My quilt is moving along. I wish I had a finished top to show you, but I changed my plan and am adding a different border that is taking much more time (of course). It is going to be so much better than plan a, that I am not complaining (much) about plan b.
So you all want to make x’s, don’t you? I have to say, first and foremost, that I had no idea where to start when I first saw the inspiration for this quilt. I am not really a quilter. I’m just working on earning that title. Of course, since Sarah led me to said inspiration and is making her very own string x quilt, I asked her where I should start. She graciously sent me a big flickr mail with loads of info, lots of tips and then another one after that. Big thanks to you, Sarah. Really.
I think it all clicked for me when Sarah pointed me to Heather Bailey’s Freshcut quilt. Of course I had seen it before – I do read her blog and a huge chunk of this quilt is made out of her fabric. Well, wouldn’t you know, it’s an string x quilt, too? Well, kind of, at least. The fabrics that make up her x’s aren’t the same so they don’t look like x’s per se, but the idea is the same. While reading the supply list, I noticed the 12.5" square quilting ruler. That was my "A-ha!" moment. I had thought I would have to piece rectangles and then trim them to make squares, but a ruler? Genius! And of course, a real quilter would know they actually existed. See, I told you I am a fake-o quilter. You should believe me. OK, now I am sure you can still do this without a square ruler. I just justified my purchase because the squares for the Virtual Quilting Bee need to be 12.5" too….and look, that is just 12 more squares for me to use it on!
So I started where Heather has you start. I cut 4" x 18" strips out of my white fabric. Lots of them. My quilt takes 36. At this point, I stopped following Heather’s directions and just started adding fabrics in my studied random way – you know….so it looks random, but in all actuality is very studied. I think I managed not over thinking it about, um, 50% of the time (I am being generous with myself here, too). Anyhow, at this point, I took my rotary cutter and cut various widths of various fabrics and started piecing.
I used 1/4" seam allowances throughout and pressed the seams away from the white strip. I placed my ruler over the white strip to see how long each additional strip needed to be. Sometimes I used 4 fabrics, sometimes up to 6. I didn’t worry about straight lines and matching the colored strips. I like it all wonky. Once I had 4 blocks pieced, I used my ruler and squared them up.
To do this, I lined up the white strip with the lines on my cutting mat and then centered the ruler on the middle line.
Then using the rotary cutter, I trimmed the excess away.
Next, I sewed them together in to an x. Match up those seams (where the white meets the colors) and use lots of pins. Don’t skimp here – trust me. It is no fun to rip out uneven seams.
I was afraid if I waited until all 36 were sewn to make the actual x’s, I would never finish it. You know – the random factor – it would be overwhelming. It was a good plan.
I stopped after 9 x’s – now all I need to do is add borders to make it the size I want. Of course, in a perfect world, I would make 3 more x’s for Euro shams…one thing at a time, Erin.
Confused yet? Please say no. If you are really befuddled, ask away. I will try my best to explain better. And if you have lasted this long, you might want to know I have updated my blog links in the sidebar. Check them out, people.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a border to finish piecing.