Traincar 2

One of the quilt kits that I have been working on is Traincar by Alexia Abegg. I was immediately drawn to the graphic nature of this design. The block is unique – simple and complicated at the same time – and definitely not something I have seen before. Also, who's kidding? I am a little bit in love with Alexia's Hatbox fabric that the quilt is made from. I love these Cotton and Steel prints in navy, coral, aqua and green – my kind of colors! It was really fun and liberating to just place an order and have everything I needed for the quilt top arrive on my doorstep without having to make any choices.

Traincar 1

It's a very straightforward pattern starting with some easy strip piecing that is cut apart and sewn back together to make each individual block. While simple in concept, that is a whole heck of a lot of seams! 40 per block! (Yes, I counted.) And there is no room for error as every piece needs to line up when it is sewn together. I think my piecing is pretty accurate and I managed well enough, but if I were to make this again, I would make one big change. Namely, I would cut the pieces for each strip set 1/2" wider. I think there was sufficient fabric in the kit to do this (I haven't done the math, but I had big leftover pieces) and having this little bit extra would have allowed me to trim the sets evenly for a perfectly straight line. Instead, there were a few instances where the piecing was a teensy bit off and, as we know, a bunch of 1/16" mistakes will add up along the way. I made it work so the only thing it cost me was some time. No big deal.

Traincar block

The kit instructions say that it will yield a 60" x 76" quilt and that math is off. With the 12 blocks shown, each finishing at 15" x 19", the quilt top measures 60" x 57". I do have enough of the background fabric in my stash to make another four blocks, but I haven't yet decided if I want to do that. All those seams! But the bigger size would be more useable so I just may jump back in. In the meantime, I am going to admire what I have done so far and dream about how to quilt it. I'm leaning towards straight lines, but am very open to suggestions. Feel free to chime in!

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