I’m so pleased with this pretty quilt. I made it for “I Love This Quilt!” in the November/December 2017 issue of McCall’s Quilting using the pattern for Louisa’s Attic by Gerri Robinson originally published in the November/December 2013 issue. You can read part 1 of my description of making this quilt and download the free pattern here.
My version is ever so scrappy, and when I started it I thought the fact that it called for 2¾–3¾ yards of assorted prints would make a difference in my Fabric Inventory.
Yeah, well, not so much. My tub of blue fabric is still every bit as full as it was before. It will barely slide into the shelf where it belongs. I think there must be another blue scrappy quilt or two in my near future.
Let me tell you a little about how I choose fabric for scrap quilts. I decide on the main color of the quilt and then what coordinating colors I want to use. For this quilt, the main color was blue, with cream as the coordinate. Then I added little pops of yellow and green just to make it interesting.
I want lots of contrast in a scrap quilt, in color, value (light and dark) and scale of the prints. This is where my process gets messy. I select the fabrics and then just put them all in a heap on my dining room table where I’ll walk by multiple times a day. If there is a piece of fabric that jars me every time I see it, I remove it and put it back in my Fabric Inventory for another quilt. After several days (fewer if I am in a hurry), I feel like I have the right selection of fabrics.
Then the cutting begins. I am a huge fan of die cutting. I have an AccuQuilt GO! and I love to use it when I’m cutting scrap quilts. I can layer several fabrics together (usually 6–8) and cut my quilt in considerably less time than if I use the rotary cutting method. This quilt was the perfect time to use die cutting. It has a “jillion” half-square triangles. I counted how many triangles I’d need because I’d changed the size of the quilt by adding a block in each direction. Then I cut and stacked the triangles in sets of 20 so I’d know when to quit cutting. I needed 512 triangles.
I sewed my half-square triangles together in pairs. It’s important to note that the die cut off the ends of the triangles when I cut my half-square triangles. That’s another reason I like to die cut; the dog-ears are already trimmed. That’s a big timesaver.
I did laugh at myself. Remember that I’d calculated the number of triangles I’d need—512. That’s how many triangles I cut. Then I went to a friend’s cabin for the weekend and sewed the triangles together in pairs. I was working in a little smaller space than usual and got a *tiny* bit confused.
As I made units with a pair of triangles each, I counted. At the end of the weekend, I counted the pairs of triangles and decided that I was a bit short. I needed triangles for one more block. So when I got back home, I cut triangles for one more block. (More on that later.)
Then I put the pairs up on my design wall. I did a bit of rearranging to keep the blocks as different from one another as I could. The rest of the assembly was easy. I love the pieced sashing—it makes the quilt so interesting and by using the same fabric for all the sashing, it ties all those scraps together nicely.
This was the first quilt I quilted on my new-to-me Handi Quilter Avante. I wanted to make spirals but I just couldn’t get the hang of nice smooth curves. When I was nearly done with the quilt, I talked to one of the Handi Quilter educators and she suggested that my machine might not be set correctly for free-motion quilting. I checked, she was right, I changed the settings and now I can make curves.
But even with the “square” spirals, I like my quilt, which I named Painting the Attic Blue. In fact, I like my quilt a whole lot.
The back of the quilt is fun, too. It’s pieced but not totally crazy like some of my other pieced backs. And remember that I told you I’d cut 512 triangles and then decided I needed to make enough for one more block? Notice the block in the lower left corner. I guess 512 was right after all.
Now I need to think about what I’m going to do to use up a whole bunch more of my blue fabric Inventory.
I’ll start by checking these free scrappy quilt patterns.
But I also love this Scrappy Triangles Quilt Pattern.
Or maybe I’ll just do some string piecing. I really like the look of string piecing and it’s a great way to use up lots of fabric.