Sometime last year, my friend gave me 150 batik fabric squares. Each square measures 5" and she had won them in a guild swap. Well, to my delight- she's not really a batik girl. Can I just give 1000 ThankYou's to my buddy, Dawn?
I've been sittin on those blocks thinking that they are just way way to beautiful for me to just make a big "collection of squares" design. I was waiting for a good, easy, good pattern. My local guild was talking quite a bit about Eleanor Burn's Disappearing 9 Patch Quilt, which she demo'd on her PBS show not too long ago. Within about 4 days of the guild discussing how fabulous it is, my virtual friend Rachel, of p.s. I quilt, posted a little tutorial of it. It was a sign! It was fate! The quilting heavens were pointing me into this direction & I just couldn't resist. (You can do a google search for Disappearing 9 Patch and find plenty more tutorials on the design.)
So I set out to make my new-favorite quilt with 144 squares & about 2/3rds yard of border fabric. I made my 9 Patch blocks, stacked them and then re-cut them. I don't recommend stacking them, it makes some of the blocks crooked. I can live with it, but ideally, I should have cut each 9 patch block individually. I had a reason for stacking them, though. A reason other than lazy (hee hee). I wanted to stack the blocks and then move 1/4 of the pieces into a different order, so I wouldn't generate a nice tidy block, but rather a random looking mess. -It worked!-
I then basted the quilt sandwich and decided to use a few scraps of batting to make the middle of this baby. I save all the extra batting pieces from all the purses and bags. I line up the straight edges (or cut new straight edges), butt up those sides and zigzag them into a new fabulous not-wasteful piece of batting.
Now, its off to the machine. I decided to use rainbow thread to draw super cute free-motion quilting flowers all over the quilt.
My quilt turned out to be about 60" square. Its a bigger size, I think, but its still manageable under the home sewing machine. Of course, to quilt it, I had to do the over-the-shoulder method to the bulk of the quilt wouldn't get hung on anything as I moved it around under the needle.
Now its all quilted with long stripes of free-motion flowers and its ready to be bound. I headed to the floor to get that extra batting and back fabric trimmed off.
The binding was a scrap piece of fabric that I've owned for about... um... 14 years. Hoard much? Yes, yes I do. I remember it was the most expensive fabric I had ever purchased back in college. I made a rockin awesome dress, which I still have, out of the orange & green. Now, I'm happy to report, I'm finally using up the rest of it. Sure, you can't really see it in the photo, but I know its there and I just wanted to tell you a little story about it. :)
Love it! Thanks for the tutorial, Rachel. It was a great weekend project, even if my family misses me. *wink wink* You guys should definitely try this pattern with some of those charm packs or nickel swap blocks! ~jen~