Saturday, 15 March 2014

Crazy Nine Patch Quilt

Before I left for Cambodia I managed to finish off another baby quilt. Having a deadline helped that along - it needed to get to Melbourne & Husband was headed there just after I returned.

I started off by selecting the 9 fabrics to make up the crazy nine patch squares. The pattern & how to make these can be found at Oh, Fransson!

The end size of the crazy 9-patch blocks was dictated by the fact some of the initial squares were from a layer cake & therefore only 10 x 10 inches. Just having 9 smallish crazy blocks floating on the quilt top didn't look good, so then came all the umming and aahing as I played around with different designs & combinations...until...drum roll...
The plan was that it would look something like this. Kind of.

First up I strip joined rows of 9-patch blocks together like so:
 And so: end up with one big 3x3 crazy block.

I also fussy cut the nine 2.5 x 2.5 inch squares from the animal print fabric that were also going to go on the quilt front. I use a clear plastic template I've made to work out where to cut (the inner line on the template shows where the seam line will end up.

Or line up my quilting ruler using the template on top

I find one of the easiest ways for me to work out which bit of quilt to join together first is to chalk out the edges on my sewing room floor & then place out where I want things & measure in between to work out what sizes I need to cut, and how things will end up piecing together. Here I have the finished big block & am working out the spaces between the fussy cut animal squares, the big square and the quilt edges.

I ended up deciding a pop of purple was needed between the small animal squares, So this is what I did next, strip joining the 2 rows of animals with the purple. Now the floor begins to resemble the rantings of a crazy woman - numbers and symbols scrawled everywhere!

There is method in my madness (for me anyway!) & slowly the other sections of fabric are cut and joined together in order:

The Quilt back.
I had a big strip of the animal print left, so wanted to use as much of that as I could.
A small square managed to use up some more of the turquoise, grey & green scribble (Bungle Jungle) prints and broke up the solid teal green.
The binding I was using was another piece from the lovely gift of a huge bag of scraps I received a few years ago. Not quite big enough to make it all the way around I added in some of the yellow polka dot scraps I had left. This I decided would tie in with the yellow scrap I used on the back of the quit.
Here are the quilt back pieces before they were all joined together:

The quilt sandwich was compiled & then I began to play around with how I might quilt. I liked the notion of random lines, reflecting the 'crazy' lines in the 9-patch squares.

Two things I couldn't find the answer to on the internet.
1. How do you plan the pinning around such a  random quilting plan without having to remove & re pin pins the whole time you quilt?
2. Where do you start so you minimise bunching/puckering? I know it should be working from the middle outwards & I could do a few main lines that fitted that, but then what!?

This was in part my own answer - I lay wool 'lines' out over the quilt in a rough pattern I was happy with & tried to pin around these lines.

And then used painters tape to mark the line before quilting.

It kind of worked - but there was still a whole lot of pin moving...and a bit of unpicking of puckers where some of the quilted lines intersected. Not too much though.
 Quilt sandwich finished & trimmed down, I then added the binding, making sure to position the yellow section in the one corner to match the yellow on the quilt back. I use metal hair clips now to hold the binding in place - you can buy special (expensive) quilting clips, but the ones I bought from the $2 shop seem to do the trick for me!

Hopefully there is enough quilting to hold it all together for the years of use ahead!

1 comment:

  1. I love this quilt!! I'm totally going to use it as a guide for a quilt I've been trying to figure out in my head. :)