Today is the beginning of the Calico Rose Quiltalong, and it is all about deciding on fabric and CUTTING.
First you should choose a size to make: SMALL–a throw that uses 5 stars and four alternating blocks. Finished size about 48″ square; MEDIUM–This is the size I am making this time. It uses 13 stars and 12 alternating blocks. Finished size about 72″ square; LARGE: This is the size of the original Calico Rose. It uses 25 star and 24 alternating blocks. Finished size 96″ square.
Quick Note: If you are planning on using 2-1/2″ squares as your base, a SMALL will finish at 64″ and a MEDIUM at 96″. A large would be 128″ square, but I don’t recommend that–most quilting frames won’t hold one that size. The number of cuts you need for each size will be identical to the 2″ quilt, but you will need more background fabric. Please plan accordingly. Using the quantity suggested for the next size up should work. I hope. But you might want to get an extra yard just to make yourself feel better.
Another quick note: Some people have wondered why there isn’t a 4×4 or 6×6 (or any other number) block layout option. You are free to make one, of course, but the final look will be different. The symmetry comes from having odd numbers.
1. A lot of scraps. Some should be at least 4″ square for the points of the stars. (Read 5″ square if you are using 2-1/2″ squares for your base. Yes, I can hear you thinking…”I can use my charm packs.”) You can have a set color scheme (blues), controlled scrappy like the original (blue, yellow, green), or anything goes. I am an “anything goes” person this time. It is hard to judge how much scrap you need, but, unless you are a very new quilter, it will not be anything close to all the scrap you have. Just get a big pile–several double handfuls at least, especially for a large quilt. Sort through. Make piles. Remember former projects and friends and favorites. Rejoice in the abundance. This is supposed to be FUN!
2. Background fabric. I am (no surprise here) using white. You can use any color, but keep contrast in mind. I recommend a single color for the background. One less variable. You will need 1-1/2 yards for SMALL, 3 yards for MEDIUM, 5-1/2 yards for LARGE. I have calculated generously to allow for the inevitable error. Hopefully this will work for you.
CUTTING, for FIRST STEP ONLY:
1. Cut small colored squares. You need a lot of 2″ squares. For SMALL: cut 300 or so, MEDIUM: approximately 800, LARGE: about 1500. Some of these are the centers of the star blocks and some are for the border. Just cut along–you don’t need to do it all at once. You have time. You will have some left over, but that is seed to grow a future quilt.
2. There will be more cutting of fabric as each step comes along. But, for now just get those little squares ready for the centers of the star blocks. Set the rest of your fabric–colored scraps and background fabric, too–aside. Clearly label it “Calico Rose Quilt” so you don’t accidentally cut it up for a different project next week. :)
3. Wait in eager anticipation for the next set of directions. They will be out Friday, April 10.
Thanks for joining in. Let me know how this goes.