Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Puzzle Quilt Continued

This is where we left my puzzle quilt the last time I posted:

To refresh your memory, this is a quilt I'm building to send to Japan for one of the survivors of the earthquake and tsunami. I'm using parts of UFO's, orphan blocks, and the six inch blocks I've been making out of scraps. So once this section felt complete it was back to the closet to see what else I could use...

The Log Cabin and Contrary Wife blocks were both from a block swap very early in my quilting career. They measure 15". Someone gave me the birdhouse, also years ago. I thought that was very generous of her. It was about nine inches wide and twelve inches high. Now, what to put between the Log Cabin and the birdhouse?

How about a stack of flying geese units? Each one is six inches wide and three inches tall. That just left me with a 3" gap under the birdhouse to fill in. I decided to take the easy road and use a whole cloth strip. Who doesn't like a flower bed beneath a birdhouse? From that point on I started working on a vertical section to the left of the birdhouse and Shoo Fly blocks. I made a 12" liberated star, mostly just to have something to piece between seams but it worked well as an anchor for that new section. I pieced some six inch hearts and found other flying geese units based on the 3x6" formula. I used them on their sides this time.

A few more of my scrap blocks brought the composition roughly to the same length I had going on in the first section. When I put the blocks on the design wall I'm mostly eyeballing them to see how they'll look. Before I sew anything into place I do the math to make sure they will fit together the way I intend. It helps a lot that I'm working with blocks that are nearly all divisible by three. Whenever I come up short I simply frame up a block or add a strip to one side to get the size I need. The odd compensating strips help to throw off the eye when everything is sewn together, disguising the seam lines that hold sections together. That will be more obvious when you see the final product.

I'm much farther along than is evident in this post. In fact, it's possible that I could have the top finished today (cross your fingers!). I started out thinking I would whip up a 45 x 60 inch quilt and quilt it myself. Now I'm looking at one that will be around 65 x 85" and I've had to recruit my long arm quilter friend to do the quilting for me. That's added pressure to get this done because she needs to fit this in between other work she has scheduled and we still have to get the quilt shipped to the collection point by the end of April. No dawdling allowed!


  1. Sue, you are one of the most giving people I know... I am so impressed with not only your talent, but all the goodness you spread in the world with your quilts. It's inspirational!

  2. my top is almost done- needs a border. Wish I had a friend with a long arm machine!

  3. What interesting blocks, a good mix. I have pin basted my quilt for Japan today, so I'm getting along with it

  4. Thanks for sharing your process. It helps me a lot with my process.

    I love that you're doing this for Japan. You're so generous with your time and talent. Good for you!


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