Monday, July 05, 2010

Jennifer's Fairies Finished

Jennifer's Fairies
Original design
56" square
Partly from stash

Jennifer's Fairies, completed June 30, is for co-worker Jennifer F., who retired July 1.  The title is a play on Jennifer's name.  This was the last of three quilts made for co-workers all retiring on the same day.  I started it on Monday, June 28 and finished it late Wednesday, June 30--working evenings only.  The design was chosen to save time yet deliver high impact.

I began with a fat quarter of the fairy fabric (left).  I needed to add another fabric and chose the pink butterfly print, also a fat quarter.  The colors work with the fairy fabric and the wings are a common element.

EQ Sketch
It's a rough sketch.  The framed areas are rectangular, not square.  The quilt has simpler frames of yellow, too, with less piecing

Design notes

Trying out different yellows for background.  Dark (from stash) seems too dark, discard it.

Trying out fat quarters against yellows.  I like medium yellow(from stash) with pink; seems to provide a foundation.  Pale yellow is new fabric, bought because there wasn't enough medium, and looks fine with fairies.  From far away you can't tell the difference.

Need 5 rectangles of fairies.  Centered as well as possible on cutting mat, cut into 6 fairly equal sections, in a vertical orientation.  (I previewed a horizontal orientation but didn't like it as much).  Extra section will be placed into the grocery bag of scraps to be given to Project Linus.  I keep more tone-on-tone scraps, but I generally give away theme print scraps.  Note:  The rectangles probably aren't exactly equal in size, but I'm not worried about it.  They're close.

6 sections laid out on design wall.  Need to decide orientation--which way is up?

I like the dark pink fairies sitting right side up.

Grouping similar cuts together (top and bottom left/center/right)

Rectangle featuring dark pink fairy placed in center.  Yellow spiky skirt fairies seem dominant in remaining four rectangles, and are either centered or way on the left--two of each.  "Twins" placed kitty corner from each other for balance.

Design notes

15.5" template made of tracing paper laid over fairy rectangle
Trying to estimate width of yellow strips needed to frame the recangles.

Ditto for pink butterfly print

Narrow blue fabric strips (1.5" unfinished) sewn to sides
Blue strips will help theme fabrics stand out against yellow background and make them look important.

Blue strips trimmed even with bottom

Horizontal blue strips attached

Butterfly rectangle trimmed up

Repeat for fairy rectangles

Rectangles laid out on design wall

Design notes

Oversized yellow strips sewn to sides

Trimmed even with rectangle

Yellow strips sewn to top and bottom
Block is oversized, to be trimmed to desired size of 15.5" unfinished.

Yellow strips attached to top and bottom of fairy rectangle
Note this is the opposite of the pink butterfly, to make assembly easier later.

Yellow strips trimmed even with rectangle
Not shown:  Side strips attached.

15.5" template centered over fairy block.  X marks the middle.  I look for balance in corners of narrow blue frame; I eyeball.

When I think it's centered well enough, I use my TV remote as a weight.  It's big and heavy enough to hold the template in place, and it's easy to place and remove.  No pinning!

Mark the corners about 1/4".  See the tip of the pencil.
With all the corners done, I remove the remote and template, then make two vertical cuts.  Then I walk around the corner of the table to make the horizontal cuts.

Here's a trimmed up fairy block

Fairy blocks laid out on design wall

Pink butterfly blocks trimmed in the same manner as above, and placed on design wall.

Intersection of four blocks.  The blocks will go together easily without worrying about matching seams.  Ta-dah!

Blocks joined together

 Quilt top finished
Wide border is same fabric as narrow blue frames

I used a pillowcase technique to join the batting backing ($3 sheet from Wal-Mart to avoid piecing), and quilt top. I closed the opening with topstitching, continuing all the way around the quilt to disguise the closure. The quilt was tied with embroidery floss.

Finished Quilt
Along with Sweet and Sour and David's Plaids, Jennifer's Fairies was the third quilt I made from scratch in 30 days.  With many late, late nights involved, I'm exhausted but glad I made the effort.

Enjoy retirement, Jennifer!

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