Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Big Project for Bert

I am sure you have all been sitting on the edge of your desk chairs, couches, and recliners since I told you just after New Year's that I was working on a big project for Bert. Maybe you even had some guesses about it. I hope you are not disappointed by this big reveal which is, by the way, a bit premature because the project isn't finished yet.

Without further ado, the BIG PROJECT is a quilt. You have to understand, I like little projects. Ones that only take a couple hours and not a whole lot of advance planning. So a quilt is a pretty major undertaking for me. And considering I bought the pattern and most of the fabric back in September, it's already become a drawn-out endeavor by my standards.

The pattern is called "Hopscotch" and uses 15 fat quarters for the quilt top. Using a rotary cutter and mat, cutting out all the pieces went pretty quickly. The whole quilt is made of just four different sized squares and rectangles, so much to my surprise, it went together quite easily.

The first step was taking all the assorted 3 1/2" squares and pairing them with the largest rectangle.

Once they are all paired and sewn together, you take the 5" long rectangles and pair them together. Then each block is made up of three strips: two of the 3 1/2" and 6 1/2" rectangle strips, and one made of the 5" rectangles. The toughest part was making all those combinations, and then putting them all together for the quilt top without the same fabrics touching. It was one of those times were I really had to stop myself from over-thinking the project because I would have made myself insane. (And there is one spot where the same fabrics touch each other but do me a favor and don't tell me if you see it, ok? I didn't see it until the whole thing was sewn together.)

Once all the blocks were together, Bert and I took a little trip to the fabric store and picked out the border and backing fabrics. Then I cut the border strips solo, without my mom checking on me to be sure I didn't screw it up (she was nearby for cutting all the other pieces).

Cut off the rough edge...

Line it all up, nice and straight...

Chop, chop!


Then all the 4 1/2" pieces become an outer border and it all goes together and ends up looking like this:

Wait, let me get a better shot...

Well, this is as good as it gets. Should have done that while he was napping. Which was all of forty minutes on this particular afternoon.

So that's where I'm at. When I laid it on what will eventually be Bert's "big boy" bed, it seemed a little small. I was already to say "I don't care, that's just the size it is," but upon further review (i.e., over-thinking) I decided I would add another border to it, probably about 5" all the way around, to make it just a bit bigger. I figured I might as well do it and be happy with the whole project rather than wish I had made it bigger down the road. I need to go pick out some fabric for that second border and see if I have enough of the green inner border fabric to do the binding since I will need a bit more than the pattern originally called for. Also, I already bought the backing fabric so I have to do a little figuring there too to see how big the border can be and still use that fabric. And this is why I don't like to go off the map with projects: now I have to do the figuring instead of it all being done for me.

I am leaning towards paying someone to do the actual quilting for me because, let's face it, Bert would still be waiting for this quilt when he headed off to college if I were to try hand-quilting it. And honestly, I like the sewing but the quilting part doesn't interest me that much. 

There it is: the big project. I hope to have a finished big project post for you sooner rather than later.

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