Welcome back to another week of the Hands2Help Comfort Quilt Challenge 2019!! It's hard to believe, but we are coming closer to the end - just a few short weeks and it will all be over! Today we're welcoming another great guest blogger, Meredith, who can mainly be found over on Instagram these days. She's going to share some great tips about how to reverse engineer quilt blocks!
But wait - there's more! Today's another check-in date - the last one before the final linky party on May 19th - so share your progress! It's always fun to cheer each other on as we progress towards the end of the Challenge! And if you aren't on social media, you can send me pictures at salliesue57 (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll post them for you.
So without further ado, let's turn the blog over to Meredith!
My name is Meredith, and I am so happy to be here to share my love of quilting with like-minded friends this week! Thank you, Sarah, for allowing me to share your space for a time!
I have played with needle and thread as long as I can remember, and found quilting in 2014. I'm lucky enough to live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where I am surrounded by the beauty of the high desert, and lots of quilting stores! As Sarah mentioned, I hang out online over on Instagram, you can find me @meredith.a.adolf if you'd like to!
As I enjoy my quilting journey, I, like many of you, find inspiration from many sources, especially the work of other quilters. We are so blessed with the availability to share our creativity with others around us, and thankfully, many talented quilters share online. Blogs, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, and whatever new thing is coming next...all are filled with great projects that inspire us to grab some fabric and sew!
What do you do when you see a fabulous quilt that you'd like to make for yourself? If there is a pattern attributed, then it's easy, you find a source and purchase it. I'm always happy to support this fine industry! If the pattern is not known, then it's time to get some help from your friends! In general, asking other quilters will get you suggestions for the name (or names) of the block, at that point, you are on the right track. Once I have a name, I head to one of my block reference books, my favorite right now is Maggie Malone's "5,500 Quilt Block Designs", although I have a few. If you don't own one, no worries, often your library will have some in their stacks, or, maybe your local guild has a library you can borrow from?
In January, Sarah posted a picture of a quilt that inspired her on Pinterest, and received several responses to her inquiry on the origin. Based on the comments, the block pictured is a traditional block called Chain Link, so I looked it up in my reference book (p. 226) and found the block drawn out. Although it is in the five patch section of the book, when you take a closer look you can see that it is based on a 7 x 7 grid, so that's what I used to sketch it up on some graph paper.
I like larger blocks, so decided to use 2 1/2" as my square measurement. That gives me a 14" finished block. After a little math, I figured out that if I use one fabric per "link", then I'd need 31", and I could get that from either a jelly roll strip or a layer cake piece, awesome! I had a jelly roll aging on my shelf (don't most of us?) so I grabbed it and chose some favorite strips and a background, then cut what I needed.
Supplies for one Chain Link block:
- 2 - 2 1/2" x wof (width of fabric) strips for links, subcut each strip into 2 - 2 1/2" squares, 2 - 4 1/2" rectangles and 2 - 8 1/2" rectangles, choose two contrasting colors
- 1 - 4 1/2" x wof strip of background, subcut into 4 - 4 1/2" squares
- 1 - 2 1/2" x wof strip of background, subcut into 5 - 2 1/2" squares
Stitch each link 2 1/2" square to a background 2 1/2" square (4)
Stitch the pairs to a 4 1/2" rectangle of the same fabric (4), the background square needs to always be on the lower left
Stitch a 4 1/2" background square to the 4 1/2" rectangle
Stitch the second color 8 1/2" rectangle to the long side with the small background square (4)
Hmm, I missed a picture! You will be adding the four pieces you just made around the fifth 2 1/2" background square using the partial seam method. In short, you add the square to the first piece, leaving about an inch unstitched
You then add the next piece along the stitched edge (on the right in the picture above)
Stitch the third and fourth seam the same way as the second. Then, you will be able to finish the first seam.
It's a little harder with my missing picture, so here's some instructions I wrote up for a different pattern. The pieces are different, but the technique is the same!
And now your block is finished!
This block looks great in a straight setting, but putting it on point really kicks it up a notch, so that's what I chose to do for this quilt. After a little more math, I figured out that eight blocks and a couple of borders will make a 52" x 72" lap quilt suitable for two of the three charities we're making quilts for this year, yay!
Oops, I ran out of time to add the final border! But you can just picture an additional four inch border of teal, ok? If you'd like to make this quick top, here's what you'll need!
Supply List for Lap Size Quilt:
- 16 wof (width of fabric) 2 1/2" strips for blocks
- subcut each strip into 2 - 2 1/2" squares, 2 - 4 1/2" rectangles and 2 - 8 1/2" rectangles
- 1 1/2 yds background,
- cut 3 - 2 1/2" x wof, subcut into 40 - 2 1/2" squares
- cut 4 - 4 1/2" x wof, subcut into 32 - 4 1/2" squares
- cut 1 - 11" x wof, subcut into 2 - 11" squares, cut once diagonally for corner triangles
- cut 1 - 21 1/4" x wof, subcut into 2 - 21 1/4" squares, cut twice diagonally for side triangles (you will only use six)
- 1/2 yd inner border,
- cut five strips 2 1/2" x wof
- 1 yd outer border, (missing from pic above, sorry!)
- cut seven strips 4 1/2" x wof
I hope that this inspires you to experiment with making blocks your own. It is such fun to take a basic grid and see what happens when you add fabric and color! Thank you again, Sarah, for letting me share your space today!
Thanks, Meredith, for making that look so easy! I will add that if you want to ensure you aren't posting about someone else's pattern by mistake, the social media community is a great resource. Post your picture and ask if anyone knows of anything similar - it's a good way to avoid copyright arguments! I love seeing the use of graph paper, too - my favorite design medium. Somehow there's nothing quite like sitting down with pencil and paper to draw out designs!
And now, take a few minutes to link up and share your progress! I'm so blown away by all the quilts I've seen so far - you all are AMAZING!