Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Old Fashion Values Top

Well, here it is less than a week since my last post, and I have a new top to share. Wow, did this go fast!

Last week I shared this pile of charm squares. 

There's a little story that goes with them. Back in October I got an email from Shelley over at The Carpenter's Daughter Who Quilts. She had noticed on Facebook that the Moda company was trying to locate someone named Janine Marie for a giveaway. She thought that person might be me. I enter a lot of giveaways, and I can't always remember what ones I've entered, so I contacted Moda and told them my name and that I didn't know if I was the person they were looking for and that I honestly couldn't remember entering their giveaway. But I jokingly said that if they wanted to give me their fabric bundles, I'd happily take them They said my profile picture didn't match their information, and I figured that was that. But then they contacted me and said that since they couldn't find the winner, they'd send me the bundles. 11 charm packs!! That's a lot of fabric squares!!

So, I finally am getting around to using them. This week I laid out and sewed a quilt top for the Hands2Help Charity Challenge hosted by Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. I thought it might be hard to do. You see, these fabrics are not really my current style, but I am committed to using them. And someone else might like them a lot--maybe someone who is really into historic looking fabrics or antiques. 

First, I looked around for ideas for sewing charms. I found the Flower Patch Quilt by Kathryn Ludowese at the Moda Bake Shop, which seems appropriate since I'm working with Moda fabrics. The quilt was made with a layer cake (10-inch squares) and 7-inch squares, but I knew I could scale it back to use the charms. That pattern became my inspiration, although I constructed it differently, as you'll see below.

All of the packs-even though they were from different fabric collections--coordinated quite well with each other. So here's what I decided to do. I ignored the colors and patterns for the most part and divided them into values. First, I put the darks and mediums on the wall in columns:

Then I took my lighter fabrics to make triangles in the corners of the dark squares. The pattern called for a Stitch and Flip (sometimes called Flip and Sew) technique--sewing across a smaller square diagonally in the corner of each larger square and then flipping it to make a triangle. If I had done that, I would have wasted a big part of the smaller square and run out of my light charms, so instead I cut each light charm in half diagonally. Here's how they looked laid out to get an idea of placement: 

And here's what I did to sew them together. (I still sewed with the Stitch and Flip technique, but with a triangle instead of a square.)
Dark charm with half light charm

Triangle marked off on a ruler--forgot about seam allowance so my finished light triangle turned out a bit bigger than planned, but it looked fine.

Triangle pinned in place

Quick mark of the quarter inch line with a pencil since my machine doesn't have a quarter inch foot

Ready to chain piece

Zipping along, and then I discovered...

that if I turned the patches around, the other side of my foot is a scant quarter inch. Who knew?? Could have saved myself a step marking the seam allowance. 
 After sewing all of the triangles, I flipped them and trimmed them up even with the base square. (Forgot to take a picture). By doing the triangles this way, I could get two triangles for each light charm (with very little waste) and had just enough light squares for the quilt. The rest of the construction was just squares--so easy!! Here's how everything came together, super fast:

I don't know if you can tell, but I tried to put most of the lightest values of triangles along the edges and down the center with more tannish ones in the other two columns. The finished top is 54-1/2 by 68 inches.

As I was working, a name for the quilt came to me: Old Fashioned Values--not as a political, religious or cultural statement or anything, but because the fabrics seemed old fashioned to me and I was working with values. Quilt names aren't important to me--I never named my quilts until I started writing about them--and then it became convenient as a way to reference them on the blog. Anyway, this quilt pretty much named itself. It was really good practice in working with values. I only made a few changes in fabric placement after putting the patches on the wall, using my trusty old binoculars to reduce the quilt and compare the values. 

I used part of 8 charm packs to make this, and I have enough charms left to make another quilt. What about the other 3 packs? I set them aside and plan to send them to Shelley as a thank you gift for helping me "win" this windfall of charms. In a later post I'll tell you the names of the charm packs.

I'm linking up today with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social, and on the 17th I'll link up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for the Hands2Help Linky.

Confessions Of A Fabric Addict


  1. I am so impressed with your creativity in making this quilt. The design is great and it looks like it was more complex than your explanation. Thanks for the tutorial, both in construction and in your use of value (something that I don't focus on often enough.

    I love the story about Janine Marie and Moda. What a nice win, for you, Moda, Shelley and H2H!

  2. You did a great job combining all those collections of charm squares together. Sometimes I need a little work with judging color values. Thanks so much for thinking of me and sharing your charm square winnings.

  3. Oh Janine - it's beautiful! A whole lot of people would love this quilt (I do!) and it is going to make someone very happy in Hands2Help! It amazes me how good all the different collections look together. I like how you changed the stitch and flip to save on fabric. And that is a really fun story about the giveaway. It's also really sweet that you'll be sending three packs to Shelley.:)

  4. Wow, that was fast! I like this a lot, and love that you took us through the process: I learned a couple of things as a result.

  5. What a beauty! Those charms really work well.

  6. Great story and a great way to pay it forward by making a charity quilt with those charms. TFS!

  7. Giveaway wins are always fun. Very pretty quilt that will bring lots of comfort.

  8. ELEVEN packs?!!! Aren't you the lucky girl...and I seem to recall not too long after you won on Hawthorne Threads' giveaway too, right? Two years trying there and still nada... Isn't Shelley just the sweetest to do that? I wish they'd avoid the FB thing, as I rarely go on, with like 4 friends and my sister, LOL. I do love this quilt, you hit on a great name (I have a thing for double-entendres) and I'm with you on the hate to waste any of the charm square!