First of all, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to comment or e-mail me regarding yesterday’s post. I sometimes think I am the only one who lives in a rural area. Many of you lamented that you have no “local” quilt shop. I can easily forget how lucky I am that Cyndi is only 45 minutes from my house. Actually, if she were any closer I’d have to re-mortgage!
On to the “Pot Luck” saga… Many people have commented on the fact that the math for a layout like this would be overwhelming. So, here’s the skinny. I do like basic mathematics and geometry, but I am lazy and I’m always looking for the easy way out. So… when I did the figuring for the overall layout I used a ¼” graph paper and just used the factor of 2 ½” for each grid. Thus, every block is divisible by 2 ½”.
I mentioned previously that I had a lot of orphan blocks (or at least I thought I did), and I also wanted the quilt to be scrappy and interesting so I needed at least 40 blocks. Here is the final draft of 44 blocks.
Along with the dozens of potholder quilts I have made utilizing square blocks (ranging from 3” to 16”), I have also learned to do scalloped shaped blocks and have even made one in the medallion style. So, I wanted to see if I could make a mish-mash of block sizes with some half square triangle blocks thrown in too. I'm also mixing hand and machine quilting which is another learning experience.
I learned that the triangle blocks are fine as long as I am extremely accurate with my outside measurement. I was pleasantly amazed when the finished block measured exactly what I had intended. I rarely use solids, but I do think this red binding fabric really ties it all together.
I have learned a lot about putting these potholder blocks together. One very important item is when stitching your blocks together, if one is slightly longer than the other, always have the longer one facing you.
It might be the way I stitch, but for some reason the block on the outer side shrinks as the one closest to me stretches. Therefore, if the longer one is in front, it will work its way even in the end. Have I confused you yet?
It is also important to have very "crisp" and pointed corners. If they are even slightly rounded, you will have a gap where your corners come together.
Some of you have asked what stitch I use to put them together. I call it a modified ladder stitch. I simply start at the corners by hiding my knot, then going straight across. I then turn my needle parallel with the binding and come straight back again. It is a combination of a ladder stitch and a regular whip stitch and it hides my stitches better and is quite sturdy.
If I am going to use the quilt on a bed rather than just a display quilt, I will take a few extra overcast stitches every 1 ½” or so. This way if a seam ever starts to ravel, I only need to fix a small portion. I learned this the hard way when I gave one to my grandson!
I am using cheater prints on the back of each block and they hide a multitude of quilting sins. In fact, except for the hand quilted blocks, you really want to admire this one from afar. It looks pretty good through the camera lens or from the house next door!
I am having loads of fun though and may even get it done before the daffodils arrive!