I'm assuming you've heard the expression "twofer", if not, it's a slang way of saying "Two for one". I had a big interruption on making wedding quilts this week, because I need to make a comfort quilt. Yet another person we know has cancer, and cancer sucks. Unfortunately, this is far from the first comfort quilt I've made for this reason. I don't mind putting everything else aside to make a comfort quilt, it's such a small thing when they are facing such a big thing.
As with all the other comfort quilts I've made for this reason, I use some solid white so people can sign the quilt with well wishes. Wouldn't you rather have a quilt than a card?
I know a lot of people have people sign fabric before it gets sewn into the quilt, and I've tried that, but in my experience, people never follow directions, always write in the seam allowances so important parts of the messages are lost. Also, If I have to make the quilt after the pieces are signed I feel under even more pressure to work quickly, which makes me cranky. I've yet to have everyone sign before the quilt is finished anyone, so some people end up signing the finished quilt anyway, so why not make everyone sign the finished quilt? This is the way I've done it the last several comfort quilts I've made and I've had far less drama this way. Your experience may vary, but for me, finishing the quilt first is the way to go.
I cut my white squares at 6.5" from yardage. For the corners I dug through my 3.5" strips. I wanted fabrics that were bright and cheerful, and I found a nice selection already cut to size.
I'm so glad I precut strips into common sizes, if I didn't, this quilt wouldn't have as much variety as it's got. If I had had to handle a bunch of fat quarters or yardage, I would have opted for just a few fabrics in an effort to save time.
I decided to make square in a square blocks, and although I certainly could have just cut everything to size from the beginning, I opted for making flip and sew corners. I didn't want to take the time to draw diagonal lines, and as with most things quilty, there is more than one way to get things done.
I got out my Folded Corner Clipper ruler, and used it to cut the corner off leaving a perfect 1/4 seam allowance ready to sew.
After I sew the corner onto the white square, I turn my cutting mat, and use the same ruler to cut a 2.5" HST from the "waste". This HST will finish at 2", and I already have a plan for all the HST's from this quilt. The only real "waste" is the small strip leftover from cutting between the corner and the HST. It's less than 1/4" wide, and I have no problems tossing it.
I do opposite corners, finger press open, then do the last two corners.
Here is the square in a square unit finished, no sliver trimming needed. If you'd like to try making units this way, but don't have the Folded Corner Clipper ruler, you can still try it if you've got the Easy Angle Ruler.
The lighting makes it look like the lines aren't quite lined up, but they are actually spot on. The markings are a little easier to follow on the Folded Corner Clipper for this use, because that's what it's made to do.
Using this method, with the sizes I chose to use (6.5 and 3.5 squares) You'll end up with one 6" finished block, and four HST's that would finish into a 4" block. I played with various layouts for the HST's, and I figured out something that will use exactly the number of HST's I have after making the 99 blocks I needed for the comfort quilt. I'm not saying what I'm doing with them right now, it will be a surprise for you later! At any rate, the little bit of extra time I took sewing those bonus HST's will net me a second quilt for what seems like free, a twofer!
This was my set up for cutting an sewing these blocks. The extra table allows me to just turn my chair to cut, then turn again to sew.
I haven't pressed all those blocks yet, but I just finished the last block about an hour ago. The plastic tub has all the bonus HST's. My goal is to assemble the comfort quilt top tomorrow, and get it pin-basted. Sunday the goal is to get it quilted and bound. DH has Monday off, so if I can't get it finished until then that's OK. He can bring the quilt and the fabric markers to work on Tuesday. I'll post pics when it's finished.
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