Apologies for the long waiting time!
I am not entirely sure what has happened this summer, but before you can blink is seems to be gone again.
However, Ria’s question regarding the publication date of part 2 has given me the required push to pick up the Lucy Boston POTC (Patchwork Of The Crosses) again and finish it at last
This tutorial is quite long!!! But I thought it best to include as such information as possible.
All roads lead to Rome:
Over the last few months whilst stitching my Patchwork of the Crosses blocks together I have learned that there are several different ways to approach the quilt assembly!
There is no ‘right way’ or ‘wrong way’, they all have their merits and I suggest you look at them all and decide for yourself which assembly way is the best for your project.
Some people patch the joining ‘corner’ blocks together separately and then add them in (example 1 below). I thought this was a very smart way of doing it!
But unfortunately I had done my main POTC blocks differently (and I wasn’t going to ‘un-sew’ patches again!). If I do another POTC quilt I would try this for sure (picture and quilt by Carrie Quinn from piecefulgathering.com, found on Pinterest). Note that each cross block has small squares on only 2 sides. This way you can twist them around to fit together.
Another quite similar approach I found on the internet was this one, published in ‘Popular Patchwork’, where 3 types of blocks are stitched (1, 2 and 3 as shown in the diagram). One block is the ‘main’ block (POTC), one block makes up the ‘corner/joint’ and one block comprises the ‘path’ (including the little squares). Also a neat way of approaching the assembly all in all.
However, both of these approaches were unsuitable for my blocks (due to the fact that I had already added the ‘path’ pieces all the way around).
Therefore I assembled my POTC blocks in the (for me) most obvious way: Butting them up against each other and filling in the gaps with squares.
This way there were no fancy layouts or extra blocks to be made and consider, just the order of the different blocks in each row.
My quilt was going to be 3 x 3 blocks in size.
Because each block looked a little different from the next, I shuffled them around in the layout on the floor until I was happy with the colour distribution throughout (and made a note of their placement).
Since I was using 1 inch Honeycombs, the little Squares were also of 1 inch size.
The first decision to make is: What colour to use for the little linking Squares?
I quickly decided that they had to provide good contrast to the cream ‘Background path’. Brown was the colour of choice in my case.
Also: I had a very ‘shredded’ looking piece of the brown fabric left over after fussy cutting bits for several blocks. I thought this was an excellent way of using it up!
The original quilt uses the same fabric for all setting Squares in the pattern. However,I thought it would be more interesting to vary the fabrics. Also, I was not sure that I had enough brown fabric for ALL the little Squares. Therefore only the Squares needed on the ‘inner’ sides of the quilt were going to be brown, on the very outside of the quilt the Squares were going to be red! And I was going to use a different brown fabric for the setting Squares in the corner blocks.
The original quilt uses only 1 inch Squares! Many of these are also fussy-cut, creating extra interest in the corner blocks, where 4 little Squares make up a bigger 2 inch Square.
Unfortunately I felt that my fabrics did not really lend themselves to fussy cutting on such a small scale. Perhaps I was also a little too lazy? Who knows. Anyhow, I had the lovely birds nests motifs that fitted a 2 inch Square perfectly! So I am using 2 inch Squares in the centre of the corner block.
But I am getting ahead of myself – on to the actual stitching:
The CENTRE ROW:
I started work on the center block and added brown Squares on all four sides. Then I also added 2 additional brown Squares in all four corners of the central block (see pictures below).
Then the small brown corner squares were sewn in on the blocks to the left and right (on the side of the centre block only) and all blocks were stitched together.
Now sets of brown squares, at the top and bottom of the side blocks, were also added, so that this row of blocks was ‘complete’ (sorry, no photo).
Next I added the 4 fussy-cut 2 inch Squares, sewing in 2 at the top and 2 at the bottom, as shown in the pictures below – I decided to ’tilt’ mine, so that the quilt could be viewed from all four sides, and still would look the same.
To fully finish this row of the quilt (for now) I added the small red Squares on the outside (left and right – see below).
Centre row done! Now I could tackle the top and bottom row of the quilt.
TOP & BOTTOM ROW:
I started again with the middle block, adding the small brown Squares on the left and right side (only!). I also added the brown ‘corner’ Squares, but only where the block would join onto the 2 inch ‘bird’ Squares.
Then I stitched the block to the left and right hand side onto the middle block of that row to create a whole row. To finish the row off (for now) I added small red Squares on the outside of each block (note: the block on the top right side corner is incomplete in the picture). The bottom row of the quilt was constructed in the same way, mirroring the layout as shown in the picture below.
The 3 rows are now ready to be stitched together! Not that difficult really once you have decided on your choice of fabrics. It did not take very long to do all the stitching!
Note: I always remove as many paper pieces as possible from the quilt/block as I stitch items together. This reduces the bulk you are handling and makes sewing easier. But I always leave the outermost pieces in place!
I was not sure how I wanted the corner blocks on the outside of the quilt to look. Therefore I decided to add on the outer part of the ‘path’ first.
You can see that the quilt assembly is really very much like a jigsaw puzzle – you cannot do an awful lot wrong. This suits me well because I like jigsaws and do not often ‘plan’ my quilts
To add the ‘path’ on the outside of the block I first stitched sets of Honey comb doublets and then added one Honey comb set at an angle on each side of the doublet:
Once they are stitched into a unit they were added onto the quilt edge all the way around the quilt thereby encasing the little red squares. In total I made 12 of these units – one for each POTC block on each side of the quilt (4 x 3 = 12).
I admit that the quilt looks a bit odd at this stage but the little Squares on the outside do look really good now, don’t they?
As I said, I wasn’t sure which fabrics to use in the (now very obvious) gaps. But I could not put this decision off for ever, and since I really loved the effect of the red Squares on the outside I thought that a red centre with blue surround might look nice. And since I was strapped for time (or lazy?) I decided to use 1 x 2 inch paper pieces instead of piecing pairs of 1 inch Squares. Notice how I played around a little with semi fussy-cutting the blue strips?
I made 8 of these units and sewed them into the gaps. This may seem strange, because in the next step I add another unit on top at the same place (see below), however, it made the sewing easier (more straight seams) this way. As the sides stand now this is going to be the final ‘pieced’ edge of the quilt – except for the corners.
Now there are only the 4 corners to consider:
Mine were going to be red and – to fulfill my need for symmetry – I did piece them from Squares – where necessary. In total I needed 8 Squares (1 in), 2 Rectangles (1 x 2 inch) and 3 Honey combs for each corner.
Of the 8 Squares only 5 were covered in the red fabric. All other pieces were covered in the background colour (cream). You could stitch them together in any order you prefer of course, but I did them in this way: adding small units together and then adding these bits onto the quilt, as shown by the numbering in the 2nd picture.
Now the paper pieced part of the quilt is done!!!
Here is what it looks like at the end: Yay!!!
Because this tutorial is very long already I will show details of the fussy-cut blocks and addition of the final borders in a separate blog (to follow this one real soon! Promise!).
Thank you and Happy Stitching!!!