Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Evelyn's Quilt

 It seems only fair to write about Evelyn's quilt since I last wrote about her brother Henry's quilt.  I made Evelyn's before she was born, which is about 18 months ago.  It's a pattern I often made for children's charity quilts--easy to cut and easy to sew, plus the block is not that obvious if you have a random color scheme, so it looks more complicated than it is.
The center of each block is a 2.5 in square (finished size 2 inches).  Surrounding each square are four rectangles that are cut 2.5 in. x 4.5 in.
The first seam is a partial seam. I sew about halfway down on the square.  Then I add the rectangles one by one, until I get back to the beginning and finish the partial seam.
Like this:
 I chose these four pieces for the block.
 Here I'm sewing the partial seam--only about half way down.

Here's the next rectangle added to the first unit (the one with the parrot).
Now I've got the yellow piece added.
Here I'm adding the final rectangle, being careful to keep the red rectangle away from the seam.  (The purple triangle is one of my leaders and enders.)
Here's what the block looks like at this stage.  The seam between the red frogs on scooters and the green print is the last to be sewn.
And here's the finished block!
Sometimes, I just want to sew, without having an elaborate plan.  These blocks are easy and fun. I often use them for leaders and enders when making other quilts.

The blocks measure 6.5 in. (6 in. finished).  I make 30 of them for a baby quilt, set 5 across and 6 down.
For Evelyn's quilt, I added a 2.5 in. cut border in a light bird print.  Her room has an owl theme, and there were some cute owls in the print.  I then added a purple border, cut 3.5 in., and bound the quilt in a solid purple.  The backing is the owl print.  It needed about a yard and a half.
If I've done the math right, the quilt measures 40 in. x 46 in.  I don't always add the outer border for charity quilts, since it can make them bigger than the recommended size.  If I only had one border, I wouldn't use a light print.  I like to frame the quilt with a darker color, and then add a darker binding.  Just my own idiosyncrasies.
To make 30 blocks, you need to cut:
30 2.5 in. squares
120 2.5 in. x 4.5 in. rectangles.
This is a pretty easy quilt to make out of scraps.  I organize my scraps mostly following Bonnie Hunter's Scrap Users system (check it out at if you haven't already).  I have a bin of 2.5 in. strips in bright colors.  I can just pull from that bin to make these blocks.  The hardest part is always having enough variety.  But it seems like the more charity quilts I made, the more scraps there are (magic?  scraps breeding?  I don't know!).  Plus sometimes people give me scraps (thanks, Debbie!)

The last time I was babysitting Evelyn, I took these photos.  She was helping me, but she seemed puzzled about why Grandma took her quilt out of her bed and was crawling around on the floor.  Grandmas are weird, huh.
What are you going to make today?

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