What I'm Working on Now

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Good morning (afternoon? evening?)!

Remember when I showed you my Quilter’s Mart Haul? Well, friends… pretty much immediately after showing you all the goodies, I got started making a baby blanket.

You all know by now that baby blankets are the recurring project in my house. I actually currently have 8 in progress for various pregnant/soon-to-be-pregnant friends.

Today, I’ll be showing you one of them - the cutest modern/retro quilt I’m making with QM fabrics. (P.S. can something be modern and retro at the same time? I think this one qualifies… it is kind of retro fabrics, but a modern pattern?)

Spoiler alert: HERE IT IS!

I started out with some strips from QM (these and these) and did a little bit of cutting to even them up to the same width. Then I grabbed a solid gray from my stash and cut that into strips of the same width.

This is where it got really fun… I started chopping those strips into random lengths - but I didn’t cut all of them right away. I put some in reserve and then started laying things out.

Once I got some strips laid out, I started filling in gaps and building the quilt out more thoughtfully. I wanted the variation to look random, which, counter-intuitively, meant that I couldn’t do the whole thing with random cuts. Why? Because I actually ended up “randomly” cutting strips quite a few strips that were pretty similar in length, which was not giving me the look I wanted.

I also wanted to take care not to put the same print too close to itself. In order to ensure the “randomness” of the distribution, I had to be thoughtful and deliberate.

I got everything all cut and my strips assembled, and then I spent about 2 hours sitting on the floor, staring at all the pieces and rearranging them. Anyone else do this? Getting everything into a flow/look that I liked was easily the most time consuming and difficult part! Phew! (final layout NOT pictured below!)

Eventually, I had it all laid out in a distribution I loved, and in a size that looked awesome for a baby blanket. But beware! If you decide to do something like this, with all those thin strips, you’ll have a lot of seams and that means that the seam-allowance-shrinkage is major!!! I’m going to have to go back and add a few more rows to make this top the right “final” size because of that shrinkage.

The shrinkage made the quilt quite short. And keeping it horizontal suddenly didn’t look right. In the end, I am glad this happened because it naturally caused me to flip the quilt vertical, and I love it that way! I have decided I will keep it rectangular (rather than square) so that it stays vertical.

Here is the current state of it (again) without those extra strips added.

I’m super excited about this quilt and I loved using the QM fabrics!

Are any of you using Quilter’s Mart fabrics in any projects right now? Consider submitting them to our Why I Sew contest when you’re done!

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  • Carolyn Knees
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