Friday, March 2, 2012

First Quilt: Pattern Selection and Improvisational Cutting

This is the second post in a series on making my first quilt, please click here to read the first post.

Phase Two: Pattern Selection and Improvisational Cutting

After many hours searching for the perfect pattern for my first quilt I decided to go with a strip quilt. There's no blocks to match up, no sashing or borders, just nice and easy strips. 

Originally, I was just going to keep it simple and follow the Easy, Striped Baby Quilt pattern from the book Quilting for Peace by Katherine Bell. It is a strip quilt that uses four different prints and three different sized strips of each. I, of course, wanted to use five prints. So what's a girl to do? Make her own pattern!

I felt that I needed to create a pattern or have some strict rules to follow for my first quilt so that it would be easy and foolproof, right? Wrong, it just stressed me out. 


Unhappy with my attempts, I sought advice from others. My Husband suggested sketching a mock up of what I want the quilt to look like, either on paper or in Adobe Illustrator. Then create the pattern from the sketch, a great idea that I'll probably try out in the future. The next day, a customer at my work suggested choosing my favorite print and having more strips of that one and less of the others. She said start by cutting one strip of each of the five prints and then build from there. And the wheels started turning…

Improvisational Cutting

I'll admit I was super nervous to cut those first five strips but once I started I couldn't stop! I cut strips of various widths and draped them over my ironing board so I could see how they looked next to each other. Then I rearranged them until I liked the order, looked for what was missing and then added more. In some cases a strip would be to wide so I'd just trim it down. It was so much fun! 

I knew that I was aiming for a finished length of about 49" so I measured the amount of space the strips were taking up on my ironing board and then subtracted half an inch per strip (1/4" seam allowance on each side) to get a rough idea of the finished measurement. I quickly ran out of room on the ironing board so I laid them out in order on my cutting table. Measured again, added a few more strips and took pictures so that I could reference the order. I apologize for the lighting in the photo, this was taken late one night and I didn't think I'd be posting it.

strip quilt layout

Coming next in the First Quilt Series-
Phase 3: Piecing and Quilting

Have a lovely day!

No comments:

Post a Comment