Minimal Day Sampler – Quilt Top Assembly
With all of the appliqué now complete, all that is left is to fill our last few holes, assemble some blocks, and sew the whole thing together. Since you had no idea where this project was headed when we set out all those months ago, this next section includes an opportunity or two to balance out color and/or print placement a bit if you feel you need to.
So we’ll get straight to it, shall we?
- From background fabric: Cut two 10 ½” x 5 ½” rectangles for the wall size, three for the lap size.
These pieces will go next to the Bias Curves blocks as shown in the layouts:
My working sample with the added pieces:
Now here’s your first chance to do some color balancing. Use these “blank” rectangle pieces to add a little simple improv piecing if you like. You can add more of a color that you feel is missing, or a focal point, or a little extra interest, or nothing at all. Whatever you think your quilt needs. You are the boss of this endeavor, remember?
On the sample, I wasn’t entirely happy with how my color placement ended up. It needed just the tiniest bit more of the dark red on the left side. But I didn’t want it to feel un-anchored just floating around in the white, so I decided to add more of the dark grey as well. That helped to connect it to the other half of the block.
Once I was happy with it, I cut the rectangle down and added the pieces of the other colors, making sure the finished section still measured 10 ½” x 5 ½”.
Tip: For this step and everything else going forward, use a standard ¼” seam allowance and press to whichever direction makes you happiest.
Sew your new rectangle pieces to the Bias Curves, paying attention to the orientation and placement of the appliqués in relation to the rest of the block.
Next, sew your Quarter Opals and Reverse Quarter Opals blocks together as shown in the layouts above.
Now you should have nine (or twelve for the lap size) finished 10 ½” square blocks. If you are making the wall size, you can sew them together as shown (or feel free to rearrange them as you see fit, Boss).
If you are making the lap size, we’ll move on to the sashing and borders.
Cutting for Borders and Sashing:
- From 2 ¼ yds of background fabric
- Sashing – Cut six 3 ½” x WOF strips
- Sub-cut three of those to 3 ½” x 36 ½”
- Sub-cut the remaining three strips to eight pieces that are 3 ½” x 10 ½”
- Borders – (cut along length of fabric)
- Cut two pieces 49 ½” x 10”
- Cut two pieces 55 ½” x 10”
- Sashing – Cut six 3 ½” x WOF strips
Tip: If your fabric isn’t wide enough to yield all four 10” strips across the width, you can just cut them a bit narrower instead. Or piece something else in. Or cut one from a different fabric. Use it as an opportunity to call in your old friend “creative license”. It’s probably still hanging around from your last party anyway, right?
At this point, you can go straight to sewing the top together, OR you can lay it out with the sashing pieces and borders and assess the color placement again, like we did above with the “blank” rectangles. Feel free to piece in an accent or two (or twenty) until it feels right to you. Or leave it entirely as-is. On the original sample, I chose to leave the sashing and borders alone, because I wanted to be able to blend them into the background with the quilting, leaving the focus on the appliqué.
Sew the short sashing pieces vertically between the blocks, creating rows.
Use the long sashing pieces horizontally to join the rows.
(Please excuse the following horrible-on-the-floor-bad-angle-nighttime-lighting-utterly-dreadful-photos. They are from about a year ago and I hadn’t thought ahead far enough to plan out nicer ones.)
Once the center panel is complete, add the 49 ½” borders to the sides. Then sew the 55 ½” borders to the top and bottom. It should look something like this:
As always, if you have any questions about anything here or would like more information, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or come find me on Instagram at @bespokeoutlaw.
Next month we’ll talk about quilting plans and finishing up this year long labor of love.