Monday, September 04, 2006

Plaid Top Done

Well, I think this is the quickest little quilt top I've ever made. It finished at 40 x 52, which is a good size for a wheelchair lap quilt.

A big thanks will have to go out to Finn (who we all know and love, but I'll give the link to her blog anyway.) We were chatting on MSN this morning, and she suggested the piano key border instead of the nine patch or 4 patch. She'll have to consider herself the virtual gramma for this quilt. :) Thanks, Finn! It worked!



Of course, Bonnie would have to be the other relative to claim this quilt-child - the original inspiration for the 6 center blocks came from her site, the Hidden Spools pattern. I chose a bigger strip size to start with, so my blocks finished a little larger.

I think the original border I'd thought of, with 9 or 4 patch blocks would have been too busy. The piano keys, without the red fabric, worked better.

Since I was trying for a guy type quilt, I've only used four fabrics in this, navy&white plaid, navy; green&red plaid, red; but it doesn't look like a 4 fabric quilt, does it? This picture is probably closer to the correct colors, the red is from a line called 'quilt blenders' and has a lot of darker red blotches on it.

What I've Learned from my First Plaid Quilt:

1. Look for a better plaid fabric before using it on the bias like the center 6 blocks were. This was a loose weave and very stretchy. The red was a quilting fabric and handled the bias much better.

2. Plaids were easy to cut on the straight of grain. This whole quilt top was done with 2½ inch strips. I made sure to start cutting each length of fabric straight, and was easily able to check that nothing shifted.

3. A smaller strip would not have worked as well with a plaid this big. I'll have to remember that the size of the plaid dictates the size of the strips.

4. A little plaid goes a long way! Visually, I guess I should think of it the same way I would a large to medium floral.

Now I have enough plaid to back this one with - I will try to quilt this one on my machine tomorrow instead of sending it off to be done. THEN I have some 'girly' color plaids, with lavender and teals... hot pinks and oranges. That can be my next project. :)

20 comments:

Hedgehog said...

Very cool! (Again, I love the list of lessons learned.) I have a plaid and blue solid bear paw project that I want to finish this winter. I wish I'd read your plaid tips earlier, but I'll finish it with what I've started and will files those tips away for next time! Can't wait to see the girly version.

Tazzie said...

It looks just great, but with such great genes, how could it look anything but wonderful?
*hugs*
Tazzie
:-)

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

It is wonderful and very masculine, so you hit the nail right on the head!

I think it is a great pattern for when someone asks you what to do with a pile of shirts that they want to make into a memory quilt too.

Cheers!

Evelyn

Screen Door said...

I love the plaids. Great quilt. Thanks for the tips on working with them.
Melanie

Vicky said...

A great guy quilt! I love plaids, and yours is beautiful -- uh, handsome?

Good job!

(Hugs)

quiltpixie said...

this quilt really did work up very quickly, but the final product looks great! Has the look that you took some time in the making... probably all the complexity of the plaids which add the surface design. The piano key border is great on it. Way to go!

Gail said...

Wonderful! and look at all you learned. I was working with some losely woven plaids a while back, it gets frustrating. I also have Roberta Horton's book on plaids and love what she teaches-very freeing, especially if you come from a garment making background.

Marcie said...

Nice job FJ. And the piano key border is just the ticket.

Darcie said...

Love it! *You all* did a wonderful job!

I like using a little spray sizing on my plaids and my flannels...to *firm* them up a bit. Just a thought for you...since I know that you've caught the plaid bug that's running wild through the country! ;-)

Ann said...

Love the piano key border, but also love the red. That kind of ties it all together. I think any guy would be thrilled to have this to cover up with on a cold winter day! A flannel back is an added bonus.

Melzie said...

That is very very nice :) I am still kinda scared of plaids lol. xoxo melzie

Jenni @ Fairybread said...

It's very nice. I am finding some plaids in my stash sorting, so will keep this in mind, and lessons learnt.

Lizzy said...

The piano key border really looks good. I also like the contrast of the red with your other fabrics.

Finn said...

Hey Jane, so glad I helped, and thank you for mentioning that, but it wasn't necessary. We all help each other so much all the time! The quilt turned out soooo well. I really like it, and I think plaid on the back is perfect. It balances vefy nicely!

Was so much fun chatting with you..I forgot to thank you for my (tongue in cheek) Finn-Dixie..LOL Hugs, Finn

Lynn Dykstra said...

great use of plaids

Mary said...

Very nice. You could also consider using a muslin foundation in the future to address some of the loose weave/bias issues. I do all my string quilts on a muslin foundation and it works great.

Linda_J said...

Finn Dixie, LOL. I think of Finn as our den mother and told her that once. Great suggestion that worked out quite well for this project!

Hanne said...

What a nice guy quilt. I thought of it as male before reading your text. Finn gave good advices on the border. It looks very good from here.

Shelina said...

That is a great border for the quilt. Looks like a different quilt than the one you posted before.

Lily said...

Shelina's right - it looks totally different with the border on!

Thanks for the tips - especially about the size of the pattern dictating the size of the patch/strip.

Good to remember for newbies like moi!

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