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Thread: Need help on how to piece this quilt

  1. #1
    Junior Member Briarberry's Avatar
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    Need help on how to piece this quilt

    Let me clarify something, I am a fairly new quilter. I found a picture of a quilt I want to make but it doesn't have a pattern. It's just a simple scrappy quilt, you alternate a solid white square with a variety of red/pink prints. My question is - how do I put the squares together? They are 5" squares (I just decided that was the size I wanted). Do I make rows or turn it into a 9 patch? I am not an experienced sewer but I love to quilt, so far I have only attempted rag quilts and smaller projects like table runners. One of my runners ended up a bit crooked when done and that was with a pattern. I am being extra careful not to stretch the fabric when ironing and my seams are fairly accurate. I piece on a old Singer 185 or my Singer 99K which both do excellent straight stitching so that's not an issue. The quilt will be big, queen sized for my bed. Any advice from all you great quilters would be appreciated. I am learning so much from the posts on this board.

  2. #2
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I would lay them out in the pattern that I wanted and then put them together in pairs and then put the pairs together into four patches. Then I would put the four patches together in pairs and the pairs of four patches together into giant four patches until you have the quilt top in four giant sections and then sew the top half together and the bottom half together. One of the biggest advantages to putting a quilt top together this way is there's only one full width seam to sew and you only have the whole thing on the machine for one seam and then borders. It will also come out straighter overall.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Briarberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen View Post
    I would lay them out in the pattern that I wanted and then put them together in pairs and then put the pairs together into four patches. Then I would put the four patches together in pairs and the pairs of four patches together into giant four patches until you have the quilt top in four giant sections and then sew the top half together and the bottom half together. One of the biggest advantages to putting a quilt top together this way is there's only one full width seam to sew and you only have the whole thing on the machine for one seam and then borders. It will also come out straighter overall.
    Thank you for the speedy response. I knew someone would help me. This way sounds much better than what I was thinking of doing. I am off to finish cutting the squares and hopefully I will get a start on the piecing later this weekend.

  4. #4
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    I lay pieces out as desired and then pin them into rows using a small slip of paper to mark the row number----------always in the far left corner.

    After the rows are sewing in strips, I come back and sew one row to another.
    Bad Spellers of the World
    U N T I E

  5. #5
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Briarberry View Post
    Thank you for the speedy response. I knew someone would help me. This way sounds much better than what I was thinking of doing. I am off to finish cutting the squares and hopefully I will get a start on the piecing later this weekend.
    I almost always put my quilts together this way. One of the tricks I use after I get them laid out how I want them is to pin a row and block marker to them. I use little squares of paper that have R1B1, R1B2, etc, etc and I pin them right side up at the top of the block or square. Pinning them right side up and at the top tells you which way is up if they're directional and helps you keep them in order too. Plus after you have the markers pinned to them if you have to you can pick the whole thing up and not lose where each square goes.

  6. #6
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    I just want to say that I LOVE your avatar!!!
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  7. #7
    Junior Member Briarberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    I just want to say that I LOVE your avatar!!!
    Thanks, bet you can guess my first name plus I love Big Bang Theory.

  8. #8
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    I like Scissor Queen's method, it's very user friendly. I do not have a design wall and when I lay out quilt blocks I cannot leave them out. I have taken to using a plastic tablecloth, I layout my quilt on the fuzzy back and then I can roll it up and move it as needed and everything stays just as I want it. I even took a quilt to sit and sew this way today, it worked really well.

  9. #9
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    I lay out mine this way too and never make a block bigger than a 16 patch!

  10. #10
    Senior Member w7sue's Avatar
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    When I am marking my blocks with row markers - I purchased template material and cut it into 1" squares. Then, I used my paper punch to punch one hole in the center. I used a sharpie to mark each row/block -- 1-1, 1-2, 1-3 (row 1, blocks 1, 2, 3) under the hole. Then I place them in the upper left corner of each block using a straight pin - in and out of the fabric through the hole. Then you can pick them all up and never have to wonder how you had them laid out - never get one in upside down or whatever because they have all been placed in the upper left corner.

  11. #11
    Senior Member w7sue's Avatar
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    I store these little markers in an empty prescription bottle and replace as necessary. They are cheap and easy to make and last longer than little pieces of paper.

  12. #12
    Member Tollergirl's Avatar
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    Love your picture! I'm a speech pathologist and Big Bang just cracks me up! Sheldon is a classic Asperger's client!

  13. #13
    Power Poster solstice3's Avatar
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    Remember to account for your seam allowance. a 5" block will give you 4 1/2" finished square.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Briarberry View Post
    Thank you for the speedy response. I knew someone would help me. This way sounds much better than what I was thinking of doing. I am off to finish cutting the squares and hopefully I will get a start on the piecing later this weekend.
    I also agree with the previous responses, I not only mark my rows this way, but I use the little colored dots that are often used in garage sales and number them then stick them on the rows or blocks. They come in sheets from an office supply or WalMart. I also take pictures of my quilts as I am laying them out to decide for sure just how I want them. Very surprising how different they look through the camera lens and ones own eyes. I use my digital camera and load them on the computer, so I don't have a bunch of hard copies. I can change them and see what I like best. I always take a picture of the final lay out, just in case something gets moved. You could also do the reversible method with the large four blocks that would make the size easier to work with at the machine when you are working on the quilting part if you are machine quilting the quilt yourself. Show a pic. when you're finished. Stitches of fun for you.

  15. #15
    Senior Member CarrieC's Avatar
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    If you chose to do it row by row - my only suggestion (and I learned this the hard way) is to alternate the direction you sew the strips together. In other words, when sewing row one to row two - sew from left to right. When sewing row three to the now combined row1/row2 sew from right to left.
    Carrie, Queen of the Seam Rippers!

  16. #16
    Super Member Cybrarian's Avatar
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    Such great information and advice! Scissor Queen your method makes so much sense yet row sewing is so often recommended in patterns, mags, tv & online shows. Yet stretching is one of the biggest problems with people's finished tops. Thanks for posting!

  17. #17
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    well it seems you have been given enough ideas on how to lay out your pattern for the quilt...but I noticed in your post you said your tablerunner of the same pattern was "a bit crooked because my seams are somwhat accurate".....I can only say.......when you are doing this quilt top you must really be careful with those 1/4"seams.......I know none of us is perfect, but try to be a sure as you can otherwise that tablerunner is only a precurser of a really cattawambus quilt top.....with that said, have fun piecing your project...........

  18. #18
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Bed sized quilts are harder to make than lap size. As a beginner I recommend doing a few small quilts first before tackling a bed size.
    If it dosnt turn out nice your not out the price it cost for a large quilt.
    I also reccomend getting a Quilt In A Day book. Eleanor Burns makes quilting easier and her instructions are very detailed even to which way to iron your seams.
    Be sure to watch lots of videos, there are many free ones on the web.
    http://quilterstv.com
    http://quiltinaday.com
    Lots of free videos.
    This board has lots of good advice also so have fun learning.
    Last edited by Rose Marie; 03-20-2012 at 06:49 AM.

  19. #19
    Junior Member Busy Quilter's Avatar
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    What a great piece of explaining, thanks..
    Have a Blessed Day

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