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Thread: All Scrappy Greek Key or What to Do With 2" Squares

  1. #1
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    All Scrappy Greek Key or What to Do With 2" Squares

    Introduction:

    This is the quilt we'll be making. It's called Greek Key and in all actuality, it's not the way the Greek Key pattern is made, but this is my adaptation of the block. The true Greek Key is done in long continuous strips and not segmented like I've done. I love the way the white fabric does not overpower the block and I also love the way 21 two inch squares can be used up quickly, especially when you've accumulated alot of them! I also love the layout better than the block so there are many ways it can be done. As I said before, I especially love 2 vertical rows of scrappy blocks meeting head-on! You may find other interesting ways to lay your blocks so experiment until you're pleased with your layout!
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    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    Next is a close-up picture of the quilt so you can have a better idea of how these large scale fabrics work together to create some excitement among blocks! Take a look at some of the big shapes in the fabrics and how they are used in the quilt. This should be your goal in order to highlight and 'lift' areas of color. The eye is naturally drawn to these big shapes of leaves, flowers, geometrics, etc. With the block finishing at 1.5", these shapes are necessary mixed alternately with solids, near solids and med. fabrics.
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    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    Specifications:

    9" block size: fin. @ 8.5"
    # of quilt blocks needed: 20
    Finished quilt size: 64 x 74
    2" squares needed: 420 assorted prints
    2" squares needed: 20 white
    2x3.5" white strips needed: 20
    2x5" white strips needed: 20
    2x6" white strips needed: 20
    2x7.5" white strips needed: 20
    Inner border:
    5.5" (cut size) muslin border
    2" squares of assorted prints needed: 83
    2.25" white squares needed: 170
    3.25" x 10.25" muslin strip for the label area
    Final border:
    7.5" (cut size) muslin border for the 2 sides
    8.5" (cut size) muslin border for top and bottom
    Big Front Label:
    Add a front label to the lower right-hand side, (1) 6x8.5" heart (pattern included) or another design
     

  4. #4
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    Prep Work:

    Here are some things that will help make the piecing go faster by doing some of the following ahead of


    time:Attachment 392427Cut lots of 2" squares Sew into pairsAttachment 392429

  5. #5
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    Looks like that feature is not allowing me to title the pics. Will upload them singly.

    Sew into pairs:
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  6. #6
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    Sew 2 pairs together:
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  7. #7
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    Sew a busy dark to a pair of a busy dark and a busy light (you should make lots of these):
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  8. #8
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    Sew a busy light to a busy dark: (make some of these also)
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    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    Next we'll take a look at a sample block I selected of really busy prints and notice how the colors and shapes all work together. This should be the goal in the mixing of these prints and colors:
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  10. #10
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    Here's another sample:

    Also, in the second pic, we see 4 different prints and notice how each contrast and complement the other. This should be what you want to achieve in placing odd shapes together along with different colors for each block that makes it appealing and interesting.
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  11. #11
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    Next we'll be looking at the Greek Key block and noticing that the white portion of the block resembles the capital letter "G". Since it's so easy to get turned around in quilting and piecing, it's essential to keep the block always in the "G" formation while sewing the sections of the block together.

    The next pic is self-explanatory and describes the piecing order of the block.
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  12. #12
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    Prep Work:

    1) Sew together a 4P unit with a white square in the top right position: Make 20 units
    2) Sew together scrappy squares in:
    * 3 piece sets
    * 4 piece sets
    * 5 piece sets
    * and 6 piece sets

    - OR -

    Design-As-You-Go as I did by adding a single unit to a sewn pair for my 3-piece set, then selecting 2 pairs to join together for my 4-piece set, etc. This way I control the colors and designs in my blocks better. This is not as fast, naturally, as having your scrappy units all joined together and ready to attach but I like to lay the opposites out together and collect different shades of colors for the block I'm working on. This way it helps me to see what colors need to be added as well as what graphic prints are needed for the block. By having the strip sets already sewn together, they may not have the color I'm looking for to add to my block or the shape I want in the block. In sewing the last strip set on of the 6 scrappy squares, I just select 3 sets of pairs for my 6 blocks, join them, and then attach to my block. On the 5-piece set that is needed, I select 2 sets of pairs and intermingle a single block for joining that strip set and placing the single somewhere in the strip. I also chainsew 2 and 3 blocks at once so let me say here that is why the pics in the steps are of different quilt blocks at different times. In making this quilt, I was almost through with it when it dawned on me to start taking pics of the process that a tut might be needed!! lol. So, needless to say, when I finished, I had to back up to the beginning and start taking pics of the steps needed!! Oh, what fun! I only had one block left over after all of that!!! It will go in my next Snappy Scrappy as there were lots of squares left over! lol.

    This is, after all, a quilt where opposites work best. There is nothing matchy-matchy in this quilt. It's best to have large scale prints and busy fabrics working alternately in each block with solids, near-solids or dull prints. The eyes must have a place to rest when viewing the quilt so the solids provide that break from all the busy fabrics. If you notice in my quilt, it almost appears as if a busy fabric is alternated with a quiet fabric. This is important as when the scrappy sides of the blocks meet, you will be glad you had done it that way so that dark meets light and light meets dark when joined together. It just so happens that my blocks met perfectly color-wise when joined; i.e., dark meeting light and light meeting dark. I did not plan it that way but I did have to move some blocks around because I did not want them meeting up with a repeat fabric placed close together. One of the reasons I used lots of different prints in the quilt was to avoid meeting a repeat fabric somewhere, but there were just some colors and prints I wanted to repeat in the quilt as it brings a unity and connection factor to the quilt. Repeating a certain color will drive home the theme of a quilt or add balance, movement or depth that it needs.
     

  13. #13
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    Steps:

    Step 1. Make a 4P with a white square in the top right-hand corner (keeping it in that same position making the block).

    Step 2. Sew a 3.5" white strip to the right-hand side.

    Step 3. Sew the 3-piece scrappy strip to the top of the block.

    Step 4. Sew a 5" white strip to the bottom of the block.

    Step 5. Sew the 4-piece scrappy strip to the right-hand side of the block.

    Step 6. Sew the 6" white strip to the left-hand side.

    Step 7. Sew the 7.5" white strip to the top.

    Step 8. Sew the 5-piece scrappy strip to the bottom.

    Step 9. Sew the last 6-piece scrappy strip to the left-hand side.
    (sew into rows; join rows)

    Step 10. Add a 5.5" (cut size) muslin border.

    Step 11. Add the scrappy 3" inner border including the muslin strip for the label.

    Step 12. Add a 7.5" (cut size) muslin border to the right and left sides.

    Step 13. Add a 8.5" (cut size) muslin border to the top and bottom.

    Step 14. Applique a BFL (big front label) to the right side.

  14. #14
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    The 1st 6 steps pictorial:
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  15. #15
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    Steps 6 - 10 pictorial:
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  16. #16
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    And the final one!
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    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    And the final one! (can't seem to delete the previous pic so ignore that one please)

  18. #18
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    About the Quilt:

    If you notice, great depth is created with all the really dark fabrics in the quilt. You need to include them to give depth and scatter them throughout. It's ok if you have a dark print meeting a med. or another dark print provided they are in different color families and there is a definite distinction. Otherwise, 2 darks together can distract from the theme or focal point, and, in this case, the Greek Key that we want to stand out! I did notice later that I had inadvertently used a really pale fabric near the stem of the Greek Key on 2 different blocks. Fortunately, it did not distort the image so I left it in, but we want to avoid using a really pale white background print near the stem of the 'G'. I took a pic of that block for you to see. If this happens and the quilt is finished, you could always just applique another print over top of that pale block to correct that area. The pale block could change the letter 'G' into looking like a number 6 or another letter altogether when viewed from a distance.

    Squaring up of blocks:

    I skipped this part although you may want to do like I did and just shave off minor bits to even the block up without squaring it up. Since the blocks finish @ 1.5", squaring up should be minimized unless necessary.

    Pressing of blocks/pinning:

    I don't press my sections after each addition of adding a piece like most quilters, but you may want to do this. I also do no pinning as I taught myself to sew without it in order to save time and it works for me. I do a final pressing of the block before joining.

    Joining of blocks:

    The blocks join just like you would a pinwheel with the top left block aiming upward, top right block to the right, bottom right aiming downward and the bottom left block shooting to the left if you desire to join them this way. However, the lay-out of the blocks is more interesting to me than the block itself. Have fun with your lay-outs. It would be a nice quilt in a larger size block too~!
     

  19. #19
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    Making the inner border:

    The key to this border is allowing plenty of room on each side of your squares-on-point so as to not cut off any points when sewn together. I love allowing lots of room there and trimming the strip to 3" will give you that extra room! The top and bottom each require 21 units and 23 for the left side. You will only need 18 for the right side if you add a snappy label for the front; a tree, a heart, a star, or whatever you decide. Kids love all those things and it adds a nice touch complementing the small blocks. Add your 3.25"x10" muslin strip for the label area.

    Before trimming your strip sets to 3", you will be adding an extra white square to the left side of the strip and to the right side of the strip. This will be your 'cornerpiece' of the strip.

    Just make sure you align the ruler's lines with the center line going through the middle of the printed squares and it will come out flush no matter how much bias is at play. Starching may be done to minimize the bias stretch, but I eliminated that step and it worked out great. As long as it's cut right/sewn right, it will work out right.
     

  20. #20
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    The pictorial:

    Chainsew a white square to each print centering them:
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  21. #21
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    Add a white square to the other side webbing them together. Simply place the beginning of the strip you just chainsewed together in the machine, flip the white square over to the left, and with a pile of white squares to your right, simply place one face down on top of your printed square. Sew down to the next one and repeat. Your blocks will look like those in the next pic that I'm holding in the air. They've all been webbed together and this saves much time by only having to cut them apart once!!! Yes!
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  22. #22
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    Next cut them apart....
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  23. #23
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    Lay them face down in a pile keeping them all in the same order as you took them off the design wall...
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  24. #24
    Super Member n2scraplvr's Avatar
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    Lay out the 1st 6 units:
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  25. #25
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    Sew them in pairs....
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