Friday, January 4, 2019

Multiplication x Quilts = Beauty

I found this quilt photo via Pinterest which credited it to Instagram.

Love the fabrics in this piece.

Here's another version -- same source. This one's credited to 'Bee Ship,' but I can't tell if they are the maker of the previous piece, as well.  (I get the feeling they're not.) Same design, more neutral fabrics. (A lot of batiks here)

Looks complicated, doesn't it? Actually, the entire pattern uses two units:

                *A square (light or dark)
                *A triangle square -- two triangles pieced together (one light, one dark)

That's it. Eight units across, eight down: 64 units total. It's a variation on Carpenter's Star/Rolling Stone, with an Ohio Star smack dab in the center.

Now here's the wonder. You can make this block any size you want!

All you have to do is simple math.

Decide on the size of the unit. (Remember: whatever you choose, add 1/2" for seams. So a 2" finished square is really 2 1/2" in actual size.)

A 2" square x 8 units across and down means your block will be 16" x 16". (Use smaller-scale prints for best effect.) Just the size for a pillow, or used as multiples for a larger top.

A 6" square? Then you're talking 48" -- good for a large baby or child's snuggle quilt.

And for an 8" square, you've got the basics for an adult snuggle or bedquilt top: 64" x 64". (I personally feel that a larger square unit than that would make your quilt look too 'clunky.')  Be sure to use medium or larger-scale prints to add visual interest, including the 'background' light patches. (The units in Quilt #1 include wonderful 'newsprint' and polkadot prints.)

Most quilts are rectangular, rather than square -- which means you'll either need to use wider strips at top and bottom, or order borders. Or just plan for wider borders, to start with:

4-inch borders all around (4 1/2" strips) = 72" x 72"
Add two more 4-inch borders (or any combination of 8" on each side) for a total of 88" x 88" -- a queen-sized quilt!

Bear in mind that these borders can be anything you want...provided they follow the math needed. Warning: your seam allowances may not be exactly 1/4". Don't cut the border strips until after the center is pieced -- then measure it and cut the border strips to size.

A pieced 'piano key' border is an option -- and uses up your scraps while it adds visual interest. This example, via Pinterest and 'Marine mom and quiltin,' has a central Barn Raising variation -- using the same two units as the star! And check out that great scrappy border.

Have fun.

P.S. If you know the quiltmakers for certain on these pieces, please leave something in the comments. I want to credit them propertly.

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