Download the Nuts and Bolts free lap quilt pattern here, and read on about Gigi’s plans for a fresh version of this quilt!
Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by! There are so many quilts in past issues of McCall’s Quilting that I love, but I had to choose just one to remake and share with you. I chose Sandy Klop’s striking, graphic pattern Nuts and Bolts, from McCall’s Quilting January/February 2010 issue. (Speaking of striking graphic patterns, one of my quilts—Digital Geode—is featured in McCall’s Quilting January/February 2016 issue.)
The first thing I do when I decide to make a pattern is to think about fabrics, colors, and prints and how my fabric choices might make my quilt different than the one in the picture. It’s really fun, but daunting, too, since there are literally endless possibilities.
I knew when I chose this pattern that high contrast fabrics would be pretty important. The bullseye motif wouldn’t really have much impact without significant contrast. I decided to use the same two dark fabrics throughout the entire quilt and coordinated them with pastels from my stash, with the idea that each bullseye would have a different pastel color. Here’s the initial group of fabrics that I pulled.
Once I had my idea in place, it was time to see how well it would actually work in real life. The number of bullseyes that I could do depends on how many strips I’m able to cut (I keep thinking of the bullseyes as blocks, but they’re not!). I cut all the dark fabric into strips and lucky me, I can make 12 bullseyes, just like the quilt in the photo! So now that I know I have 12 bullseyes to plan, I can decide where I want which pastel color to be for optimal layout.
It always helps me to look at my fabric choices at each stage of the process. I can see sometimes that what works beautifully in a stack of coordinated fabrics doesn’t look as good when laid out in a block format. I had to eliminate the white/cream/beige prints since the lack of hue commanded too much attention in the layout, and not in a good way. I played around with different colors and prints from my stash until I was happy with my mock bullseye layout. Here are the pastels all laid out in the order I like:
You may be wondering why there are 2 pastel fabrics in each stack. Since each bullseye is made with strip sets of 7 strips each, I thought it would be fun to mix it up, if just a little bit. I did not want to make the strip sets asymmetrical since the template is placed both upside down and downside up on the strip sets. But I could use 2 similar but different pastels for each strip set, as well as the 2 similar but different dark prints. I haven’t sewn all the strip sets yet, but I think my idea is going to be pretty cool. Here are the strip sets I have so far.
And then let’s cut the strip sets into the wedges for the bullseyes, why not.
While I haven’t gotten too far yet, I’m well on my way! I’ll finish up the remaining strip sets, cut them into wedges, and then I’ll have some more decisions to make, like what should I use for those kite-shaped wedges in between the bullseyes? Should I add borders? I have a few ideas, but meet me back here in a month or two and we can go over them. See you then!
UPDATE: For more on this quilt, read I Love This Quilt! Nuts and Bolts, Part 2.