Dish mat – Because You Just Can’t Buy Awesome

Dish mat – Because You Just Can’t Buy Awesome

Time to complete: 2 weeks.

Why not?

It took me 2 months to buy the dish rack. [and 1 week to buy the towel which is included in the project time] Besides, aren’t you tired of seeing tutorials that say you can make an entire quilt in a hour?  You look at it and feel inferior before you even try. Well, if you make this, you can beat my time, and feel awesome.
I saw this nice dish rack at the store back in December for $20, but it only came in white, black and turquoise. The curtains I made are turquoise, with birds, and bird feeders with bits of red in them by Judy Niemeyer , and I need some more red in my kitchen! Not to be defeated, I went home and googled it. I found the red, but it was $50!!! I’m not paying that, so I back burnered it.
A couple of weeks ago, I was at the store again, and there were those dish racks taunting me. Now the black was sold out, but I didn’t care. I wanted red! Then it hit me. I can make red happen. I bought the white one, got it home, and got to work.
I don’t know why I googled it. I wasn’t going to pillowcase the stupid thing. I am going to quilt it! You betcha!
I think I will play with my Strip Tube ruler I bought months ago.
I measured the counter top and decided I want it to work out to be 23 +/- 1″ by 26 +/- 1″
I figured 4.5 finished blocks would take me there, and went with 2 1/4″ strips.

I first sewed the turquoise to the red I had bought for hot pads and the like, then sewed the two strip sets together with opposites facing each other.

drying_mat_2-25_strips

drying_mat_2-25_strips_sewn
I skipped the instructions, and placed the ruler over the seam, as high as it would go without the peak hanging off the top, which turned out to be the 5″ mark. Gee, I did that right, didn’t I?

drying_mat_strips_alignto5inmark

Open them,  iron, trim ears.

drying_mat_open_blocks_iron

I played around until I got kind of a inside out on point pattern.

drying_mat_top_done
I like to lay it out, admire it for awhile, then flop em over on each other, and pin it on the edge I will be sewing incase I lose my mind and forget where I am to sew. Hey, it happens!

drying_mat_layout_blocks_pin
Of course I have a quilt going on and Mustang has white thread with the 1/4″ guide already installed, so rather than run these pieces through, stopping to pin the rows, and starting again to sew the rows, I will run a piece of the quilt through every time I need to stop, and just leave it there until I start again. Some call these leaders and enders. I call it multi tasking.

leaders_enders
Now the backing. How about a nice thick towel? I couldn’t find one I liked that didn’t have that wide flat band on each end. I ended up getting one big enough so that when I cut off the ends with the bands, I will have enough left over to make 4 hanging towels. Yeah, I could buy towel-like fabric, but I like this better for $9, and can you really put a price on having pre finished ends for hand towels? I didn’t think so.

drying_mat_pin_to_towel
I was going to practice some free motion quilting, but I am a Ditch Girl, and I liked the pattern sew much, that I didn’t want to ruin it. I’ll learn later. Yep, I’m going in the ditch. I like it there. It’s nice and quiet, and no one bothers me.
I sewed around the outside before trimming it because this stuff sheds!

drying_mat_quilt_sew_edgesdown
I did get to practice my binding. Yay!
I sewed the binding strips together, and the mailman came.
My Sewing Sampler box had arrived. It was my very first, so I had no idea what it would be like. It contained a Kona color of the year charm pack, a pattern, a 45mm blade, needles, fabric wash, and a thread cutter thingy.

drying_mat_open_fqs_samplerbox
and another box, of something Brat [who uses our address because she was stationed in Japan], sent to her friend but it got returned as undelivereable. What is it?

What to do? Oh cake. Lets do that first. Open cake, taste cake, improve cake. There, that’s better.

By the way, I heard you gasp when you saw the can of Sanders chocolate sauce on this quilt, but remember it is a dish drying mat. It will get dirty.

Back to the sampler box, which happens to contain a thread cutter. Let’s try it.

It works! I really thought the little thing would topple over when I push the thread down on it, but it didn’t. Would I buy one? Nope. Am I disappointed? Nope. The handy thing about this is, when you are seperating a bunch of strips or chain sewn pieces with scissors, you always run the risk of cutting into the fabric. This gadget pretty much prevents that. The blade is so far down, it would be difficult to get fabric down there.

Now on to the binding!

I use what some call the pocket method. I could learn a different method, but not today.
Basically, once your binding is made [I use 2 1/2″ strips ironed in half], you open part of it, iron a dog ear [left side down if you sew on the right], and sew it on, starting at the point for about 6 or 8 inches. Then you sew off of it.

Fold the binding back over and start sewing where I left off.

drying_mat_binding_pocket_start04
I keep my binding wrapped on a piece of cardboard, and lay it down as I sew.

drying_mat_binding
I sew off the corner, and do the corner fold, which took me forever to figure out what the heck those books were talking about. I like corners now. Mostly because each one brings me 25% closer to being done.


Now when I start getting back to that pocket, I stop with the needle down. Then lay the binding down [that is how I measure it] and cut at an angle about 2″ past the begining. One inch is probably enough.

Then I tuck it in, and finish sewing it down.

Take it to the ironing board and iron the binding flat, leaving the corners alone for now.

drying_mat_binding_iron_sides_flat
Flip it over and pin the corners.

drying_mat_binding_pin_corners
Iron the binding over making sure it covers the stitch line, and clip it down. Don’t you just love these little guys? I have like 200 of them!

drying_mat_binding_iron_back_clip
I will be sewing just outside the binding which will catch the other side.
hmmm, should I use walking foot or my ditch foot? Some machines have a needle left/right adjuster knob which would let you use the walking foot. Some don’t and you will have better luck with the ditch foot. My Viking does, but . . . .


You know it! In the ditch it is!
I hand turn the wheel to bring the needle down and make sure it’s going to go where I want it. Nope. Gotta switch adapters. I knew one of these wasn’t the right one.
drying_mat_binding_ditch_foot
I remove the clips as I get to them, and since my corner pins are on the back side, I remove them when I get real close, stopping with  the needle down.

drying_mat_binding_pullpin

and we have a winner!

6 blocks across, and 5 down made it 22.5 by 27.

drying_mat_finished

Oh. I guess that means I have to wash dishes now.

 

#EasyBindingTechnique #TheTiesThatBind #JellyRollStripPattern  #ThingsihateToDo #YouJustCantBuyAwesome

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Jenny’s Starburst Quilt Enlarged

Jenny’s Starburst Quilt Enlarged

Many people have seen Jenny from Missouri Star Quilt Company’s video on making a quilt she calls Starburst, and would like to make it bigger. Me too.

Yes, I am breaking another rule, because I haven’t made this quilt yet. I’m actualy playing with HST’s right now in another project, but I thought I’d have some fun ‘on paper’ with this for a moment. I’ll post that project later.

Starburst Quilt Video

Jenny’s quilt is 57×57 including a 4.5″ border [48×48 without border]. It uses 16 colored or focus print Layer cake pieces [10″ square], and 16 background layer cake [or 10″ square] pieces. She has 8 rows and 8 columns for 64 Half Square Triangle [HST] blocks.

I designed the same quilt using 36 colored Layer Cake pieces [plus 36 background Layer Cake pieces] based on her method shown in the video above resulting in a 6.5″ block.  The blocks will actually be close to 6 3/4 inches, but most HST’s need trimming, so lets go with 6 1/2. The “finished” or sewn size of the block will be 6″

I am just going to call the 10″ layer cake pieces “LC” from here on because I don’t like to type that much.

With same size border [4.5 finished size – cut at 5″] as Jenny’s it will be 81×81 or 72×72 without. It is 12 blocks across by 12 blocks down = 144 HST blocks total and uses 36 print LCs and 36 background LCs
I also colored the original 8 rows and 8 columns of blocks differently to help visualise the added on rows.

picture_quilt_starburst_81x81w4-5border_36lcs_6inblocks

Color option with the incomplete diamonds on the outside edges blending into the border, which I like better.

picture_quilt_starburst_81x81w4-5border_36lcs_6inblocks02

For the 81×81 quilt with border option above you will need:

30 print LC pieces
30 background LC pieces
10  LC pieces cut from border fabric
4 pieces 6.5 square also from your border fabric.
Yardage for this border layout is 2 1/2, but I would buy more.
to make
100 Print/Background HSTs – from 25 pcs of each LC
20 Border/Print HSTs – from 5 pcs of each LC
20 Border/Background HSTs – from 5 pcs of each LC
4 Background corner squares 6.5″

If you’re a math geek, I know this only adds up to 70 LCs but that is because you aren’t sewing HSTs in the 4 corners.

Want to go bigger?

How about 93×93 with the 4.5 border like Jennys, or 84×84 without. Layer cakes tyically come in packs of 40, so you’ll have to hit up your stash because this one will use 49 LC pieces [each of the focus print and background].

There are 14 rows and 14 columns. Again, I have colored the original 8 rows and 8 columns of blocks differently to help visualise the added on rows.

picture_quilt_starburst_93x93w4-5border_49lcs_6inblocks

Even bigger?

This is 100×100 with the incomplete diamonds on the outside edges blending in to a 2″ border, that will take 56 LC pieces [each of the focus print and background].

Again, I have colored the original 8 rows and 8 columns of blocks differently to help visualise the added on rows. This one has 16 rows and columns.

picture_quilt_starburst_100x100w2border_56lcs_6inblocks

Recipe for this 100×100 Starburst quilt with 2″  [cut 2.5] border blending into the design:
16 blocks across by 16 blocks down = 256 blocks
Center will be 96×96 and will require:

56 print LC pieces
56 background LC pieces
14 LC pieces cut from border fabric
4 pieces 6.5 square also from your border fabric.
Yardage for this border layout is 2 yds, but I would buy more to be safe.

to make:
196 Print/Background HSTs – from 49 pcs of each LC
28 Border/Print HSTs –  from 7 pcs of each LC
28 Border/Background HSTs –  from 7 pcs of each LC
4 Background corner squares 6.5″

but wait!

You talked and I listened – and it snowed – and I was bored – and I was waiting for coffee. . .

I went LONGER!

Oh yes, I did! The first one is off center with the added rows at the bottom. In case you started the 81×81 and gave up because you wanted it longer , or maybe you just want to be different.

This is a 81×93 Long OFF CENTER with 4.5 blended border [cut 5″] layout and uses 36 layer cake pieces. It is 12 blocks across by 14 blocks down for a total of 168 blocks

Starburst_LC36_B_81x93_OffCenter

The recipe for the 81×93 LONG OFF CENTER with blended border quilt is
36 print LC pieces
36 background LC pieces
12 LC pieces cut from border fabric
4 pieces 6.5 square also from your border fabric.
Yardage for this border layout is 2 1/2, but I would buy more to be safe.
To make
120 Print/Background HSTs – 30 of each LC
22 Border/Print HSTs – 6 of each LC*
22 Border/Background HSTs – 6 of each LC*
4 Background corner squares 6.5″
* you will have 2 HST’s left over. Use all 4 and make a pillow!

Maybe you just need to stay centered. In that case, here it is. Also 81×93 but if you pay attention the corners are different on these two quilt layouts. The colors wrap around the outside corners on this centered one, and the off-centered one has a couple of orphan blocks that do not make a diamond by the two bottom corners. I know, you may not have noticed, but when you get to sewing it, I want you to be aware. I do like both of these much better than the square ones, and I intend to make one . . . . enventually.

Starburst_LC36_B_81x93_Centered

To make this 81×93 Long CENTERED with 4.5 blended border quilt, you will need:

36 print LC pieces
36 background LC pieces
12 LC pieces cut from border fabric
The yardage for the border is 2 1/2
To make:
120 Print/Background HSTs – from 30 of each LC
24 Border/Print HSTs – from 6 of each LC
24 Border/Background HSTs – from 6 of each LC

One more size before my head explodes.

93×105 long with the blended border [84×96 before the 4.5 outer border], and uses 49 Layer Cake Pieces. It is 14 blocks across by 16 blocks down for 224 blocks total.

Starburst_LC49_B_93x105_Centered

For  this 93×105 Long CENTERED with 4.5 blended border [cut 5″] you will need:
49 print LC pieces
49 background LC pieces
14 LC pieces cut from border fabric
The yardage for the border is 2 3/4

To make:
168 Print/Background HSTs – from 42 of each LC
28 Border/Print HSTs – from 7 of each LC
28 Border/Background HSTs – from 7 of each LC

by the way, the prints for all 3 of these rectangular Starburst quilts are from the Kaffe Fasset Collective.

I hope you enjoyed my resized version’s of Jenny’s lovely quilt!

Now, incase you want to cut your own layer cake squares, here is a Pre-Cut Yardage Chart so you’ll know how much yardage you’ll need.

#JennysStarburstEnlarged #BiggerStarburstLayout #LayerCake4HSTmethod  #StarburstUnsquared

Breaking the rules – Disappearing 9 patch

Breaking the rules – Disappearing 9 patch

Who names these things anyway? I mean did they make a 9 patch, not like it, slice it up and say, “Hey where did my 9 patch go?” and their accomplice answered “I dunno, it seams to have disappeared”?

This quilt was in my head from the moment I saw a picture of one.
The instructions seemed simple enough, but I wanted the small patches to repeat, and all the pictures I found were scrappy.
Like usual, I had to modify. and educate myself.
A co worker had wanted me to make a quilt.
Sound familiar?
This wasn’t the first co-worker who had asked. The first one wanted a Spider Man quilt, and he’s a big guy, so that would be no throw. I had to tell him the bare facts: The fabric would cost over $100, and if I only charged $100 labor, he wouldn’t be happy with paying it, and I wouldn’t be happy with doing all that work for that, so we’d have 2 unhappy people at the start.
but this co-worker wanted a baby quilt for a gift for his new Grand Daughter. He only had a budget of $60 and wanted pinks. I told him I would see what scraps I had, because the budget would quickly be used up in fabric and batting. I found a charm pack I paid $2 for on a daily deal, plus some fabric I had left over from other projects, and told him I could do it, as long as he didn’t mind giving me all the design control.
Wheeeee!
Now I could do an experi-mental 9 patch!
I had already broken my first rule: I have 2 price points – “Free, if I want to”, and “You can’t afford me, if I don’t”.
Breaking that rule was like the first scratch on a new car. I was set free – of rules.

A nice size baby quilt will take 12 of these blocks. There are 4 corners, 4 background pieces, and one contrasting center piece in each, so I will need 48 prints, 48 backgrounds, and 12 contrast pieces. Using charms or 5″ pieces should result in a 39×52 quilt before borders.
I got out that 42 piece charm pack, and began cutting 12 – 5″ squares in a co-ordinating color [yellow] I found at a thrift store for $2.
I had some 108″ Kona white set aside for curtains, and figured I wouldn’t miss a couple 5″ wide strips, so I cut 48 5″ squares of that.

Then I dug up enough scraps to make 6 more 5″ squares in cordinating colors, and I was ready to assemble.
Now, here’s the thing: when you combine a precut with pieces you cut, they don’t always match.

Disappearing 9 patch patches

This precut had pinked edges, and mine didn’t. Some say to measure from the outside [or peaks] and some say the inside [or valleys] but knowing my 5″ squares were dead on [I obsess] I used my cut pieces as my guide, and sewed my 1/4″ seam from those.
I probably broke another rule here by making every printed square orient so that all prints were in the same direction. No easy feat since I would be turning every other block. [more obsessing]
Would people notice? [I would]

So, I put the pieces I wanted to orient ‘up’, in the 2 opposite corners on every 9 patch block. It doesn’t matter which two corners, as long as [1] they are opposite, and [2] they are the same for all 12 blocks. See the girls in the upper right, and the trees in the lower left pieces shown below. You will see why when I slice and turn the blocks later.

Disappearing 9 patch block

Once the 9 patches were done, I had some trimming and squaring to do.
The rule I did not break: People don’t tell you this, but when you trim, you don’t just willy nilly even the edges. You not only have to make the blocks all the same size, but the pieces in that block must measure the same distance to the outside edges. If you just line up your ruler with the bottom corners and start slicing off excess fabric, you will have problems. Knowing the middle squares measure 4.5 inches [5 inches minus the 1/4 seam on each side] after being sewn, that is where I want to start. These blocks will measure about 14 inches. Then  after trimming, cutting and resewing, they will have a finished size of 13″ if I did it right.

Disappearing 9 patch_trim

You want to line up the center patch in the middle of your ruler, making sure the 45 degree angle on your ruler goes from point to point on the whole block, as well as that center patch, and then trim the top and side, spin, and do it again. This will ensure that your block is truly square.

Disappearing 9 patch_trim02

Once trimed, slice in half both ways

Disappearing 9 patch_trim03

Disappearing 9 patch_slice

Then turn 2 of the 4 resulting patches in opposite corners. Notice I did not turn the little girls, or the tree.

Disappearing 9 patch_turn

So happy I had my husband build me this 24″ rotating mat!

Disappearing 9 patch_trim04

Now to agonise over block placement

Disappearing 9 patch_arrange

Take a picture and walk away. See if I still like it, and either rearrange [always] or begin sewing [never]
Oh, and did I fail to mention that he wanted the baby’s name in the quilt?
It took me 3 weeks to find someone to do this – that was still open by the time I got to my home town after work. Given the cost of embroidery machines, $8 was a bargain.
I broke another rule by making the top border bigger then the other 3.

Disappearing 9 patch_embroidered

Now to check it with the backing I bought for $15 and see if I still liked it. It had to be pink. The quilt needs more pink!

Disappearing 9 patch_assembled

Knowing who this quilt is really for – the parents – it’s always for the parents. I guessed that they may not be familiar with how flat hand made quilts are, so I broke another rule and used #3 thick batting – doubled. Twin size [72×90] for $15 worked for this 43x 58 quilt.

Disappearing 9 patch_quilted04

Yep, and not only that, I had exactly one inch to spare for the backing!
Many quilters want the batting and backing to be 4″ bigger on all sides.
I blew that rule up with a 43″ quilt on a 44″ wide backing.

Disappearing 9 patch_quilted02

Of course I stiched in the ditch. Ima ditch stitcher. There I said it.
Embrace who you are. I embrace the ditch!

Disappearing 9 patch_finished03

I wasn’t done breaking rules yet. I used yellow thread on the spool, and pink in the bobbin.

Disappearing 9 patch_binding_back

Disappearing 9 patch_binding_front

I managed to stay under the $60 in materials for this quilt, but just barely. I mean who can go shopping for a 2 yard piece of backing and not see some fantastic fabric you must have for a future project?
There’s another rule I broke: buying pretty fabric without any project in mind, figuring the pretty fabric will tell me what it wants to be in due time, . . . and I will obey.

Update:

Because you asked, and I did that frustrating yet satisfying thing with a calculator, I am going to post the numbers for a “generous twin or maybe full” size:

These blocks will be 13″ square and since I made 12 blocks and arranged them 3 across and 4 down, my quilt center was 39″ x 52″ before the borders were added.
5 blocks would be 65″
6 blocks would be 78″
7 blocks would be 91″
Lets say you want 78×91 which would be 6 across by 7 down, for a total of 42 blocks.
42×9=378 5 inch squares total
Broken down:
42 squares would be the contrast color in the middle that gets cut into 4 small even squares when you slice the block. This could also be a charm pack. Maybe in a solid color.

168 squares would be your colorful prints, or charms.
Lets say you get charm packs with 42 pieces in them, and divide 168 by 42 = 4 so you’d need 4 charm packs. If you choose one with only 40 pieces, you will be 8 pieces short.

168 squares would be your background squares.
For the background, lets say you want yardage to cut your own charms from, and that yardage has 40″ of usable width. It’s definately not 45″, which would be one charm bigger. So you’d get 8 charms for every 5″ strip of fabric. 168 divided by 8 = 21
21×5=105″ or 3 yards. It wouldn’t hurt to go a bit bigger since we all make mistakes, so maybe get 3 and a half. Or cheat and get 4 plain background charm [42 piece] packs.
All this is assuming your blocks turn out to be 13″ and before borders.

#Disappearing9Patch #HeyWhereDidTheyGo

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Love Knots

Love Knots

Quilting is a journey.

Sometimes a quilt represents the end of one, and sometimes the beginning. Every quilt I make, I do with the person I am making it for on my mind. Whether they know it or not, they took that journey with me. I learn things about them, as well as myself.  This quilt has a few names, but I like “Love Knot”
After finishing my Featherweight test quilt, made with what turned out to be a hideously ugly jelly roll, I decided to make my Mom a quilt for mother’s day. It was February, so I had plenty of time, and the wheels turned in my head of traveling the 800 miles to hand it to her on Mother’s Day! My Mother and I had turned a milestone about 10 years ago, and somehow this would be symbolic of my having moved on from the past, and into the  future. One where neither of us would see ourselves as a failure.

Such lofty goals.

I found a pattern I liked that magazine’s often send you for free to consider subscribing to them, called “Spice market”. It was a partial log cabin, lots of angles, so not too ‘girly’ or old fashioned, and I hadn’t done a log cabin yet. I had turquoise [not teal] and silver [not gray] in mind, but every time I went to the store, I couldn’t find the shades I had in my head. The tones were all muted or distorted from what I had in mind. I wanted bright and cheery, yet warm, and it had to match her decor, because this was to be a couch quilt. Big enough for Mom and her 2nd husband to snuggle under.

Pattern_Spice_600.jpg

More lofty goals.

I soak in a hot tub every evening and read books or, look at quilt books, and dream. Before I even had the fabric picked out, I saw a pattern in one book and ear marked it. Later, I saw the same pattern in a log cabin book, and ear marked that. Two books – one pattern – two different methods, and names, but I still liked it days later. It was the same block as in the free pattern, but the block orientation, and color placement was the key. The secondary pattern with the two main colors linking together is what put it over the top. I had to make this.

 

Pattern_Linked_Chevrons_600.jpg

hmmmmmmmm, changing your view, changes the outcome.

On one of my trips to the fabric store, I found a cheery print with turquoise, navy, silver and green, and tried to work other colors in. I never could find the right silver. Then I found the perfect backing, but it was in 2 pieces, and my coupon was for “one cut” We worked it out, and I ended up with a 2 yard piece and a 2.5 yard piece of a lovely batik in silvery blue with brown grape leaf motifs. Then I found a brown floral batik. [Mom’s new husband loves chocolate!] Still later I found a nice gray leaf print by Amy Butler. I now had both warm and cool colors, and was ready for a test block! Unfortunately, this pattern would need at least 10 test blocks to see if I liked it all together.

fabric_choices02_600

There’s a learning curve in these log cabin blocks. Two books with two sets of instructions. The instructions I chose to follow had me sewing strip sets, sub cutting into square blocks, then sewing the two blocks together on the bias just like half square triangles, and I quickly learned that cutting the blocks from the strip sets had to be very consistent!

quilt_loveknot_mom_stripsets_600

When cutting blocks from strip sets, it is neccessary to line up the rulers lines to the seam lines. Every. Time.

quilt_loveknot_mom_stripset_trim_600

I picked up some Omnigrid Glow Line Tape on a whim awhile back, and applied the tape to my ruler, to help line up the squares as I cut them. I got better blocks after that.

quilt_loveknot_mom_stripset_trim_again_600

Just like pancakes, the first blocks will not be used!

quilt_loveknot_mom_first_blocks_600

*except to pin on my wall to keep me oriented when assembling the good blocks.

quilt_loveknot_mom_first_blocks_sewn_600

checking them out in my audition booth that I made

quilt_loveknot_mom_test_blocks01_600

and here we are . . . . I see a pattern emerging!

quilt_loveknot_mom_test_blocks02_600

quilt_loveknot_mom_layout_600

Border, or no?

quilt_loveknot_mom_border_turquoise_600

Yes, a chocolate border it is!

quilt_loveknot_mom_border_chocolate_600

Finished!

Quilt_LoveKnot_Mom_Finished_600.jpg

As it turned out, my Mom was going to visit my sister 2 states over, the week after Mothers Day, so, no, I didn’t take it to her, but I did hand it to her the first week of June, when she stopped by on her return trip home.

Home is where the heart is, and a piece of my heart now resides there.

quilt_loveknot_mom_home-500

 

#Loftygoals #LogCabinQuilt #LoveKnots #MissionAccomplished

Ugly Jelly Quilt

Ugly Jelly Quilt

This project was really a test run of my newly aquired 1937 Featherweight, that was in mediocre condition upon arrival. I cleaned, oiled, greased, and polished to a fairly nice condition, made a case tote and bed cover for it, and wanted to perfect the tension settings [1937 models do not have numbers on the tension] and get that coveted 1/4″ stitch.
I while picking up some fabric for the interior of my FW case tote, I also had picked up a couple of strip [commonly called “Jelly”] rolls on sale, and thought they’d make a nice napping quilt, since nothing I currently had matched my bedroom, or would cover my feet.
FW_Case_Tote02

The rolls were mixed browns and looked like a bunch of fun all rolled up and ready to rock my world. They practically begged me to make something of them!
I did the research on jelly roll quilts and they typically turn out to be 50″ by 64″. I knew that wouldn’t warm my toes, so I did some math and added a yard of brown swirly fabric, and a yard of an accent color so it the quilt wouldn’t be quite so brownish.
So, I had my plan, and my stitch width guide from Nova’s Featherweight store, and was ready to go!
When I unrolled the strips, I was taken back by all the loud gold splattered all over them! One strip was camo, one looked like an ugly brick, some were pleasing, but all with this shiny gold haphazardly spilled across it. It looked like a disaster. I put on my sunglasses, and proceded to sew them together anyway.
When my boss asked me to work Sat and Sunday, I thought of my FW that I couldn’t wait to try out, and then remembered the fabric so ugly I had to sneak up on it to sew it, and I said I would. So the “Jelly roll race quilt” that’s suposed to take about an hour would have to be done in bits and pieces, and that was ok.

UJ_Fabrics

One thing these Jelly Roll strip quilt instructions don’t tell you is that there is a reason all these quilts turn out to be 50″by 60″. Because after sewing all the strips end to end, each time you fold the strip in half and sew up the side seam you loose half the width. Once you get to a strip set about 100″ long, you have 2 pieces 32″ wide, resulting in the 50″ by 64″ not-wide-enough-or-long-enough-quilt. I mean who uses these 50″by 60″ quilts anyway? Well, probably kids, but I’m not a kid anymore. I just act like it sometimes.

Here’s the detailed mathimagical reason why:

Using the standard Jelly Roll Race Quilt Recipe, your first strip will be  1600″ long and 2.5″ wide
Then you grab the two ends and sew them right sides together for about 800″ long, making it a 2 piece strip set 4.5″ wide
Then you grab the two ends and sew them right sides together for about 400″ long, making it a 4 piece strip set 8.5″ wide
Then you grab the two ends and sew them right sides together for about 200″ long, making it an 8 piece strip set 16.5″ wide
Then you grab the two ends and sew them right sides together for about 100″ long, making it a 16 piece strip set 32.5 wide
and finally,  you grab the last two ends and sew them right sides together for about 50″ long resulting in one piece consisting of a 32 piece strip set 64.5″ wide. If you continue, you’d have a 25″ by 128″ quilt which nobody is shaped like.

You didn’t think I was going to tell you why I act like a kid sometimes, did you?

I came up with this “Random Organised Jelly Roll Quilt” recipe for those over thinkers who do not like complete, caution to the wind style randomness [like me] and want a bigger jelly roll quilt. This will result in an aprox 70″ wide by 80″ long quilt perfect for twin size bed or a nice couch nap.

Ingredients:

2 rolls of 20 strips = 40 mixed browns
14 strips of brown swirl [cut from one yard of fabric] to dilute the ugly and make it bigger
= 54 total brown strips
14 green/blue/brown floral accent strips cut from one yard of fabric, and then cut in 2 pieces = 28 half length strips

Random Organised pattern to avoid simular colors grouping and forming cliques, because nobody likes cliques in real life :

divide by number of accent half strips /28 = 1.9 or round up to 2
So we place one half length accent strip [AC] for every 2 brown strips
but to mix the assorted [ugly] browns with the brown swirl, we have to divide the 40 mixed brown pieces by the 14 brown swirl pcs
40/14=2.8 so 3 Brown Mixed [BM] strips from roll, then 1 Brown Swirl [BS] strips cut from one yard
Pattern = 4 browns and 2 accents would be a 6 pc repeat like this
AC/BM/BM/AC/BM/BS/ . . . AC/BM/BM/AC/BM/BS/ . . . AC/BM/BM/AC/BM/BS/
I sewed the strip ends together in the diagonal pattern instead of straight across. The first strip was about 2800″ long. Then I sewed the two ends together and got a 2 piece strip set aprox 1400″ long. I was planning on doubling it one more time and cutting 10 strips 70″ long, but I like the pattern I saw emerging with the half accent strips at that point, so I cut that 1400″ strip in to 20 pieces 70″ long, and carried them to the bedroom to lay out in my desired pattern.

UJ_numbers

I then numbered a bunch of clothes pins, and placed them on the ends so that all I had to do is play  “match and sew” See how ugly these are up close? Thank God for that brown swirl!

UJ_Quilting

My mega sewing table with all the incerts installed. Ok, well some call it an extending dining table, but we’ll never eat on it. There’s a mighty Viking Husqarna sewing machine in there somewhere, and you can see how those half strip accents came together in an intresting way.

Other details: I used 80/20 Nature’s Touch by Pellon quilt batting, and 505 spray basting. That’s why you don’t see a lot of safety pins. The spray basting is TEMPORARY, so you want to start quilting it imediately, which I did.

After adding a 4.5″ border on only the sides, the final result was 77″ wide by 86″ long. I did the quilting via “Stitch in the Ditch” straight across using my walking foot, every 2 strips or 4″. After washing, it shrank nicely for an all over scrunchiness of 74″ wide by 82″ long. and it’s not so ugly anymore!

Ugly_Jelly

And there you have it! The perfect napping quilt that only a color blind husband [who’s only apperant short comming is failing to close his drawers completely] and a “just can’t do random” person could love!

#UglyJellyQuilt #WhereAreMySunglasses #IfItsStillUglyYouDidntCutItSmallEnough #JustcantDoRandom