Monday, January 7, 2019

U and U QAL January 2019

Overlapping Octagons

It is all about "U"! Thank you all for getting as excited as I am about this project. So many of you have signed up for this QAL! I am excited to see so many versions of a quilt.

The first quilt I picked screams both - Unconventional and Unexpected!

Facts and my observation of this quilt: 
Find it in your book, Unconventional and Unexpected Quilts on page 51. 

The maker is unknown and so is the pattern. I am going to call it Overlapping Octagons.
Quilt in the book measures 77 X 66 inches.
Finished blocks 8 X 8 inches
Fabric used shirting and flannel

I must say the maker was pretty clever! She made this simple pattern look quite complicated.

Our eyes are so trained to find a square block in a quilt.. I couldn't see one, can you?

I looked closer to study the construction of the quilt and deconstructed the "Block".

I think this quilt was hand pieced. Two different units were used to make this quilt. A square for the center of each octagon and string pieces rectangles with triangles on either ends.

Why do I think it was hand pieced? Those rectangles with triangles on either side are string pieced  and some of the patches continue from the triangles to the body of the rectangle.

Here is another close-up.

I am not sure about you all but I do not want to hand piece a quilt top at this time in my life.
So here is what I came up with.

The best way to sew these Overlapped Octagons is to sew them in columns using required units..

Here are some loose instructions I promised.

This quilt can be constructed with finished,

2" Quarter Square Triangles
2 X 4 inches String Pieced Rectangles
4 X 4 Center Squares

Are you with me? If not, I have more to say :)

You will construct it in columns. Yes! Strips!

  • You will need (give or take)

132 Center Squares - 4 1/2" X 4 1/2"

156 Stringed Pieced Rectangles - 2 1/2" X 4 1/2"

156 Quarter Square Triangles - 2 1/2" X 2 1/2"

  • Strip Set - A 
Sew 12 strips starting with quarter square triangle alternating with string pieced rectangle and ending with quarter square triangle - 74 1/2 " long. For each strip you will need 13 squares and 12 rectangles.
  • Strip Set -B
Sew 11 strips, Starting with stringed rectangle alternating with a plain center square, ending with pieced rectangle. For each strip you will need 13 Rectangles and 12 Squares. 

Sew strip one and two in alternating order.
The quilt should measure 68" X 74" or something like that.

Here are few other things to consider.
  • Use many shades of same color to mimic the use of recycled shirts.
  • Observe the size of the scraps and compare those to the prints you may be using. Large prints will definitely get lost when cut providing even crazier look!
  • You don't need to make entire quilt with small blocks. Play around with large scale prints and large size blocks. The blocks can be reconfigured as long as the measurements are divisible by 2
  • What if you choose those 4" squares to act as background? How will those overlapping octagons act against same fabric throughout? 
  • Consider low volume, high contrasts. "Take a trip" to another country for inspiration and use colors inspired from it.
  • Use your travel pictures for color inspiration.
  • Use stripes, dots pr plaids to create drama.
I can go on and on. 

If you are not interested in making this quilt, pick the one you like. There are so many beautiful quilts in the book, just have fun, make it your own.

I am still trying to figure out the best way to have one platform to visit each-other's projects. Meanwhile, let's make some dent in the scrap box!

If you are on Instagram, use #unconventionalandunexpected and #UANDUQAL
I am told U&UQAL will not work.

And lastly, you do not need to have a blog nor the IG account. I really hope you have fun making these quilts.

Happy Monday you all! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Happy New Year!

I hope your holidays were as bright and filled with love as ours. I am still here.. This house was filled with relatives from distance and kids.

The kitchen was always open and the laundry was constantly running. I said goodbyes to all the kids at once. My heart is full. This was our grandson's first visit, first plane ride. First Christmas together for now seven of us!

 Kai did not mind posing for camera for me at all.

Younger two kids went home as soon as I took our oldest son and his family to the airport this morning.

The house is empty and it has opened up space for our quilt-along. If you missed it, read all about it here.

Those of you who are interested in the quilt along, I have received and read every single comment.   I hope you are patient. I will come back with quilt # one next week.

A lot of you have ordered the book or already have it in your home. I hope you have had a chance to go through it.

Couple of reminders before I end this reminder post - (couldn't help myself)

This is going to be a stress free experience.

Those of you who are anonymous, please send me an email so I have your email addresses to send you an invite  to post on a community blog.

If you do not have Instagram or a blog? No worries, just have fun. This project is designed to get to know other like-minded people and build a community of quilters who appreciate quirky quilts just like the man who brought them to us.

Have a great rest of the week!