Monday, March 1, 2010

Working with Blocks of Different Sizes

I was commissioned to complete a quilt for a woman in town.  This delighful woman quilted before she started golfing.  She had completed a couple of quilts for her daughter many years ago.  She also had hand pieced 23 blocks in the early 80's.  Stored in a Pizza Hut box, she asked me to make a quilt for her son.  It took me a while to figure out how to put them together, mainly because they varied in size so I wasn't going to be able to just sash and go without loosing a portion of a number of the blocks.  I'm sharing my process just in case you find yourself in my situation one day.

The blocks varied in size from about 11 inches to 12 1/2 inches.  In order to use all of the blocks in close to their original size, I decided to make the blocks the center of a square in a square and then trim the new blocks to the same size.  This was my process.

With the largest blocks at 12 1/2 inches, set on point, the with of the new block at a minimum would be 17.67 inches (remember the pathagaream theorem?).  So I needed to cut setting trianges large enough to cut down.  I cut 17 inch squares out of muslin diagonally twice to make these trianges.  I then sewed theses trianges to each side of each block.  I trimed the edges off of each side as shown here.  You can see that I didn't loose any of the block to excessive trimming.

Then the finished blocks look like this:

Because there were only 23 blocks I added to blocks to the bottom left and right with the center square filled with the border fabric.  It matches the original fabric nicely.  Here are the filler blocks.

I then cut down all the blocks to eighteen inches.  All the blocks were preserved in the original size and state.  I then added two inch finished sashings and corner stones, and just a three inch border.  The quilt finished to 106 x 106, which is a little larger than I wanted.  But I am glad that this remained my customer's quilt, my influence was minimal.  Quilted all over with Joann Hoffman's feather meander.  And here is the finished quilt.  All I need to do is finish the binding.  And get it back to my customer.