Saturday, March 22, 2014

Quilt #6: Molly's Monogram Quilt

I'm continuing to catch up on my completed quilts. Today I'm sharing the sixth quilt I finished (seven months ago!). This quilt was made for my niece, who shares my love of purple. I had the idea for this quilt when I was working on my third quilt, which was also a monogram quilt. This was my first quilt after my quilt along quilt, during which I received a crash course on quilting. 

I loved the purple tulips in this Heidi Grace Family Floral from Joann.  I cut 35 6.5" squares (two of which were used for my first half square triangles).

I cut 29 6.5" squares of these purple polka dots.

I cut 16 6.5" squares of this green polka dot fabric.

With each quilt I make, I attempt to learn something new. For this quilt, my big new thing was half square triangles. Looking through the photos I took, I made a lot of mistakes, but the end product turned out well, and I got over my fear of triangles.

I used the method of using two squares to make two half square triangles (HST) at a time. First, I lined the squares up, right sides together.

I pinned the squares together. Seven months later, I rarely pin.

I drew a straight line from one corner to the opposite quarter.

I treated the line I drew as an edge, and stitched a 1/4" from it, on both sides.

I used my rotary cutter to cut over the line I drew, resulting in two half square triangles that looked like this.

The hardest square for me to figure out was the center one. I have lots of photos of unsuccessful attempts at this square and only this one of the desired outcome. If I recall correctly, there was a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth. I ended up making a lot of triangles and trimming down until I found the magical proportions.

I learned that when you make triangles out of squares, you have to increase the size of the squares in order to make your HSTs work with your squares. Now I know to refer to this chart from CT Pub Blog:

Rotary Cutting Numbers for Side and Corner Setting Triangles (from C Publishing)

Once the squares were ready, the piecing went together very quickly. At this point, I was still piecing in rows. I've since learned that piecing in blocks tends to result in straighter seams. 

I also didn't know about lining up seams, so when I had seams like this, it was happy dumb luck.

Top done!

I was happy with how it turned out, for my fourth quilt, but if I were to do it again, I would have done the bottom of the M differently, like this.

For the back, I used purple dot minky. I did not use a batting layer because I made this as a summer quilt. 

Pinned and ready to quilt. 

This was only my second quilt that I machine quilted (as opposed to making a rag quilt). I kept it simple with diagonal lines. 

This was only my second time making a binding. I referred often to the book, "Teach Yourself Visually Quilting." It was the best first book on quilting I could have purchased.

Pretty pressed seams.

The book didn't tell me how to figure out how much binding I needed, so I found some bad advice on the internet. This is how much binding I had left over! Now I just cut a strip of my binding fabric and eyeball around the edge of the quilt to see how many strips I need. I round up, but I never have this much left over!

Bound, labeled and done!

The binding was tricky because the fabric was super stretchy, but we'll pretend the whole thing looked like this. 

Front and back. 

This quilt is D-tested and D-approved!

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