Monday, June 17, 2013

Some Tips, and a Beginning

Whew! Let's get sewing on this thing, shall we??  Before I begin, though, a few things I did to make my life easier.

First, the problem of so many greens in one quilt. I did not trust myself to keep them all straight once they were cut into their squares and stacked in my "work in progress" tote. What to do so that I don't mix up which green I need and wind up short on one fabric, long on another??

I came up with an easy solution! Since I'm working from a color print out of the design anyway, I simply cut little pieces from the scraps of each and glued them to the color print out.  Now, I have a fabric sample attached right where I need it, on the very print out I'll use as my map as I sew. Since I'll be looking at the print out to make sure I get each square in the right place anyway, this is perfect!

each green fabric, plus little scraps on the print out

the print out, in the tote with the cut squares, ready to go

The other problem is, do I really want to sew one row together at a time (the quilt size is 75" x 100" finished); can you imagine making 20 rows, each 75" long? And then having to sew seam after seam to join those 75" long rows together???  Hmmm, that seemed daunting to me and like a perfect recipe for rows to go crooked and seams to go wonky. Not cool.

How to approach quilt assembly, then??   Back I went to the print out. I first thought simple quadrants, but that chopped things up too much and still left pretty large/long seams. Hmmmm. I looked a bit longer and decided to find natural breaks in the quilt and use those.

I used a highlighter to mark off what my sections will be
top row: 2 sections, divided where Mario's head touches the sky on the left
middle row: 3 sections, divided where Mario's arms bump sky on either side
bottom row: 2 sections, divided at the edge of the 1st hill
Staggering the seams will help the stability of the quilt, too.
Perfect! Now I can do sections, see some progress as I go (and my 8 yr old son will see it too, this way) and then just join section to section and only have to do that long 75" seam twice! Brilliant!!

For the actual assembly, then, I just take a stack of what is needed for the mini-row within the section, sew the fabrics together one at a time (pressing seams open as I go, to reduce bulk), and then will assemble the mini-rows into their respective sections.

sewing! I have my print out (aka, map), my stack of squares, my 1/4" foot,
and I am good to go!
This will also enable me to do the embellishing on each section before it goes together as a full quilt top. As there's quite a bit of embellishing to do, that will be helpful and much easier to manage -- I need to add face details to the Mario, and outline his legs, add buttons to the overalls, that sort of thing. Much easier to handle in small chunks than as part of a whole twin sized quilt.

Can't wait to see this start to come together!

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