Sunday, February 17, 2019

New Project: UANDUQAL


Last December Sujata shared an idea for a non-structured quilt along. Using the quilts in the book: Unconventional and Unexpected Quilts by Roderick Kiracofe we will pick a quilt to interpret a project.

From Sujata's Blog: The Root Connection: RED

Here are some  "No Rules" of this U&U Quilt-Along

  • They do not need to be wonky if  you like to stitch in the straight line. 
  • There are no deadlines.
  • I will be sharing some loose directions but you Do Not need to follow my guidelines. You are more than encouraged to go your own way. 
  • Remember that possibilities are endless and you Do Not need to repeat the colors or pattern exactly like it is in the book.  
  • When you post the progress pictures as well as finished quilts on Instagram, use #U&UQA  

Sujata has written about the quilt she is starting with:

It is beautiful.  Such fun to see how she decided to make the pieces and how they are going to fit together.  If you go to her site you will see she made some changes in her initial  plan, and has by using mainly repurposed shirts had a terrific start (of course) to getting her project together.

I was drawn to try this quilt too, but then after reading the first few chapters of the book realized I could get a jump start if I picked a different quilt.  So I am going to use the Block Lotto wonky log cabin blocks that I won for the center and make the log cabin quilt that is on page 54 of Unconventional and Unexpected Quilts

My blocks were made using blue, green, purple, black and white - the directions are still posted at:
(Anyone making the blocks should remember that the edges of the blocks should have space without a seam so the colors are not lost when they are joined.  I'm going to try to just leave the pieces the way I received them, but will add fabric if any is needed to bring the block to a full 9.5 inches.)

I pulled out most of my fabric in these colors so they are handy to make the surrounding blocks.  (Aside: I shared some of the blocks with a friend. She and I made a baby quilt for her granddaughter.  Now her daughter would like her to make the quilt larger so she needed more blocks and fabric to add on!)  I cut a lot of mostly 2.5 inch strips as they would be a good starting size to deal with don't you think?

I also cut some 12.5 squares of fabric so she would have more flexibility when making her blocks.

As I was cutting I took the odd widths for myself and when there were several cut of the same fabric I split those so I have a large stack in these colors for myself.

So here you can start to see the blocks.  I can only get three across on my counter top, but the final quilt will be made I think so the inner log cabin section will have 20 blocks (4 x 5).  The original quilt on page 54 has 24 log cabin blocks (4 x 6).

At the beginning and ending of each row and column there will be wonky string blocks made of fabrics in the same colors as the log cabins.  These blocks will be the same size as the log cabin blocks (9.5 inches).  Making the first border blocks I started with width of fabric pieces, but now I am using strips that are around 11 inches long.  The four corners will have the strings oriented so they radiate out from the corner so those strings will be around 17 inches and then trimmed down to 9.5 inch square too.

I will need 4 corner border string blocks and 18 or 20* edge border string blocks. (* depending on the number of columns and rows of log cabin blocks in the quilt)

When I was first making the border blocks I laid the new fabric so it was on an angle on the already joined fabric and just arranged where the fabric went as I sewed the seam.  (Then I had to fiddle with the fabric and go back and trim the seams down to .25 inch.)  Now I'm trimming the fabric at an angle so I have a straight edge to sew the new fabric on.

Here is my first set of 17 inch long strips.

Blue/green: At first I would lay the new fabric on the fabric, sew and trim.  (It was tricky to do the trimming when I sewed in this order, so I do not recommend doing this!)
Moss/purple: Now I'm trimming the larger fabric and then just place the new strip down and sew.  Only trimming after the new pieces are joined/pressed and ready to add another strip.  If I am careful I will end up being able to use the trimmed fabric in another block.

Moss/turquoise: I will also test trimming both pieces before joining them.

In the book the strips for the border blocks are made up of strips of different widths.  Some are sewn straight, while others are at an angle.  The corner pieces were set so all the pieces radiated out so I will experiment with that too.


I cut most of my strips with a regular straight edge ruler, but at my Saturday group used a
June Tailor Shape Cut 12''x12'' Slotted Ruler. Wow! This made the strip cutting go so much quicker. I just needed to be sure to smooth the fabric and place the fold on the zero line.  Full price this is around $30.  

The Saturday group has pieces of PVC pipe cut to raise the height of the cutting table - what a back saver!  My table doesn't have curved legs though so I'm going to get some furniture lifters.  Home Depot has some that will work and raise the table 8 inches for around $15.  Ideally I think the cutting table should be even taller, but 8 inches is the tallest I could find when I searched online.

All my fabric has been washed.  I was using spray starch to make the fabric easier to cut, but am now experimenting with simply putting some corn starch in a spray bottle with water.  I need to work on the measurements, but this so far is working well. (Sorry, can't remember where I got the idea to do this.)  I put around 1 tablespoon corn starch to 1 cup of water in a spray bottle - just shake to combine.