even a feline head silhouette. whatever unidentified pattern it is, i like it. i did not plan on making it for a while, though.

arrow shape? i think i'm calling it an arrow block. i don't know! any better ideas out there?
and the pattern looks like a checkerboard of arrows - an arrow check. best i can do. no wait - checkered arrow. this is a checkered arrow pattern.

enter enabling factor #2 - i was stuck in my bawthroom sewing space for a while as the littlest one played in the tub. my dining room is my main working sewing spot these days. the bawthroom is mostly about storage of the hoard. i was sitting there, looking at all the fabric, remembering how i used to sew while the girls splished and splashed in the tub (hence the blog name) and thinking surely there was something i could do while she played even though there is no longer a machine or any cutting implements up there. creating a fabric pull was all i could come up with. (organizing or destashing just wouldn't have been any fun.) i had the chevron/arrow/kitty pattern on the brain and began wondering if i could further simplify the pattern with precuts; either use a layer cake or charm squares.

turns out i could and i selected "dream on" by urban chicks for moda on the spot. i adore this fabric line so much i may have severely over-purchased it when it clearanced out a while back. the layer cakes are already spoken for by another pattern but there were two charm packs up for grabs. that's perfect anyway because i can use white charm packs for the neutral space in the quilt pattern.

i do love "dream on" so much. it reminds me of 60s/70s bedsheets from my earliest childhood. and i'm a sucker for precuts like many a quilter/fabric junkie. lately, however, i find i like working with just one line of fabric less than i used to. mixing things up is more to my taste these days. but i have all these precuts. my solution - add coordinating fabrics from my stash to round out the precut line! i picked several more stash fabrics (yay for shopping my stash!) that go well with "dream on". only problem was once i started making blocks i noticed many of my fabric selections are low volumes on white backgrounds, hence they won't be very distinctive in this pattern formation. i think my solution for this is to get a couple of barely-there tints of the colors in the fabrics (yellow, blue, green, pink) like the two kona samples (ice and maize) i pulled from my modular color card, to use as the background for the super white prints. the hint of color should help the prints to stand out without overpowering or altering the design. it won't be quite as crisp as the quilt in the magazine, but it will be pretty.

***actually, i decided to use one single color for the background because it would be too much thinking to get the background laid out with cohesively colored solid arrows. i didn't want to lay the whole top out and then assemble, i wanted to chain piece the individual blocks and then assemble. so  instead of multiple solid colors, i used some fussy cutting to make the patterns stand out more. also, you can refer to this post to see how i dealt with directional prints when making the arrows.

the inspiration quilt from quilty, "chevron and on", is composed of squares and half square triangles (hsts) that produced 8.5" finished blocks, with precise cutting directions from fat quarters. it was also a square 68" x 68" size. i prefer rectangle quilts. something about the symmetry suits my taste preference better than a square. thus i decided to enlarge the quilt and alter the dimensions by adding two rows of blocks.

also, i wanted to use charm squares, which would require some trimming since i would be making squares and hsts, which do not start out cut the same size but charm squares obviously do. i don't prefer wasteful trimming when i can avoid it. but this is why i'm in favor of it here: i want to use precuts from my stash. the upside to this is i don't have to cut tons of squares out, just trim up blocks after they are assembled, which i do anyway. the negligible amount of waste simply can't be avoided with this method but at least it's small.

since i have modified this quilt design and have created my own method for making these blocks, i'm making a tutorial for how to make this quilt my way.

these blocks are so quick and easy to make! i'm having a lot of fun whipping up a batch at a time each night.

linking up with wip wednesday at freshly pieced


  1. Sucker for vintage too! Your fabric really caught my eye! Hope you get to concentrate on sewing those WIP's soon!

  2. Love your fabric choice. This is going to be one happy quilt!

  3. You're killing me. I love this! The dream on fabric is perfection. Kathy (kayakquilts) just made one of these - I thought they look like cat heads too ;-)
    I can't wait to get back to fun fabrics - I am so tired of sewing on wedding stuff and altering clothes. (right now, I am taking a break from adding a white satin band to my son's fedora - take 2. Of course, I couldn't get it right the first time ;-)
    p.s. I prefer rectangle quilts, too!!

  4. If you find a better way to make those blocks, please let me know. I think it's a simply gorgeous pattern. Thank you very, very much.


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