i had purchased elizabeth hartman's "the practical guide to patchwork" book some months ago, and found that the "small plates" quilt pattern really appealed to me. since this was the first official quilt pattern i was following (the others had been more free form and random), it seemed like an easy enough undertaking, and i decided to use it for carrie's quilt.
outfoxed line the moment i saw it, and since carrie loves animals, purple and orange, it seemed like a good starting point for the fabrics. i used a few things from my stash and made trips to textile, joann's and hancock to fill in the rest.
i realized that most of my blocks didn't turn out as perfect 9" squares as called for (a lot were a tad short), so then i had to square up all 80 blocks to 8 3/4". after posting cries of frustration to the discussion board for the elizabeth hartman flickr group, i concluded that i wasn't using a "scant" 1/4" seam allowance. (hartman personally responded to my inquiry in the discussion thread, which i greatly appreciated).
i spent a few hours laying all the blocks out for the final design. it about drove me crazy trying to come up with the most visually-appealing layout (and trying not to repeat the fabric motifs in the horizontal and vertical rows). i never realize the extent of my obsessive/perfectionist tendencies until i do something such as this.
at that point i was finally able to sew the blocks into rows, and then all the rows together to complete the quilt top. phew!
|(i didn't get a picture of the quilt back before i gave it to carrie, but this is one of the fabrics i used)|
basting on my kitchen floor went well (although i realized that i don't have the room for anything much larger than twin-sized). for the quilting, i went with straight, outline quilting around all the blocks, and i was able to complete it over the course of an entire day. thank goodness i had the entire week off work, otherwise i would not have finished. i used kona eggplant for the binding.
carrie was speechless when she opened it on christmas, so i take that as a good sign?