THE Hundred Patch Quilt

Nearly three years ago I got the notion that I  could take my standard Hundred Patch quilt and change the scale.  Instead of basing it on 2″ squares, why not 1-1/2″?

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It turns out that there are probably several reasons why not, but I forged ahead anyway.  I knew I would need A LOT of 1-1/2″ squares, so I made a point of cutting scrap nearly daily for a year.  That way I had a good supply built up.  Many of the pieces of fabric were very small, but they were enough and over time the box was looking good.

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February 2015 was my start date for piecing.  As some of you know, last year was the year of baby quilts around here, but this got a lot of sewing time anyway as my leader-ender.  Just put some squares next to my machine and rarely leave a needle empty.

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April 2016 saw a finished top, only 14 months in the making.

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It look a while to find the perfect back, get it to the quilter and get it home again. Waiting was hard.  I felt like a piece of myself (or, rather, 5700+ pieces of myself) was missing.  We have been together for a long time.

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But now it is finished and I am so pleased.

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It is hard to photograph due to size and sun and dirt and all the things that are reality in our lives.  But, here it is.  Thank you to all who have followed and supported this journey.  Scrappy happy!

Assembled: The Hundred Patch

About 11pm last night, April 7, I put the last stitches in THE Hundred Patch top.

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The small squares started at 1-1/2″.   The narrow sashing likewise started at 1-1/2″ and the wider sashing between the blocks at 2-1/2″.

In case you are counting, and if I counted correctly, there are 5749 pieces in the completed top.  Just over 8-1/2 yards of rescued fabric scraps in those tiny squares.  Looking at it, I am surprised at how red/orange/yellow it is.  I don’t mind, but I would have guessed it would “read” cool as those are the colors I thought I used most.

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I feel oddly emotional this morning as I take pictures and fold the top to put away until there is a back for it.  (Pictures inside only because the wind is blowing hard.) Thank you to everyone who provided help and support–fabric scraps, encouragement, and time I could spend on sewing because you cooked dinner or worked on laundry or drove the children places.

There is still a long ways to go, but this step is complete.  It is assembled.

Strings Finally Finished

The last time I have a record of working on this quilt was August 2013.   I know it set around for quite a while.  (The nice thing about re-reading that post is that all three projects are now complete!) Obviously, I worked on it again later because it started this year as a finished top.

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Now it is a finished quilt.

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Yay me!

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I quilted it myself on my faithful Pfaff 130.  You can’t really see it in these pictures, but I just did a giant spiral starting at the point of the square and then working out around and around.  There are some rough points where I forgot to make sure the needle was down before repositioning the quilt.  Oh well, I was trying for done not perfect.

This is not counted as one of the 52 (see above).  It is a nice throw size (45″ x 54″) and will join another quilt and an afghan in my classroom.  Students sometimes get cold, or don’t feel well, or just want to be wrapped in a hug.  Quilts add to the atmosphere of being welcome to learn, at least I think so.

More Leftovers

This is the end, I think, of the leftover 2-1/2″ squares that were sewn into groups of various sizes and then not used in a quilt.

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At least they are now two more quilts that ARE finished and they add to the 52 in 2015 inventory.  We’re getting there.

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I can be happy about that.  Another quilt is at the binding stage  which means there is only one quilt left from that pile of lost motivation that I shared a few weeks ago.  Not too bad.  Thanks for all the encouragement you sent me.  It really helped.

And I am working on a new quilt that I really DO like (pictures coming soon).  It is a quilt for Baby Kevin, that lovely addition to our family.  Thanks particularly for your good wishes and support.  The auction raised over $1700 and some additional contributions to his YOU CARING  site.  That leaves only about $1000 to go.  Amazing!  We are so blessed.

CALICO ROSE QUILTALONG: Top Assembly And Borders

Wow!  This has gone so quickly!  If you have been with us from the beginning, I hope you are pleased with your progress so far.  If you are new, welcome.  You can find all past posts and information HERE.

Remember that this quiltalong is offered in three sizes. 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.

This month we are assembling the top and adding all those beautiful pieced borders.  If this is your first experience with pieced borders, never fear.  They are not any harder than blocks and give a great look to a quilt.

Ready?  Let’s put this thing together!

NOTE:  All dimensions have been added for all three sizes.  Please let me know how it works out for you.  Particularly if there are errors! 🙂

ASSEMBLY: 

1. Lay out the star and alternating blocks in a five-by-five arrangement for a MEDIUM.  There should be 13 star and 12 alternating blocks.  If you are building a SMALL the layout will be three-by-three with 5 star and four alternating blocks.  If a LARGE (seven-by-seven) you will have 25 star blocks and 24 alternating blocks.  NOTE:  There is a star block in each corner regardless of size.

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2. Assemble rows first then stitch the rows to one another.  The finished 5×5 center should be 60-1/2″ square.  If you are making a SMALL the 3 x 3 layout will be 36-1/2″ square.  If a LARGE, the 7 x 7 layout will be 84-1/2″ square.  Whew!

CUTTING:

1. From the background fabric cut 14 WOF strips 2″ wide for a MEDIUM quilt.  For a SMALL you will need 9 strips.  For a LARGE 19 WOF strips.

2. From the background fabric cut 178 2″ squares for a medium quilt.  For a SMALL you will need 112 and for a LARGE 240.

3. From the colored scraps cut at least 178 2″ squares for a MEDIUM quilt.  If a SMALL you need to cut at least 112.  For a LARGE, more like 240.  I usually cut a few extra for careful color distribution and as seed for the next project.

CONSTRUCTION:

1. We will first attach a narrow background border all the way around.  Sew all of your WOF strips together end to end (after removing selvages, of course). For a MEDIUM size cut two strips 60-1/2″ long.  Attach to the sides of your center.  If a SMALL  you will need strips 36-1/2″ and for a LARGE two strips 84-1/2″.

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2. For a MEDIUM cut two strips 63-1/2″  long.  Attach to the top and bottom of your center. For a SMALL cut them 39-1/2″ and for a LARGE  87-1/2″.

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3. Now for the tricky part.  You are going to create the middle border with pairs of alternating clored and background squares.  For a MEDIUM size quilt, you will need to make 178 pairs.  Once made, stitch these into four strips.  One should be 42 pairs long, two should be 44 pairs long and one should be 46 pairs long.

For a SMALL size quilt, you will need to make 112 pairs.  Once made, stitch these into four strips.  One should be 26 pairs long, two should be 28 pairs long and one should be 30 pairs long.

For a LARGE size quilt, you will need to make 240 pairs.  Once made, stitch these into four strips.  One should be 58 pairs long, two should be 60 pairs long and one should be 62 pairs long.

4. To be sure your alternating pieces will alternate ALL the way around, I suggest attaching one strip at a time and rotating rather than the usual method of 2 side and two sides that we used on the inner border.  So, choose a side (they are all the same length at this point) at attach the strip that has 42  pairs first (if you are making a MEDIUM quilt) .  Then rotate 90 degrees and, making sure you are alternating in the corner to give a smooth appearance, attach strip number 2 with 44 pairs.  Turn again and attach number 3 with 44  pairs.  One more turn and your final strip (46 pairs) should attach with all pieces alternating.

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For the SMALL quilt, start with your 26 pair strip, then the two 28’s and finally the 30.

For the LARGE quilt, start with the 58 pair strip, then the two 60’s and finally the 62.

5.  To finish attach a  final narrow background border to the outside.  For a MEDIUM, you will cut two strips 69-1/2″  long.  Attach to the sides of your center.  Now two more strips each 72-1/2″  long for the top and bottom of your center.

For a SMALL, you will cut two strips 45-1/2″  long.  Attach to the sides of your center.  Now two more strips each 48-1/2″  long for the top and bottom of your center.

For a LARGE, you will cut two strips 93-1/2″  long.  Attach to the sides of your center.  Now two more strips each 96-1/2″  long for the top and bottom of your center.

6. Ta-dah!  You have a finished top.  Now, that may have been a lot of pieces, but it really wasn’t that hard, was it?!  Well done!

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7. Thank you so much for quilting along. As you finish your tops, please send along pictures with links to a blog post if you have one, or just the story of your quilt if you don’t.  Either is OK.  I’ll see you here on August 10 for a tremendous Show and Tell.

CALICO ROSE QUILTALONG: Fabric and First Cuts

Today is the beginning of the Calico Rose Quiltalong, and it is all about deciding on  fabric and CUTTING.

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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.

FABRIC NEEDS:

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!

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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.

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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.  🙂

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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.

A Calico Rose Quilt Along!

The votes are overwhelmingly in favor of a tutorial for the Calico Rose quilt.  And, as this blog is about to pass the milestone of  five years of existence, a quilt along might be a good way to celebrate!

Let’s do this!

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First, I have a few more questions–would you like to create a full bed quilt or a throw?  The Calico Rose pictured here is 49 blocks and finishes at 96″ square.  That is a big quilt.  And a lot of pieces–about 2500 of them.  Trust me.  I know this is a lot.  However, we could do that.  And you would have a big, beautiful quilt to show for it. And there is  something truly inspiring about directions that start “Cut 2000 2-inch squares in your choice of colors.”

We could also think  smaller–say a throw made out of 9 blocks and that same pieced border.  It would be about 48″ square.  .

Square works best for this design and odd numbers of blocks in the rows/columns, too.  That does restrict options a little.  We could make one with 25 blocks…that would be about 72″ square. That is similar in size to a Fading Charms quilt, which I have on a full size bed here at home, and it works.

Or, everyone could just do their own thing.

I want this to be fun, and I want you to be happy.  I know it is impossible to please everyone all the time, but it would be nice to please some of the people at least some of the time…Please, let your voice be heard.