As promised, I have photos of the finished quilt top! Despite Crispy's worries about my organization based on the pile of blocks strewn over my living room floor, I was quite organized. It was well-organized chaos! I had pages of calculations of the strips I needed for the red borders on each block. I had planned on top and bottom borders of different widths, same as the black borders. I added the borders together and cut just one strip for the side borders and one for the top and bottom so that I could decide based on my block layout which borders would be fat and which skinny.
That plan changed when I laid out the top with the blocks and just two border strips (so the black-framed block was always in a corner). It gave a great random looking layout, and I left it that way - save time too :) I played around with a lot of layouts and finally settled on this one. Note that two block are still empty, in the top right and bottom left corner - those were kept for applique - exciting!
Here's the finished top laid out on my bed:
I love the black and red fabrics together - I think the combination strikes a good balance with the multi-coloured blocks, so that the quilt does look a bit more grown-up than if I had used all different coloured borders.
Here are some special blocks:
1) The cheese fabric I searched for so desperately and now has quite a story behind it.
2) This classical music block used fabric scraps that I received from a quilter at the other end of the island. In the middle of my fabric search, I happened to visit a bargain store that sells quite a range of fabrics and happened to have a quilt show that day. I spotted the sheet music fabric in a quilt and asked the maker where she got the fabric. She couldn't remember but said she had some scraps left. We arranged a transfer and while the scraps were fairly small (the long skinny piece is about 5" long, I think) I managed to stretch them into a block.
[on this block you can also see the result of me running out of the black border fabric and piecing all my left overs together to make enough borders for all the blocks :) ]
3) The beer block - this was dirt cheap fabric I noticed at the local fabric chain store. I thought about buying it, but didn't have any use and was just starting to not buy fabric just because it's cheap. Two months later I thought of making the character quilt and of course the entire bolt was gone. The woman at the store said a lady came in and bought most of it. A month later I found out that one of my quilting teachers had bought the fabric, and she gave me a piece of it!
My friend brews his own beer, so this is a great block!
4) Here's the coffee fabric that Ginny so kindly sent to me after I spotted it on her blog!
5) I really like this block! I'd been looking for fabrics with vinyl records but no luck. My friend collects them, so I really wanted a block, and I realized that this must be about the easiest applique block ever :) I had just watched someone else get a machine-applique (or is it called rough-edged applique?) lesson from my quilting teacher Leona, so I went at it with an ice cream lid to get a nice black circle outlines, a mason jar lid for the inner grey label circle and my zigzag stitch and circled round and round. Fun!
5) And because my friend is a scientist and works with genes, I really needed a DNA block. I looked through all my old biology books for DNA illustrations and threw together a very improvised version. The four different colours are the nucleotides, the black line represents the double helix. Very improvised stitching but it's good enough for my taste!
I'm still deciding on the backing for this one, but I have until the fall to finish it, so no worries there. I love how it's turning out so far, and every block is meaningful and reminds me of an interest/hobby of my friend.
2 hours ago