12.14.2009

hear me out

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there is this new sweet little girl in my life, and her name is maybelle. i am of the opinion that all sweet little girls should have a pretty little quilt that they can love their whole life through. it just makes sense. as soon as i heard that maybelle was coming, i knew i had to make one. i even started during the summer time, thinking i could give it to her mom as a shower gift. sadly work went into a tailspin and there things sat for months and months. there was finally some light at the end of the tunnel and i was able to get it done and oh man am i so glad i did. because i need to tell you about the secret of this quilt.
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first, take a good look at it. and pay no attention to that imp in the corner. do you see what i see? yeah. triangles. lots of them. did you get a little sick feeling in your stomach like i did thinking about getting all those points to line up? well, i am here to tell you to banish your triangle worry! of course i realize that there are many smarter, more experienced quilters out there that are probably laughing at my simple secret, because they knew it all along, and that's ok. because if you didn't know, you do now. originally i planned to make the flock of triangles quilt from denyse schmidt's quilt book. it's the orange & white number at the top left on the cover there. as i looked through the instructions in the book, and realized how many triangles i'd have to cut and piece my heart sunk a little. i knew that i wouldn't have the patience or the skill to make nice triangles line up with each other. i also knew that if i ignored what i knew about myself and triangles, i would get really frustrated and never ever finish the quilt. so, it was time to regroup, i went hunting on the internet and that's where i found the answer (of course) in a simple tutorial over at purl bee. it's so simple in fact, that i almost walked right past it. so here is the deal. no odd points to match, no triangles to cut. that's right. this whole quilt started as squares, and ended as squares. straight lines! i can do straight lines! kinda. but take me at my word, this quilt was easy and fast. i mean it. i did all the cutting of my white squares and my pattern squares in one evening, maybe a couple hours. i used the size in the tutorial and figured out how many 4 inch squares i wanted length and width to calculate how many i needed to cut. i did mess up and cut twice the number of white squares than necessary because i forgot that for every white & patterned square you cut, you get two smaller pieced squares. even with that mistake, i did all the cutting in one sitting. the next night, i converted my stack of white squares and pattern squares into one big stack of pieced white & patterned triangles, like magic. then i asked david to work on the layout becuase i'm not so good with that sort of thing, he came up with the lovely gradient, i pieced the squares into rows, the rows into the blanket and made the quilt sandwhich all in one evening. the hardest part of this whole project for me of was cutting & piecing my binding strips. i kept messing up that stupid bias angle. apparently i need to go on the hunt for another tutorial. once i finally made strips that lined up and would work, i did the binding by hand over a few nights of tv watching with david. done and done! both mom & maybelle are thrilled, and i feel great for getting a project done and being pleased with it. as a tiny postcript, you could use this triangle pieceing tutorial to make the flock of triangles quilt, it would just take a little figuring to find out how many blocks you would need.

ps. there should be some 1000 words action for december later today. keep your eyes peeled. i'll post here again after i update. huffmans are getting ALL kinds of things done these days. sweet.

pps. the new post is up over at 1k, it's a doosey.

20 Comments:

Blogger Kate said...

too much sweetness.

my grandmother grew up in a Mennonite community, and when I was born all the women in her family made me a quilt out of pieces of their wedding dresses. Of course this did the exact opposite of impressing me as a child, but recently I remembered it and thought, good god that is so awesome! I can't wait to pass it onto a sweet little lady someday.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Buzz's Food Lady said...

love that quilt! & quite a nice imp, too.

here's my fave binding tutorial:
http://www.ohfransson.com/oh_fransson/2009/04/quilt-along-15-making-and-sewing-binding.html

-Rossie

10:52 AM  
Blogger house on hill road said...

sweet is right.
this is fantastic. nice job, lady.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Mama Urchin said...

I did know that trick and it saved me with the triangles too.

Another tip for next time, you only need binding that was cut on the bias when you need to stretch it around a curve or you're using a stripe you want to be barber pole-ish. All other times you can just use a straight piece of the appropriate width.

10:54 AM  
Blogger hannah said...

i did cut it straight jen! i just couldn't handle sewing my strips together on an angle. i'm serious when i say i can't handle much more than straight lines.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

great job, it's beautiful and will be treasured!!

11:16 AM  
Blogger ke said...

this quilt is so wonderful and goes with us everywhere we go. seriously. i am in love.

11:39 AM  
Blogger affectioknit said...

Awesome! It's lovely!

11:39 AM  
Anonymous amy h said...

It looks great! Now I'm not so scared of triangles -- I'm glad to see that tutorial out there.

11:56 AM  
Blogger Mama Urchin said...

Oh dear Hannah, well I am sorry about that. The quilt is gorgeous despite the swear-worthy binding.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous emily said...

ok. that is brilliant. and the quilt is amazing! a-mazing.

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

This made me really miss sewing. And normal life.

I'm all over the Huffiverse at the moment, but yes that was a doozie and now I am even sadder about Christmas (in a good way, of course).

8:21 PM  
Blogger Juanita said...

Nicely done. Creating mementos and heirlooms with stories attached is a lovely thing to pass on.

2:12 AM  
Blogger claire said...

oh you. you are such a good egg. it's just beautiful, and gave me much needed inspiration to keep on keeping on with the 1200 strips of fabric i need to sew together for na's quilt. thankfully no triangles, but what was i thinking!?

(the word verification is inchly, which i think is quite fitting : )

2:33 PM  
Blogger heather said...

hi! i am heather, and i have commented here before but haven't introduced myself, and that feels funny. i love coming here to read and see what you share. thanks fro being a fun place to check in on!

that quilt is perfect!

i have that same frustration when piecing bias strips together...i stare at the ends of them for minutes, trying to see how it works. every time. it must be something genetic.

i love it so much that your mr. did the lay out. how long did it take him?

going to read your story tomorrow i hope, when i am not needing to go to bed.......looking forward to the doosey.

8:39 PM  
Blogger rebecca said...

hmmm... maybe i'll try one. this is so great, and i love the gradient idea.

2:23 AM  
Blogger debbie said...

your quilt turned out beautifully. maybelle is a very lucky girl.

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Your quilt is gorgeous! Such a sweet present that will be treasured. I still have the quilt my Granny crafted when I was born, and it means more to me than any of the quilts I've bought. Take care.

9:06 AM  
Blogger Fine Little Day said...

Such a lovely quilt! Makes me want to sew again.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Suzy said...

Such a beautiful quilt!

And thanks for the link to that tutorial, I just used it to make lavender sachets.

3:13 PM  

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