Wednesday, October 23, 2013

31 Days - Day 23: A two-fer

Why yes, I'm later in the day getting this up. In a fit of unheard of efficiency, I wrote and scheduled posts for the days I would be out of town at a conference. That efficiency didn't quite extend to remembering to do one for the first day I would be home. The flight was later last night; I forgot to get a post written for today.

To make it up to you, I have a two-fer. Actually, it could be considered a three-fer, for reasons that will become obvious if you keep reading.

Sometimes, it's nice to have a quilt pattern that's quick and easy to make, but can be tweaked a bit, either in execution or fabric choice, to make it suitable for various occasions. The Yellow Brick Road pattern is one of those. The pattern includes fabric requirements for various sizes of quilts, and it uses fat quarters.

Quarter yard cuts of fabric are usually cut across the width of the fabric, ending up in a piece 44 inches or so by 9 inches. A "fat" quarter, on the other hand, is the result of taking a yard of fabric (36 x 44) and cutting it horizontally across the middle, then vertically across the middle. The quarter yard then measures 18 x 22 inches. The overall surface area of the pieces are the same (18 x 22 = 396; 9 x 44 = 396), but the wider piece of fabric is more versatile.

Both of these quilts were made from the YBR pattern.
Lund's wedding quilt

Ben's baby quilt

The first quilt was made as a wedding gift for a young friend. She and her guy were married in a small church in a wood on the tiny island off the tip of Door County, where his family lives. Both love the outdoors, and Becky has a thing for moose. If you look closely at the picture, you'll see the fabric has a northwoods theme - moose, bear, pine trees and the like. It's also made of flannel.

Flannel is wonderful to cuddle under - warm and soft - but a bit of a pain to work with. It sheds little bits of fuzz that love to make their way into the workings of the sewing machine. Every time you empty a bobbin (if not sooner), you really need to take the lint brush to the undercarriage and bobbin casing in order to keep things rolling smoothly. Oiling the bobbin assembly a bit more frequently than usual is also a good idea.

The second quilt is exactly the same pattern, down to the addition of the appliqued stars, but is much different in tone. The fabrics are bright modern prints, the colors taken from the border fabric, a delightful print of colorfully clad cows jumping over the moon.

The checked border is a cheat: a black and white striped fabric was cut across the grain in a width that, once you deducted the half inch for the seam allowances, left the fabric strip as wide as the width of the stripes, creating a fake checkered effect.

If you look back to Day 10, you will see yet another iteration of the YBR pattern. In that baby quilt, there are no stars, but the fabric is all batiks - too beautiful to cover up.

There are a number of other patterns out there that are specifically designed to be quick to make, with specialty cuts of fabric or easy to make from scraps or cuts in a quilter's fabric stash. As you can see, "simple" doesn't necessarily mean "dull".

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