Saturday, November 16, 2013

Red and Cream Quilt, or how to make a quilt in 4 days!

Well, I didn't start out with the intentions of making this a "mystery" quilt.  It just sort of serendipitously ended up that way!  Here's the story.
Several years ago, my local guild did a birthday block swap.  The swap committee chose the pattern, and if you signed up to participate, you chose the colors you wanted.  I have always loved the look of a red and cream quilt, and loved the look of the block, so I signed up.  I received 16 9" blocks.  Not much you can do with  those.  So I put them on a pants hanger (my favorite way of storing blocks while waiting for inspiration) to let them "mellow".

Two years later, we did another birthday block swap.  Again a 9" block.  So I signed up, and again asked for red and cream.  I think I got 11 or 13.  Still not enough.

This year, the Chocolate Chicks, another small group that I belong to, is doing a Churn Dash Stash Buster.  You know where I am going with this, yes, I asked for red and cream!  Surely I would have enough blocks to make this quilt!  I received 21 8" blocks (well, it should have been an even #, but that is all I could find, so either someone made me 1, or 3, or I lost one!)

Working with EQ7, I tried a variety of designs mixing the first two blocks.  But I never really liked the look.  I decided to just let each of the different swaps sing in their own groupings!

I LOVE the secondary design that this block creates!  Sixteen different quilters, sixteen different ideas of red and cream.  But what harmony they created when they came together!
I had to make a few more of the double dutch nine patches for the second round.  No problem, as I had plenty of reds and creams in my stash.  I decided onpoint would give more interest.  I used a red Moda Marbles for the setting triangles.  A cream batik from my stash was used for the filler border.
Now, to handle the next border.  To make it totally with the churn dash blocks would require 32, and I didn't feel like making 11 more.  I decided to separate them with 6X8" rectangles of red and cream.  That nicely framed the blocks and let them sing.  I chose to do an hourglass unit for the corners also to frame the churn dash blocks.
On to that final border!  I had to make a field trip to Sew Sassy, my local quilt shop, to buy more of that red! I didn't want to just put a plain border on it, but didn't want anything too fussy, either.  Borrowing from a trick that Debbie Caffrey showed us when she taught at our guild this spring, I put a 1" cream inset into the final red border.  Just the right touch, I think!
So that is how I put together a huge quilt (I think it is 96" square) in just 4 days!