An Update on the Quilting Update

It’s been about three weeks since I posted an update on the quilt I’m making for my daughter. While much of the reason for the lag in updating has been due to work projects and other deadlines, I also made an error in some of the assembly. As I put blocks the first blocks together, everything was fine. You might recall some of those first lovely blocks.


Not only are these 24 1/2-inch blocks not pressed, they are also not correct. Suddenly, there wasn’t enough give and take among the colors to really be effective. I discovered this problem on November 26, when two of my students who are interested in crafts and fabric art came over in the afternoon to help play with the layout. Luckily, they brought other projects to work on as well, because it didn’t take long to realize that my large groupings totally limited the ways in which all the pieces could be laid out. This may have worked if I had only had two (or three) colors, and could group things together by color, but this project definitely got out of hand in terms of the number of colors and tones I was juggling.

Luckily I only had to rip out 12 such groupings before I could get back on track with actually planning a layout that would be more colorful. So the dismantling of seams took place, and then the counting began. The idea is to have 60 blocks that are pieced (like those in the first two pictures) and then 60 solid squares (shown with the pieced ones in the unpressed samples above). And then they are alternated–pieced block, solid square, pieced block, solid square, etc.

Somewhere along the line, I had started to experiment with other pieced blocks instead of just the penny patch. In the end, I had 31 penny patch block (the pieced blocks above). To supplement them (and reach 60) I created simple four-patch blocks (on the left) and some interesting three piece blocks (on the right) to reach required number of 60 pieced blocks.



I made these additional types of blocks rather than doing all the cutting required to make more penny patch blocks. I had done the initial ones in a production line approach, and I didn’t really want to do it again after thinking I was finished. In addition, with all the colors and the lack of low value fabrics, there was plenty going on. The quilt will not be lacking for interest. In fact, the actually penny patch effect is lost in all this color, so I will try the pattern again another time and follow the recommended number of colors and values a little more closely. But for Kate’s quilt, the way it’s turning out is a lot like her: unusual and definitely unpredictable.