Wednesday, 11 September 2013

WIP Wednesday: Lessons from Granny

Exciting news - I've finished the granny square quilt top!  (Just the top, let's not get too excited)  Here's how it looks all pieced together:

I thought it would be good to have a little recap on some of the things I've discovered while piecing my first real bed sized quilt, so here they are:
  • The blocks looked quite different when I put them up on the wall and viewed them from a distance, this helped reinforce aspects of fabric selection (such as scale of print, colour value) that I had read about.  Scale of print is a consideration here due to (among other things) the size of the patch.  I realised that the reason I was pulling blocks was they had high colour value - so I now know I like white space in a quilt (had already worked that one out) and low value.  Is low value the same as low volume?
  • I have a tendency to slip at the end of a cut when I'm rotary cutting - this means that my squares were sometimes ever so slightly wonky - sort of more like very slight parallelogram.  Something for me to watch.
  • Try not to overhandle pieced granny square blocks - they're bias cut which means they're rather stretchy.
  • On some blocks I lost quite a lot of my points and I'm wondering if cutting the white/background pieces slightly larger than the coloured blocks (like 1/2" larger) would give me a little more wiggle-room.  Or maybe that would just make things worse ... ?  This is probably due to inaccurate seam allowances more than anything else I suppose.
  • If I do another granny square quilt, I'll just select just a few fabrics and go with the strip piecing tutorial Jolene did for Moda Bake Shop.  This would be a much quicker.
  • Don't buy your off white homespun from Spotlight off the bolt - I'm not happy with the homespun I got from there (it's thin, it frays, it seems of an inconsistent quality within the one piece of yardage I got which was about 5 metres) - I know of another quilter who has had a problem with some Spotlight homespun, has anyone else had good or bad experience?
  • Wow you use an awful lot of thread - you'd use less if you strip piece it.
  • And finally, Kristy from Quiet Play is a paper piecing pattern genius!  Huh?  What's that got to do with granny squares?  You'll just have to wait and see ....
By the way, have you been following along with the giveaways that Julie at 627 Handworks has been having?  I'm joining in this Sunday, and I'll be giving away 4 fat quarters.  So pop back here on Sunday if you'd like a chance to win.

Linking up to:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


  1. One thing I agree with is the quality of the homespun from Spotlight! It is a false economy in the long run! It is very poor quality IMHO! And an accurate seam allowance is the first law of quilting I believe! Your Granny Squares do look pretty though! I'll be back for the giveaway - what fun!

  2. Very pretty Granny Square quilt top, Sarah! Thanks for sharing the beautiful pics and all your thoughts on what you discovered in the process!

  3. Thanks for all the tips! I'll try to remember them if I ever make a granny squares quilt (which is pretty tempting!)

  4. Love your quilt top. I've never made a Granny square quilt. Looks challenging...

  5. So pretty! I love the many colors on the white background and the review of things you've learned.

  6. This is such a nice quilt design. Your color choice is just perfect!

  7. Pretty! Well done and good luck with the rest.

  8. Looks lovely and a lot of work but it is definitely worth it!

  9. It looks just gorgeous! I often take photos of my quilt layouts to look at and see if I have the layout just right. Funny how you get a bit of a different perspective with it!

    Look forward to your paper piecing adventures! ;)

  10. I love your granny square quilt. Love your choice of colors.


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