Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Diamond Chains Quilt Along: Design Layout...Where does it all go?

So you've got all your blocks. Now we need to put them together with some big blocks of solid fabric. Well, here's where you get YET another choice! First, we're going to stop and think for a minute. We're not talking about quilting it yet, but we do need to think about that before we attach these solid pieces. What are your plans for quilting? We are going to have some fairly large strips of solid space, and one BIG solid space to quilt. Do you straight line quilt or free motion quilt? Do you want that solid space to be completely decorated with quilting or sparsely sewn?

There are two ways you can attach the solid pieces. The first method would be to cut 12 blocks from your solid fabric, each 12.5" square. These would be attached as you would any basic block quilt. You can sew the blocks together by row or by column. Press, and then sew each row or column together. Press.

If you are using straight line quilting, this method would provide some structure for you to follow because you would have some built in lines to help guide you. If you are a free motion quilter, it might help you visualize the quilt in sections as I know some free motion quilters do (i.e., Leah Day).  Something to think about.

The second option for attaching the solid pieces is to measure out the blocks needed to insert in each area and sew in each large piece. When sewing the pieces together, you can either choose to sew the pieces together by rows or by columns. I sewed mine by rows.

(The measurements given are approximate. These are based on IF your blocks came out 12.5" square.)

This will not give you lines to follow and may allow you a looser, more "go with the flow" manner in which to quilt. If you are straight line stitching, you may use tools like an Ink B Gone pen or painter's tape to provide your lines to guide you for your design. We'll get more into that when we discuss machine quilting.

Once you've decided how you're going to attach your solid fabric, it's time to get started putting your quilt together. As I said, I chose to sew mine together by rows so I will give you an idea of how that is done.

Since I took a pledge to post about my progress no matter what, I will say that I did make a pretty big boo-boo. I undoubtedly cut my biggest piece of fabric about 1/2" short and did not have a big enough piece to replace it with. It's close to the edge and I am planning on straight line stitching anyway since I haven't gotten the hang of FMQ yet so I am just going to use it as my first line on the right side. Here is my completed quilt top.
I've got to get some better lighting in my sewing room! Here is a close-up of the blocks.

Happy quilting! And don't forget to show your progress in the flickr group!


Linz said...

EEEEEK! Your top looks so awesome! I am making some real progress (and I just put some pictures on flickr) and I am really excited to do more! Thanks for the tips. I am so lazy about things that the thought of sewing plain blocks never occured to me! But it makes SO much sense if you are doing straight line quilting! Hey - great job on your top, the tutorials, and everything! This has been a great quilt along!

Marg said...

It's looking fabulous. I'ms so pleased to here I'm not the only person who misjudges cutting fabric by 1/2 inch.
Great job on the tutorial steps, it's really easy to follow.

ARTSAVVY said...

Love this quilt...send it to Granma'ma to quilt and never see it again!

ARTSAVVY said...

If you are looking for a new machine, check out the Janome 6600P, It has a 9" throat and can easily handle quilting. It has a built in walking foot. The machine houseing is metal and it will last you forever. It truly is a workhorse. I use to quilt on it before I got a longarm.