Can’t It Just Be Easy?
It was a Saturday and there was nothing on the agenda, making it a perfect day to start a new quilt! I just wanted to grab fabrics from my stash, cut them up, sew them back together in a new arrangement, and have a masterpiece instantly and magically!
Suffice it to say this was not my usual approach to quilt-making. From the earliest days of my quilting career, I had designed my own quilts by drawing blocks and quilts out on graph paper and coloring them many different ways until I found one that was a winner. But I didn’t want to do that! I wanted things to be fast and easy instead! So I gave the willy-nilly method a try.
This story took place in the 1980’s when I had just learned how to make quarter-square-triangles, (QST’s) so I made a bunch of those out of various blue fabrics. They were adorable when they were right-triangles-made-out-of-two-smaller-triangles. They floated merrily around my sewing room. But when I sewed them together, they were simply squares made out of four triangles. And they were dark, heavy, and boring. Worse still, when I put four such squares together to make the block called Yankee Puzzle, they were darker, heavier, and even more boring. Ugh!
I didn’t know what else to do, so I pulled out graph paper and got to work on salvaging the project. I drew a Yankee Puzzle quilt with seven rows of three blocks.
There are various images below. The first is the coloring page I created for the quilt. As you will see, I colored the proposed quilt in all dark colors (Plan A), then lightened it up significantly (Plan B), then lightened it up even more (Plan C). When I actually made the quilt, I used Plan C.
As you look at the various designs, you might like Plan A or Plan B better, and that’s fine. But don’t you want to make this decision BEFORE you cut any fabric as opposed to not liking your quilt AFTER you have already made it?
This is the importance of coloring pages!
Here are the images:
In case quarter square triangles (QST’s) are new to you, here’s the technique for QST’s. You start off with half square triangles (HST’s), cut them in half diagonally, rearrange your pieces, then sew the rearranged pieces together to make QST’s:
In the end, I chose Plan C. Here is the finished quilt. You may be able to see that I made the white on-point squares out of a solid piece of fabric instead of using eight triangles to make the square. I did this because my intention was to hand quilt those squares.
Thinking that Coloring Pages are GREAT for quilters, I sell some in my Etsy shop. The current packet features stars: the Friendship Star, The Sawtooth Star, and the Ohio Star.
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PATRICIA S.ROHNER says
I HAVE NEVER QUILTED BEFORE, BUT I AM LOOKING FOR A NEW HOBBY AFTER I COMPLETE MY THESIS IN CREATIVE WRITING ON SHORT STORIES OF WOMEN OVERCOMING EMOTIONAL OBSTACLES.
HOW DO I GO ABOUT LEARNING IF QUILTING IS FOR ME?
I OIL PAINT AND WRITE, PLAY GOLF AND SWIM LAPS.
I NEED A HOBBY THAT IS NOT TOO PHYSICALLY STRENUOUS, AND REWARDING,
Lorie Kleiner Eckert says
Hi! Thanks for reading my story and commenting! Congrats on your creative writing degree. That’s terrific! I hate to sound like I am just promoting myself, but I really think trying the quilt coloring pages I sell on Etsy would be a great way to see if you like the process. If you find it tedious to color in all those little squares and rectangles, well then you’ll probably find it just as awful to cut them out of fabric and sew them together. On the other hand, if you are ENTHRALLED to see that you could make the same exact pattern over and over again and NEVER have it look the same twice, quilting might be for you. If that’s the case, you head to a class in person or online. Here’s the link to the coloring pages. If you look through all the photos in the listing, you will get a better idea of what I am talking about. https://www.etsy.com/shop/LorieKleinerEckert?section_id=30922784