Update 5/15/19 : Little Isla seems to be enjoying her 1st birthday quilt!
This quilt started out as more of a “I just wanna try that and see how it works” type project. I get the Missouri Star Quilt Company emails every day, and a while back they had a link to one of Jenny’s tutorials for a disappearing pinwheel quilt. It looked so easy and so fast and I really wanted to give it a try. I loved the idea that you could start with a layer cake of one solid color and a layer cake of mixed fabrics, throw on some borders and end up with a quilt!
When I started poking around looking at different versions of the disappearing pinwheel I found MSQC also had a tutorial for a disappearing hourglass quilt that started out about the same way and I liked it almost as much. Instead of doing one quilt with 42 (6×7) blocks, I thought I might do two quilts with 20 (4×5) blocks each, and have a couple of my mixed squares left over. That was going to be a good thing, because two of my mixed squares were pretty much the same color as my solid squares and wouldn’t have looked very good as a block. So I used those two squares to do “proof of concept” blocks to see 1) how well I could replicate each process and 2) whether or not I enjoyed replicating each process!
As it turns out I enjoyed the disappearing hourglass process a lot more than the disappearing pinwheel. That seam in the center of the block where 8 pieces come together is really bulky and I had a hard time getting that seam right. So I decided I would just do one throw using the disappearing hourglass pattern and save the rest for later. There are dozens of different versions of both the disappearing hourglass and the disappearing pinwheel, so I will probably do something different next time. I’m just not sure which one.
The layer cake I chose for the mixed fabrics had two squares of every fabric, except for two fabrics which each had three squares. I didn’t want any repeat blocks in my quilts so when I bought border fabric I bought a fabric from the same line that didn’t already appear in the layer cake and I bought enough to make two more 10″ squares. Picky picky picky.
It was, as advertised, a really fast and really easy project. The way they have you do the initial hourglass block (or pinwheel block) produces blocks with all bias edges. So it was probably good that I chose to put borders on it or it may have been a nightmare to quilt. I had planned to send it to my regular longarmer for a pantograph, but my friend Susan came to the rescue again, and let me use her longarm. She had held my hand through free motion quilting, and through ruler work, and this time suggested that we use the pre-programmed motifs. Oh boy, another new quilting experience!
I looked through every single motif in her library and tried to pick one that complimented the quilt, the fabrics and the blocks. This wasn’t going to be an all over pantograph because her frame is only 5 feet long, so I picked a motif I thought would look good quilted on each block. The one I picked (sorry I can’t remember the name) looked relatively modern, stitched through each individual piece of the block, and wasn’t too dense or too open. Susan ran the first block and we were very happy with the results. So she turned me loose and I finished the remaining 19 blocks. It was so much fun! We picked a similar motif to put in the borders and sized it to cover both the skinny plain border and the bigger printed border, and covered the length of one block. Eighteen of those and then a little something for the corners and the quilt was done!
It was a blast using the programmed motifs. And I think they turned out pretty well! Thank you Susan!