Friday, August 15, 2014

Quilty Flashback Friday: The one with my first attempt at design

Welcome to another episode of Quilty Flashback Friday, where we're digging into the depths of our quilty archives to find some oldies but goodies that perhaps haven't been shared before. I loved seeing all of the posts last week from bloggers sharing their flashback quilts, and hope to see some more great ones this week as well!

Quilty Flashback Friday photo QFF_zps4df0cd76.gif

This week I'm sharing the first quilt that I ever attempted to design - a bento box style block, which I wanted to make strictly from a stack of Kate Spain holiday charm packs that I had panic-stashed. At the time, I was curious about the whole precut craze, and wanted to see what I could do with them, but I didn't see lots of blocks that really appealed to me at the time, so I decided to adapt an existing block design that I really liked and see if I could do it with what I had on hand.

 Christmas Bento Box Throw Quilt - the first whole block! photo IMG_2418_zps91990e2b.jpg

While I totally identified myself as a quilter when I was working on this quilt, I didn't have any faith in my quilt math. I hadn't really attempted any, and as far as I knew, I wasn't all that great at math. I remember high school geometry and I weren't exactly buddies. In fact, I barely passed geometry in high school. It absolutely did not click for me, not one bit, so quilt math was a bit daunting. I enlisted my husband's help with the math on this, and I was pleasantly surprised when it all worked out! Gosh, I was so thrilled to feel like I was really "getting" quilting.

Christmas Bento Box Throw Quilt - blocks on the line photo IMG_2708_zpse5f11042.jpg

After making just five blocks, I discovered that I was quickly running out of fabric. If I remember correctly, I was working from two or three charm packs, so I went to my notebook to try to figure out how I could make these blocks work in a finished quilt top. Negative space was totally the way to go, so I worked on a couple of ideas and wound up moving forward with this one...

Christmas Bento Box Throw Quilt - hello quilt math! photo IMG_2723_zps0a72efb2.jpg

I started by adding some sashing in Kona Coal, my first Kona true love gray, around each of the blocks to make them a bit larger, but also to set them off from the white negative space I planned to use in the quilt top. I thought that the Coal would make the blocks stand out, but I think if I were to do it again now, I think I choose to sash the blocks in white and then use the Coal for the negative space.

Christmas Bento Box Throw Quilt - the flimsy finish photo IMG_2952_zps021f0a88.jpg

Looking back at these pictures of the quilt top, I remember crawling around on the floor basting this quilt, cursing basting pins. Basting nearly broke me as a newbie quilter! Back then, I was a pin baster, having not discovered the wonderfulness of spray basting at the time, and I'd crawl around on my dining room floor to do my basting. I remember griping about my knees being sore and of course about my pets wanting to lay on the quilt top in the middle of basting! Back then, we were a three pet household, our crazy beagle Sam and two elderly cats, Mu and Sebastian. Sam may have been crazy, but he knew better than to lay on a quilt. The cats were another story, they loved fabric and treated anything with a coating of fabric as something that was cuddle-worthy.

Christmas Bento Box Throw Quilt - proof that I really did pin baste back in the day! photo IMG_2974_zpsb73082d8.jpg

This quilt was also my first try at straight-line quilting - and I remember thinking, is it over yet??? repeatedly. I didn't realize how much more time-consuming straight-line quilting can be when compared to free-motion quilting. After finishing the first line or two, I seriously contemplated pulling them out so I could just free-motion the whole thing, but I stopped myself and convinced myself somehow to stay the course.

Christmas Bento Box Throw Quilt - the finished front photo IMG_2998_zpsa5a86241.jpg

Looking at this quilt now, I think my favorite part is the back. I love the simplicity of it and the quilting is super impactful because of all the solids on the back. I think it's the one part of this quilt I could see myself making again now, even after all the changes to my style over the years. It's still a family favorite that's constantly in rotation, regardless of the season, though, so it's well loved!

Christmas Bento Box Throw Quilt - the finished back - which I like a lot more than the front these days photo IMG_3019_zps015b17fc.jpg

Now it's your turn! Link up your recent blog post sharing a blast from your past and make sure to link back to my blog and visit some of the other Quilty Flashback Friday participants too!


5 comments:

  1. Oh, I like knowing that the quilt is still being used and loved. And how cool to go back and see the first designs and know that you feel so much more confident in it now!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I didnt know there was Math in quilting !

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ah yes, that sinking feeling as a newbie that you're rapidly running out of your chosen (usually completely rare as you happened upon it by chance in a sale) fabric, and having to surround it in what seems like an entire bolt of solids! Good to know it's still used and loved though (although I think you're the only person I know that prefers FMQ to straight lines lol)

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's a great back! So great that you have an actual journal to reflect back on. I'm sure my scraps and scribbles have all been recycled by now. Not that I've given straight line much of a chance but I'll take FMQ over it any day.

    ReplyDelete

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Welcome! I'm Elizabeth, mom to a very busy nine year old boy and a one year old baby girl and I sew for my sanity. Let's get to quilting, shall we?
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