Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Quilt Math

You may recall that I was on a quilt frenzy at the beginning of this year.  I found this pattern that I really liked, made one in a lap size and then made one that ended up being twin size.  They are off being quilted now, I think I will get them back next week and just have the binding left to do.

I decided that I wanted to use the pattern to make one for myself. I bought a variety of batik prints in a rainbow of colors.  But after I made the twin size I got to thinking about how many pieces it would take to make the queen size.

The pieces from the original pattern range from 1" x 3.5" as the smallest to 3.5" x 5" as the largest. a finished 'block' set measures 7" x 8.5" and then each one is joined with a 1" strip between. Each block consists of 9 pieces.

So to make a queen size I think I would need about 190 blocks, which is over 1700 pieces, not including all the sashing pieces to join them.  Sounds like a lot doesn't it?

So I decided to do some quilt math and see if I could get it worked out so the pieces were larger (which would mean less of them).  Quilt math isn't always just a matter of multiplying.  I calculated if the blocks were 1.5 times and also 2 times larger.  2 times was pretty large, so I decided to try it with the 1.5 times.  My math was a little off in a couple of places, and to top it off, I cut all the pieces 1/4" wider than I meant to (I can't read my own writing, I guess).  Anyway, since it was an experiment, I adjusted where needed and here's the resulting quilt on the design wall (still have to do sashing and join them all).

 I'm still looking at the placement of the blocks to see if I need to move any around - I probably will.

With the size adjustments I made, each block ends up being about 11" x 13" and I did 1.5" sashing instead of 1".  So to make a queen size, I will need about 80 finished blocks - instead of 190 - which sounds a little more manageable.

I'm not sure I will decide for sure until I get this one put all the way together and toss it on a bed to see.

This one will end up close to 50" x 60" I think, depending on what I do for a border, if anything.  I was thinking about some geese - been a while since I've done any....

Stay tuned for the next quilt installment, although it may be a while!

Happy Sewing!
Susan

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

New Item? Insulated Lunch Tote

So a billion years ago (maybe just a few years ago), I told my husband that I would make him a new lunch tote.  He had one that he used all the time - it was pretty large, but it finally wore out.  I reclaimed the strap from it and stuck it in a drawer.

Sunday I decided it was time to finally make this.  So I had him tell me the measurements that he wants this new tote to be, and took a look at how the one he's currently using is constructed.  It's a pretty small little tote.

The dimensions he gave me were 10" wide, 7" deep and 6.5" tall.  He wanted a pocket on the front for his napkins and utensils.

The fabric he chose was this black and gray houndstooth - very manly!


Along with the strap that I reclaimed from the old lunch tote, I put a webbing handle across the top.

The zipper around the top and for the pocket are the larger pull ones - easier to get it open.    

Here you can also see the webbing pocket on the front

Webbing strap across the top.
 Shoulder strap attached to the side.
I used fusible fleece (heavier weight) with the exterior fabric.  Then I used a layer of PUL (water proof) and a layer of Insul-Bright to help keep the items cool (he also uses a freezer pack), and finally, I lined it with rip-stop nylon,

I wanted to make sure the base was sturdy, so before I put the lining in, I spray glued a piece of foam to the bottom.


He carried it to work for the first time yesterday and had lots of interest from his coworkers.  So hopefully I get some orders for these.

I can adjust the size as needed and can use fabrics of your selection.

Happy Sewing!

Susan