Sunday, October 18, 2015

Making it work

When Lori posted the finale for her Country Roads mystery, I knew I'd need to add a red inner border like her inspiration picture. With a wider cheddar border. I could see it in my mind.

My stash was not accommodating, however. I had just enough of this cheddar print for the setting squares and triangles if I carefully and creatively cut my fat quarter and pieced the corners of two triangles. I tried finding something else in the stash, but compared to the cheddar, none of it looked right.

On the right in the photo below is all that was left after cutting the setting squares and triangles. Just made it! On the left is one other piece of cheddar that worked with what I wanted for the setting pieces. At first I thought I'd need to use it for the setting pieces, but that would mean no cheddar border. There wouldn't be enough fabric.

That second cheddar piece, a solid, was 7 inches wide. I could cut four 3 1/2-inch border strips, but they wouldn't be long enough. Hmm. Pieced corners would solve the problem. So I drafted something using the blacks and blues, cut the pieces, made one block, and hated it.

My husband also hated it. He told me to make them look like the inner squares. But the inner squares were 5-inch finished and my corner border blocks needed to be 4-inch finished. The proportions wouldn't be right if the border block pieces were smaller than the inner blocks. He told me to make it work. Thank you, Tim Gunn.

Hmmm. I had a scrap of solid cheddar big enough for four 1-inch finished squares, and I mimicked the 9-patch arrangement of the other blocks.

In the photo above, you can see my first corner block attempt on the upper right. Yuck.

Below is the finished top. As I look at it, I think of different things I could have done. I should have put the red strips on the ends of the cheddar border in the center of the border instead. I think it might have looked better for the corner blocks to be against the cheddar instead. But more seams would have taken more fabric that I didn't have. If I'd had more solid cheddar, I would have done things differently in other ways. Maybe use some to put the corner border blocks on point. But if I'd had more cheddar, I probably would have made a plain border, and not have had all this creative fun.

In the end, I'm happy with how it turned out. I like that I used only my stash and challenged myself to work with what I had to make it work.

The binding will be red, of course. I have lots of red. Hmmm. What if I'd made a red inner border, a thin cheddar border and then a wide red border. Once you start thinking of possibilities, it can be hard to stop.


Allison said...

I think we always wonder about alternatives when we look at our own quilts but when I see someone else's completed quilt top I just accept it as a carefully thought out design!I admire you managing to use only stash fabrics - I always end up buying more fabrics!

claire witherspoon said...

It looks great and I think it's great that you did all that problem solving yourself! I like working from my stash to, It's good all the way around, uses stash, reduces more fab buying and best of all you figured it out yourself! cheers!

Nancy said...

Great post, Ann Marie. I know it takes time to photograph along the way and then (for me) courage to show the mistakes. It was interesting to see your problem-solving photos, drawings, and your inspiration/thought process along the way. You quilt looks great. I'm like you: trying to use the fabric I have on hand rather than buying more.

Thanks for linking to Quilty Inspiration again this week. I appreciate it.

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

I enjoyed reading about this, a fun challenge for you! With a great outcome!

Sandra @SewofCourse said...

It is great to see how you solved the problems so creatively. There are always other possible solutions, but well, there is also always a next time... It's a lovely quilt!