Saturday, August 27, 2016

Scrappy Trip Progress and Tips

Summer's gone by so quickly!  I've been working on my scrappy trip quilt with mostly Anna Maria Horner fabrics.  This is part of my Quarter 3 list for the 2016 Finish-A-Long.  I have a feeling I won't make the completion deadline for Q3, but that's okay, I'll just add it to Q4.

Making this has been a learning experience.  Since there isn't a true pattern, there are a lot of decisions to be made that you might not think of if you just follow a basic block tutorial.  I was inspired by this quilt in making my own.  I used seven strips for my blocks, which makes cutting the tube a little tricky.  I also didn't think carefully enough about contrast when I was putting all of my cut strips into groups of seven.  So here are a few pointers if you think you might work on a scrappy trip.

  1. If you make the block with an uneven number of strips, be sure to lay the tube flat and even prior to cutting or you will get wonky strip sets.  
  2. I found it easier to iron the already cut strip sets alternatively and then sew them back together with nested seams.  This is different than ironing the strips alternatively as the tutorial shows.  I know some of these will need to be pressed again, but it made matching the seams more precise for me.  
  3. Pay attention to placement of your contrasting fabric...for that matter, make sure you use contrasting fabric!  I know this seems obvious, but it took me a while to figure out what looks best, and that's because when I grouped my strips together I didn't always consider contrast, but was considering more of what strips would look good together by color families.  You need contrast for this, otherwise it's just a bunch of two inch squares.  
  4. If you are like me and need to find order in things (even in scrappy quilts) then you might want to think about your final layout and your contrast fabric.  In my finished quilt I've decided to do a vertical zig zag layout.  I realized (late) that it would be good to put a single different contrast fabric in each column of the quilt.  Since I decided this after making 12 of the 24 blocks, I'll need to resew or rearrange a few blocks to achieve the layout I want.  

 ....16 blocks done, 8 more to go!  Happy Sewing!