Okay, so while I rarely make the same quilt twice, I do get stuck on a theme! I love the chevron/ zigzag trend that is out right now. The graphic nature of it appeals to me, and I love that while there are rules to follow, that means there are rules to be broken. I am still following most of the rules at this point, but don’t count on that lasting.
I like to combine patterns, as well as change them. I used two patterns in this quilt, “Peak Hour” by Don’t Look Now and “Little Quilts 4 Little Kids” by Anka’s Treasures.
It begins with sewing strips together, but be careful to keep strips in the correct order if you would like the chevron look. This pattern uses two different sizes of strips, and again, it is important to keep them in the right order. Having said that, I cannot wait to do this again with varying sized strips and without regard to order!
“Little Quilts 4 Little Kids” gives excellent instructions on how to cut your strip sets correctly to get these “wedges.”
Depending on which set of wedges you are working with, you add a triangle to each end- one that looks like this . . .
and one that looks like this!
When stitching together strip sets like this, I like to use fork pins. The old fashioned way was to put a pin on either side of a set of matching seams. Fork pins do the same job, but with only one pin.
At this point, most of my sections are sewn together. Notice that the color pattern is a mirror image from the top to the bottom, but that the actual pattern of the chevron is not. “Little Quilts 4 Little Kids” gives excellent directions on how to achieve this look. Again, I look forward to playing with it a little!
Whew, sections sewn together on each row, and rows laid out and ready for the applique’. This is where I implemented a new pattern- “Peak Hour.” I wasn’t sure how I wanted to lay out my cars, so I used paper pieces to try it out. Like this . . .
or like this?
Fusing and cutting! The fun part, and maybe the scary part, is you don’t really know what it is going to look like when you put all of these little pieces together! It helps to take your time to choose which fabrics you want for your applique’. But remember, this isn’t brain surgery, and no one will die if it isn’t perfect. Not only that, but you certainly can try again if the first shot doesn’t work out the way you planned.
Laying out the cars! I have to admit, this sometimes isn’t my strong point when I am digressing from a pattern. Sometimes my applique’ can look like it is floating in outer space without any connection to anything, and without any flow. I used to do this when I was making scrapbook pages as well. This time the final product was pleasing, although I would have liked to tweak the positioning a little more. Remember once you have fused it to your background, it is pretty much a done deal, so feel good about it before you hit it with the iron!
I love this machine button hole stitch for this type of project. I like to play with my stitch length and width to get the size that is most pleasing for the applique’. My friend Sherrie taught me how to do this, including leaving long threads so that I can easily finish of the stitches by hand.
Ready to go! Beep, beep!
Don’t Look Now not only designs patterns, but fabric as well. It turns out I was able to get the coordinating fabric that had the exact same car pattern as the applique’ pattern I used, and I simply fussy cut the fabric into a fabulous border. Unfortunately, I knew something just wasn’t right. It was missing the “umpf” that I normally love. I had to leave it on the design wall for a few days so that I could mull it over in my sleep. Yes, I literally dream about quilting.
The answer came, like a ton of bricks! I think this was my favorite part of the whole process. I needed just a tiny something to add a little pop and define the edges of the quilt. So, I started with cutting 1″ strips of black.
Next, I sewed the black strip to the inside of the border strip using a 1/2″ seam. That’s right, 1/2″, NOT 1/4″. Then I pressed all of the black to the raw edge- essentially folding the black in half along the seam I had just sewn. So, I had a 1/2″ of black along the inside edge of my border strip. If you try this at home, you know you have it right if you have three raw edges on your inside border- two black and one border. I then added black corner pieces to the borders. When I sewed the borders to the quilt using a 1/4″ seam, I had created a 1/4″ border without fighting with a tiny piece of fabric and without adding any width or length to the overall size. It was just the pop I needed- all of the fun, and none of the pain!
See the difference?
After quilting, be sure to bury those threads! By the way, I like Fons and Porter’s self-threading needles for this. You don’t have to have an excessive amount of thread to be able to thread the needle and then bury the thread in the quilt.
I chose to use a long arm quilting machine to do the free motion quilting on the main parts of the quilt. However, I wanted the applique’ and the chevron to stand out, so I used my domestic machine to carefully outline each car and to stitch in the ditch in the chevrons. It made for a nice contrast in stitching and gave the quilt depth.
Oh how I just love a striped binding, and this one was so very perfect! I didn’t use all fabrics from the Don’t Look Now line, but I had to have the stripe, it was just too perfect!
Finally done, and before I sent it off to our grandson, I ran it through the wash. I love the wrinkly look a quilt gets, and I really loved how the variation in the quilting came out in the wash!