Monday, March 28, 2011

Jackson's Quilt - Join Me!

This week I'll be sharing the instructions for a quilt I'm making for my nephew, Jackson. It all started with this fun fabric - Central Park by Kate Spain for Moda - I just love the variety of creatures, everything from acorn nibbling squirrels and tiny turtles to elephants and giraffes. As usual when I purchased the fabric I really didn't know quite what I was going to do with it.
There were a number of companion fabrics, but the only one that came home with me was this great lined olive-y green.
I added some dots and a woven-look fabric to make it interesting - but I didn't want them to take over.
I wanted to add punch to the already great colors on the animal print - solids. To make easy work of capturing the teal-y blues I though I'd give this panel a try - Nuance from P&B Textiles - 6 solid colors on one width of fabric - perfect!
I added a few more solids to the mix so I'd have a number of options at my disposal.
Here's the start to Jackson's quilt - 4 blocks, each measuring 10'' square finished. The plan - make 4 sets of the four different blocks, stitch them together and then finish it off with an interesting border. I'm going to switch up the colors in each of the quadrants, keeping certain aspects of every block consistent to tie them together visually. I just love the colors. Take a closer look at each block - - -
This is my Read to Me Mama block - a stack of books!
This block was inspired by a block I saw last week at Tallgrass Prairie Studio. I loved the basic design and knew it would be perfect to join this quartet of blocks - this is the only block that is exactly the same in each foursome. I call this block Daddy's Tie - - - why???
Well, because it looks like a tie - I assure you my tie restrained husband would have never worn this tie.
This block was inspired by a quilt top I saw at Oh Fransson last week - it's my Timberframe block - I'm planning on stitching the frame section in a faux bois pattern. The dark taupe fabric used for the frame is consistent in every block. The center features a squirrel or turtle.
And last, but not least, my Squared Rectangle block - features a guest from the menagerie, and is highlighted by a marquis of dotted fabric. This is the block I am featuring today - instructions included!
I started prepping my fabric this weekend for a sew-a-thon today.
Here is the fabric for my Squared Rectangles all set to go.
These blocks go together quickly - the directions instruct you to sew the vertical sides on first, and then add the horizontal strips of fabric.
Chain piecing will really let you breeze through the construction of the blocks.
When you chain piece always keep you needle in the down position.
Why??? It keeps the feed dogs down, and the down position of the needle prevents the sewn fabric from shifting forward.
The addition of the dotted fabric is consistent for every block - it really adds a marquis-like appearance to the block.
Want the instructions for the Squared Rectangle block - click here! Tomorrow - Read to Me Mama block instructions.

4 comments:

Nancy, Near Philadelphia said...

I don't exactly understand "needle down position." Do you mean that you chain piece with your feed dogs lowered?

Lisa ONeill said...

In “needle down” mode, when you stop sewing, your needle will always be in the down position. When the needle is down so too are the feed-dogs; needle up – feed-dogs up.

When you chain piece you always want your feed-dogs engaged – these two manipulations to your sewing machine are independent of each other.

I do almost all sewing with my needle in the down position. Specifically, why do I like needle-down for chain piecing: 1. When introducing another block to chain stitch, the needle down prevents the previously sewn block from shifting forward, 2. also, when introducing another block to chain stitch, your feed-dogs will be down, below the throat plate, making a smooth surface to introduce your new fabric. Give it a try to see the difference for your self.

Embroidery sewing machines (I have a Bernina 200) have very wide feed-dogs, necessary for the 16 directional sewing capabilities – I find the wider feed-dogs can get in my way when introducing fabric.

When machine quilting I will always use the needle down position – that way when I stop stitching to adjust my hands and the quilt, the needle stays right where I stopped stitching.

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

Really beautiful. I wish I knew how to quilt (or even properly work my sewing machine:)

Kim said...

Duh....now of course I see you are very proficient at chain piecing.......
(sorry about that :0))
This quilt is going to be just adorable.

Happy Sewing

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