Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fickle Nickels!

My mom visited this past weekend, and we did So Many Things!  We each finished a lap-sized quilt top!  At the Quilt festival last year, we each bought a "Fickle Nickel" bundle and pattern.  The bundles consisted of 5 different one-yard cuts of fabric, and the patterns use them to make the top and binding of a lap quilt.  Here's mine:

The quilts were pretty easy, and definitely beginner-friendly, since there aren't very many corners to match.  I appreciated that, since I'm not very good at that.  When I was in middle and high school and we were part of a mother-daughter quilting group, my mom pinned all my seams for me, so I never really learned how to match corners.  I was glad to be able to pick my mom's brain about how to match them for a quilt where it didn't really matter (all of my matched corners were four of the same fabric, so it's very difficult to see that they are in many cases pretty far off.)

The only problem was that the pattern really requires 44-45" of usable fabric width, and it just so happened that the fabric I chose for the binding only had 40" of usable width.  I had no idea this was going to be a problem until after I had cut all of the fabric strips (including the binding), sewn the strip sets, and was cross-cutting them into smaller units.  I just didn't have enough of that one particular fabric.  After I had used just about every square inch of the tiny green check,  I was still short.  I ended up having to piece the ends of some of the strip sets together and put a bunch of selvedges in seam allowances, and I was still short.  This is why there is one little square of the outer border in the middle of the quilt, and why the inner border has corner squares.  I had to adapt the pattern.  My mom also had this issue, although not as badly as I did.  She got away with just having one or two pieced squares of the same fabric.

All in all, though, I'm happy with how it turned out, and it was great as a piecing skills refresher.  I'm eager to trade quilt patterns with mom and make another, although next time I will almost certainly plan a scrappy binding (there were enough leftovers to cut at least one width of fabric binding strip from each of the other fabrics) to avoid fabric shortage issues.

Also, I LOVE my 1/4 inch piecing foot!

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