Thanks so much to everyone who voted for their favorite layout for my “just for fun” Irish Chain baby quilt. Like so many of us at this time of year, I have had a full and busy November, so I’m glad I was able to sit with the decision for a while and it was really helpful to get so much input. I have had some time in the evenings to sneak in progress on the quilt, and I think you’ll be able to tell from my first night of progress which layout I chose…
The first evening, I cut almost all of the fabrics except for the cream which I will be using for the Irish Chain squares. Because I chose the layout with the gold center, I decided to cut the pieces for the 4 center blocks and to cut strips for strip piecing the remaining 12 blocks. I did need to go back to my stash to choose a light yellow/gold fabric for the center sashing strips (which are cut at only 1″ wide).
I almost got really distracted once I put these pieces up on the design wall. I really like how this looks with the step increase/offset. I know it will all shrink up to make a square, but I started wondering what a quilt block would look like that finished with this kind of step offset. I’ll have to play with that idea another day.
The second evening I was able to get the cream fabric cut, the center blocks and horizontal sashing strips pieced, and the strip piecing for the 12 blocks sewn and ready to subcut. It honestly all went much faster than I had anticipated. That or I really needed the alone time in my studio, haha!
I will say that I should have squared up the center 4 blocks as I was piecing. Instead, I waited until the blocks were fully sewn together and I needed to trim more than I anticipated from the smaller square sides. I will do a better job as I work on the remaining 12 blocks, and I suspect the difference will be obvious in the final pieced quilt.
Last night, I didn’t have as much time in my studio, but I was able to get the strip pieces subcut and the chain piecing of the final 12 blocks started. I think the most challenging part of finishing up the piecing of the quilt top will be pressing the small sashing strips.
I already have a plan for the quilting, and since I’ll be able to use a single width of fabric backing, I suspect once I get the quilt top pieced it won’t take long to get the quilt basted and quilted. The real question will be if I can stretch the fat quarter of the inspiration fabric far enough to be the binding… it’s going to be really close!
Speaking of really close, today is the last day of the Bountiful Bundle sale.