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Winging it + (thoughts on improv layouts)

I talked about this quilt this past Monday.

It’s all about deer.  One of my So Obsessed quilts.  I have them in my shop where you can pick the theme and maybe a color palette or any details really, but you give me creative freedom on the quilt.

The quilt buyer for this quilt did just that.  She really just let me go with it.  I picked all the patterns and fabrics, she only asked that yellow and green make an appearance, and that the quilt be bordered with a dark fabric with mostly whites inside it.  Other than that, whatever I want.

This is the best way to make a quilt for someone else.  A smidgeon of direction, then freedom.

The doe is made using Violet Craft’s Forest Abstractions pattern that you can find here.  This pattern is for a quilt that features 6 different paper piecing patterns within it, 2 of those patterns are for deer.

This is the most expensive pattern I have ever purchased, but I could not be more pleased with it.  It’s a massive pattern and comes with a little booklet where Violet talks about the best way to choose fabrics and this and that.

Here is the other deer.

He’s the biggest one and the star of my deer quilt.  I cannot stop staring at him.  I kinda wish I had kept all the background the same fabric, but that wouldn’t have fit in with the rest of my quilt, so….

I had to do what I had to do.  I hope the background is not distracting.

The idea with a quilt like this is just to make blocks.  Not worrying about size or anything.  Just make the blocks you want to make and start adding them to your design wall.

The idea for the vine came from here.  As soon as I saw that picture I had to make a vine.

So you get the idea.  I’m adding deer, but I’m also just making blocks I want to make.

The layout become the improv, because all the blocks are made in just whatever size, but I have to make them fit together.

FYI: those deer panels came from here.  I’m not crazy about the feel of them, but they usually wash up just fine.

I kept moving everything around until I had it just right.

Then I pulled out my low volume scrap basket and started fitting everything together.

For example, the vine was almost the exact length I wanted the quilt, so I left it to be pieced separately.  The stag was huge, so everything above him and below him needed to be pieced to equal his size in width.  That’s what I did with the three blocks above.

Two of the three blocks above were 12.5″, but the one in the middle was only 8″, so I added on to the middle one to get it to 12.5, then pieced those three together.

Below the stag was the same way.  I had to get the star the same size as the fawn and then both of them together the same size as the stag.

After that, it was just matter of adding strips of fabric to all of them so that they would be the same size as the vine.

Same thing with the right side of the quilt that ended up cut off in my picture.

Start with a determined size in your head and just start adding everything together.

Break everything up in sections.  I discussed this process a little more thoroughly in this post (at the end).

It helps if everything is cut to .5″.  This makes for MUCH less headaches, because you can count it as a whole number when adding finished sizes.

For example: 12.5″ block + 12.5″  = a 24.5″ block, and then you count it as just 24″ finished when you are thinking that you want the quilt to end up 85″ square.  It works out easier that way, for me anyway.

When I added the border, my quilt was 97″ square, which was actually an inch too much for my goal, but that’s okay.  Good enough.

Making a quilt this way is freeing.  It really is.  You have to actually think about things of course, and I used my calculator continuously, but I enjoyed it.

I also used vast amounts from my low volume scrap basket which is ridiculously overstuffed, so that felt good.

I just love seeing dozens of low volumes mushed together on a quilt.  It might be my favorite.

Finished pics soon.

Helpful Links

How to paper piece

How to make orange peels (for that vine)

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