My brother R proposed to his fiancee M several months ago. We are all over the moon about the engagement. We love her and how happy she makes him. I decided to make them a quilt as their engagement/Christmas present. R’s favorite color is red and M’s favorite color is pink. They met in law school and their school colors are green and white, so I decided to incorporate those four colors into the quilt.
I have a book of 500 quilt patches and I searched through it, looking for something that would give the illusion of two colors meshing together, if that makes sense, to represent their upcoming union. I found something better: a quilt block called Steps to the Altar. It was perfect, the right kind of imagery and the symbolism of the name. The block is a nine-patch. Three of the patches are made of up four tiny squares. The other six are made of half-triangles.
I used the instructions for the 12″ block. I wanted to make a king-sized quilt. I have never made anything so large before. I started cutting the pieces, dozens of tiny squares and triangles. It seemed to take forever! The four-square patches I made of alternating pink and red squares. Four of the half-triangle patches were green and white, and two were either pink and white or red and white. It was a lot of pieces. In some cases I did my math wrong (no surprise; my quilt problems generally tend to be math issues) and I had to go back and cut more pieces. Below are the four-square patches:
I started to lay out my blocks. Here are some samples:
I changed the layouts several times, The bottom two pictures didn’t last in that formation – I decided to use two green prints in each block, like the top three pictures. Each block had two half-triangles in either red or pink and I arranged the center four-square patch so that the corners touching the red or pink half-triangle match that color (i.e. if the half-triangles are red, the four-square patch is oriented so that the red squares touch the half-triangle). Then the other four-square patches were oriented the opposite way, so that the pink squares would touch the red squares. I think the pictures make that far clearer than my explanation. The design idea of that may have been unnecessarily convoluted – I probably could have had the four-square patches oriented every which way, or maybe consistently through each patch. I probably made more work for myself in doing. I tried not to repeat the red and pink prints too much in any one block, but it can’t be helped. I had many many red and pink prints, but I also needed many many pieces and it basically wasn’t possible to not repeat prints.
Here are some assembled blocks:
I laid the blocks out on my couch, which is really the only large surface I have – and even there I had to layer them in rows. As such, I had trouble getting a picture of everything all laid out. The top picture is probably the best one, and it doesn’t show all of the rows. I suppose there are several ways you could lay out the blocks, but making large Xes and forming white squares seemed like the most logical option, and the most pleasant design.
I sewed the blocks into pairs and then into fours to make Xes. (See below.) Then I sewed them into rows.
I realized when I was laying out the blocks that the number I’d made was not the number I’d thought I was going to make, or maybe I laid them out differently than I’d expected to. Somehow, though, I was a few blocks short. I think I ended up wanting one extra row than I’d originally pictured (so that I would have three complete rows of Xes instead of two rows of complete Xes and one row of half an X.) Rather than make several new blocks, I decided to use solids. I cut six solid squares and used them in the top right and the bottom left corners. The corner square in each is a white square. I had just bought a beautiful green fabric that I used in each corner, as well, and then I used a pink square in one corner and a red square in another corner.
I added strips of white fabric to make a border.
Next post: assembling the quilt! I’m going to draw this out into three posts, I think, so the third post will cover the quilting.