Tuesday, January 15, 2013

WIP: A Sunday Morning Quilt

One of my Christmas presents was this great little book: Sunday Morning Quilts, by Cheryl and Amanda Jean. I'm normally not really one for quilting books, for the same reason I'm not one for patterns. I just prefer to come up with my own ideas. BUT, I've been loving this book. The first project from the book I decided to try is a version of Amanda Jean's "Up Up and Away" quilt. If you've been following my blog for the past week or so you've seen some sneak peeks of it.

A section of blocks
The quilt uses up all those little triangle scraps you have lying around, specifically the 2.5"-ish triangles from making binding.  I made several changes from the design in the book, mainly setting the blocks square instead of on point, adding in some larger 4.5" blocks along with the smaller ones, and changing the orientation of some of the squares.  Mine is also going to be quite a bit larger than the one in the book.

My triangle scraps jar after making several hundred triangles already!
One of the challenges of this design is in getting the correct angle when you sew the scrap to the background square so that it will completely cover when it is pressed.  With nice, even triangles it isn't such a problem, but the wonkier the triangle the more difficult. Especially because these are already small scraps and I don't want to waste any to trimming.  SO, this is the technique I use to sew them right the first time.

First line up the scrap over the square how you want it to be once it's sewn.  If it's overhanging anywhere you can go ahead and trim.

Holding the scrap in place flip the pieces over.  (Hopefully you are using a light colored background). Looking through the back of the fabric, find the edge of the scrap and line it up with the half inch line on your ruler.  Make a pencil line over the scrap, this ensures that once you sew your pencil line will be hidden by the scrap and won't show through the fabric.

Flip back over. Flip your triangle down into position to sew and (again looking through the fabric) align the edge with the pencil line you drew.  Sew and press and voila, perfect triangles!

The current progress.  All I lack is 2 more columns of 8" blocks to the left. (About 200 more triangles.)
Making this quilt, at times, has been like that movie "Groundhog Day."  I spend hours taking triangles out of the jar and sewing them to background fabric, and the jar never gets any emptier! The blocks on my design wall multiplied, but it seemed like the jar of scraps was bottomless.  Finally, tonight, after finishing another marathon session of 303 triangles (I counted!) I scraped bottom on the scrap jar.

I pressed my newly finished blocks and put everything up on the design wall.  I lack 2 columns of 8" blocks to the left of what is there. I quickly calculated that I needed about 200 more little triangles and, looking at what was left, I knew I'd need more.  At times I had thought the the magical bottomless jar of triangles scraps would outlast this quilt, but I guess it just wasn't to be.  Trusty scissors in hand I turned to my jar or crumbs, ready to create some triangles, when what did I find...

...MORE triangles!   Hiding in the crumbs.  Lots more.  More than I will need for this quilt.  It's unbelievable. Who knew that quilting produced so many triangular scraps??

So, I am proud to say: no square, rectangular, or otherwise usable scraps were harmed in the making of this quilt, only odd sized triangles.

This quilt got its name today while I was doodling in class:  Shrapnel.  I thought of it because of how the triangles radiating out from one point reminded me of an explosion, but it's perfect because it's also what this quilt is made from.  What are scraps, if not quilt shrapnel!

That's my WIP, what are you working on this week?  Head on over to WIP Wednesday to see what everyone else is up to.


  1. Love the name. The quilt will be beautiful.

  2. I love the design of this quilt! You have done a great job:) Thanks for sharing :)

  3. Wow! What a great idea for those leftover little pretties!

  4. I got that book for Christmas too :) I tend to collect quilt books, but also prefer to design my own quilts :) This looks lovely, looking forward to seeing how you finish it.