Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My First Quilt - Part II

Last night I arranged 48 Wonderland charms on my dining room table. They're on top of the fabric I'll use for the sashing, but the sashing will be wider (1.5") - I just didn't have enough room anywhere. Here's what I came up with:

I arranged the blocks quite deliberately. With my minimal knowledge of colour theory and design I divided the charms into 3 groups:
  • light - cream background
  • medium - green, blue, pale pink background
  • dark/bright - red, bright pink, brown background
Next I started to place them one by one (starting at top left and winding down row by row), choosing from the pile I thought best at the time. As much as possible, I also alternated, checkerboard style, between the regularly patterned blocks (butterflies, scissors, dots, etc.) and random blocks (floral, etc.). For the 8 extra blocks I needed from my second charm pack, I chose the blocks that I also have in yardage. A few snapshots and a few swaps of blocks led to the final arrangement above.

I noticed that I'd placed most blocks that were directional right-side-up - as if the quilt had a top and bottom. I randomly changed some to see which I prefer. Here are the two side by side:

So the big questions are:
  1.  How's my layout? I want the eyes to travel all over the quilt and not just focus on one part. Are there any squares I should swap around to better achieve this?
  2. What about the orientation of the squares? Random or all in the same direction? Can you even tell the difference between the two above?
Remember, this is my first quilt, so I'd love all and any advice!


  1. I always naturally do the same thing - place the directional block the same way... but I LOVE the look of your quilt when they are not directional! It means the quilt can go anyway when your little girl is snuggling up! I think you've done a really good job too of distributing the colours. I am just a beginner too. I'll look forward to seeing the next step :)

  2. This is so pretty Jill, and I too like random squares that way there's no wrong or right way :D

    If your a beginner you'll be a pro in no time as I would never have picked it.

  3. i had to look for quite a while at the two pictures to see if i really cared. my initial reaction to the question was that orientation does matter...but actually... i don't think it does! i like the randomness of it as i think it pulls the eyes in more directions (which sounds painful but isn't...).

    i love sashed quilts, so i'm really glad you chose this! i can't wait to see how it turns out - the fabric is wonderful!

  4. don't think...just sew. i think it looks great!
    did you have more Momo you wanted to use the butterfly scraps with?

  5. Ok, so my gut reaction says go with the blocks all in one direction. BUT....after reading the comments above, I think the reasons they give for the randomness are spot on. I learn new things every day! My brain tends to be very organized and wants everything symmetrical and matching. I'm slowly learning to let that go!

    Great fabric by the the sashing - it really sets off those squares!

  6. I prefer them arranged in multiple directions. I would have laid them out all facing one way too, but when I look at them, the second looks more funky.

  7. Hello! I think it would be neat to have some going in different directions, that way there isn't a correct up or down for the quilt. I actually used this fabric line for my first quilt:

    ... and I pretty much just made sure that I didn't put any two of the same color or pattern together (which gets hard with so many of the scissors!)

    Good luck!

  8. Thanks to everyone who commented. I will go with the random arrangement, and may even have time to start sewing today!


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