Monday, November 12, 2012

Side Tracked

Now that I've finished my version of A Bountiful Life, I could be catching up on the Grandmother's Choice blocks (I've only made two and it's week nine) or I could be finishing my Kim Diehl table runner (all machine applique is finished--just needs quilting and binding) or, I could be working on a model for Colorz (cute little house quilt). So instead, I've been side tracked by this quilt I saw at the Chaska Quilt Show back in September.
I wasn't so crazy about the center block, but I loved the idea of the border!
This was a large quilt. I didn't think to get the quilter's name or the pattern source.
I'm not sure why I was so attracted to this quilt border--maybe because it's so orderly? Anyway, I thought it was a lot of fun and couldn't stop thinking about it. Obviously, I needed to make one of my own!

I decided I would just make a small version and it wasn't too difficult to figure out how to do it.

Quilt of Distraction 

  • From nine light fabrics, cut a one inch strip. If cutting from  fat quarters, cut 2 one inch strips.
  • From nine dark fabrics, cut two one inch strips. If cutting from fat quarters, cut 4 one inch strips.
  • If you have long strips, split them on the fold so all of the strips are approximately 20-22 inches long.
  • Pair up two of the same dark fabric strips with a light fabric strip mixing them up so the sets of 4 dark strips have different lights matched with them. (Does that make sense??)
  • Sew your strip sets together with the matching dark strips on either side of the light strip
  • Press the seams toward the dark strips. Try finger pressing a bit first to avoid wacky strips!
  • Sub-cut the strips into 1.5" blocks. You should get 10 blocks from each strip if you are careful.
  • Arrange your little blocks into a square 14 x 14 blocks wide and long. Start from the outside and work your way in toward the center, turning each block opposite across the row.

  • Sew the blocks together in rows. The blocks may not be exactly square because of tucks where the strips are pieced together. No worries! Begin sewing two blocks together with the block with pieced edge facing up. Before sewing through either seam, use a stiletto to pull the closest raw edges together, stretching out the tucking at the sewn seams. Finish stitching the rest of the way across. 
 Wondering why the block at the left has 4 pins in it?  I couldn't find my row markers --this is the fourth row that I am working on in the photo.
  • Sew the left side border blocks in 14 rows of 5 blocks. Repeat for right border. 
  • Sew the top center border blocks in 5 rows of 4 blocks. Repeat for bottom center border. 
Yay! A cute border! Hmmm. Not sure what to put in the center though.

You could put just about anything in the center. It's a 6 inch finished space. I thought about a small applique block or maybe some hexagon flowers. In the end, I decided to piece a block. I knew that all the blocks in The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt book finished at 6 inches, so I browsed through until I found a block I thought would work. Since this is a pretty small quilt (22" square) I will probably use it as a table topper, so I  chose a block that wasn't directional and would look good from all sides. 

I decided on block 104 "Wild Geese" from the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt book
for the center of the quilt.
I haven't thought of a name for it yet. Maybe Distraction? Flip Flop? Twist and Turn? Tiny Tiles? Little Rails?


  1. I love it! You choose such lovely fabrics.

  2. This is a Great center for your quilt! Is the original an antique?
    Pat Sloan

  3. great quilt, love the colors :)
    I like the block you chose for the center. I have seen this quilt made with different stars and different applique blocks

  4. I am alaways looking for items to make from stash and this would be a great one. Looks wonderful.......