Sunday, April 21, 2024

Checkerboard Chain Quilt

It's been so long since I finished this quilt, I have to dig deep to remember what I was going to tell about it. 

I had the urge to make it at the beginning of the year when I saw a tutorial on Lori Holt's Sew Your Stash You Tube series Episode #39. Checkerboard Chain is her name for it, and I see no reason to wrack my brain for a different name. I was drawn to it because of those little nine-patches. I also loved Lori's color scheme with what I think of as her signature creamy color palette. And I had a whole bunch of low volumes that I had collected during 2020 (you know: that year) that needed to find their way into a quilt. 

Because I overthink EVERYTHING, the process of cutting, arranging, and eliminating fabrics took longer than you'd think for what should be scrappy. I started with my scraps, cutting the two sizes of squares and then supplemented with other pieces. That part went okay. But then after cutting some of the squares for the low volume background, I got sort of stuck. What I liked about Lori's background fabrics was that everything seemed kind of milky white. My backgrounds varied a lot from bright white to ivory or even grayish. And then some seemed to have too much pattern in them. I spent a lot of time (probably too much) laying out fabrics next to each other, taking photos and viewing them in gray tones, and then eliminating or turning fabrics over to the reverse side to calm them down. 

I finally figured it all out, and then making the blocks went pretty quickly. I used my mini design board to make a few blocks at a time, trying to keep fabric placement pretty random. I did keep the fabrics the same in the frame parts around each small nine-patch. 

I flipped some of the low volumes after this photo.

I worked at it little by little in between the rounds of the Stay At Home Round Robin during the early part of the year, and quite quickly the top was done. I did the quilting after I finished the SAHRR quilt. 

I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with my version at first. The creaminess of the colors that I liked so much in Lori's quilt, was missing. I had more deeper tones and brights, and my background still looked more ivory than milky, at least in some lights. But after quilting it, I grew to like it more. I think it might be fun to make another someday, maybe with a more limited color palette and a consistent background. But this is a happy quilt that I think is appealing in its own way.  

If you followed my SAHRR quilt, you will recognize the backing of this one. I bought enough for both quilts, which was really economical. I've had to buy backings more often than not lately as I don't have a lot of large enough pieces in my supply to make scrappy backings. I buy a piece a little over 2 times the length of the quilt and then sew a seam to get the right width. There's usually a sizable chunk cut off of one side. This time I bought a piece a little over 3 times a quilt length and had enough fabric to piece both quilts with little left over. 

I quilted diagonals across the nine-patches with my walking foot and then did free-motion meandering in the background. Interestingly, the diagonals seemed to keep the quilt from shrinking up when I meandered. I pieced the binding randomly from fabrics that are in the top, one of my favorite ways to bind a scrappy quilt. 

I signed my initials and the date around the bottom right corner. They show a bit here with the gray washable marker, but after washing they disappeared for the most part so you'd have to really look if you wanted to find them. 

So here are the stats (with some other photos thrown in):

Pattern: Checkerboard Chain by Lori Holt (link is above)

Block size: 6 inches finished. 

Size: 54 1/2 inches square before quilting; 54 inches after quilting; 51 1/2 inches after washing. I've had comments about how much my quilts shrink with washing/drying. I wash them on cold/gentle and machine dry on low until thoroughly dry because I figure that's how they will be handled by recipients. I would imagine that over time, the quilt loosens up a bit so that is a bit larger than right after washing. 

Fabrics: All sorts from my scraps and fabric supply

Binding: Scrappy, cut 2-5/8 inches wide. 

Batting: Hobbs 80/20

Washed and crinkly

Thread: Superior Masterpiece in Granite for piecing; Superior King Tut in Temple for quilting and machine part of binding; Superior Treasure in Antique for hand binding.

We have flowers! About 3 weeks early.

Machines: Singer Featherweight for piecing; Singer 115 Treadle for quilting and first seam of binding.

I had an opportunity for a historic photo during the solar eclipse on April 8. We weren't in the area of totality, but about 96.7% was pretty impressive. This was my attempt at artsy with my colander.

This quilt will soon be off to help brighten someone's day. I'm all caught up with quilts now, so it's time to think of what my next project will be. I hope you are having a beautiful spring or autumn. We've had some lovely weather, although I did get interrupted to spend a bit of time in the basement for a tornado warning while working on this post on Wednesday. 

I'm linking up with Cynthia at Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap. If I remember to, I'll also link up Kelly at My Quilting Infatuation in the coming week. 

(Just a reminder: I'm not affiliated with any company, so when I mention products, services, or stores, I'm just documenting what I used or liked.)


Bonnie said...

I love that quilt! I have watched Lori's video and really want to make it but I'm trying to finish more than start new. I tend to use a lot of background fabric that is mostly some shade of white or cream. It was interesting to read about how you went about evaluating the whites while trying to get the look you wanted. And, I have to admit I love how well you photographed it. It has been fun to see this quilt in all the pictures, especially the one with the colander.

Lin said...

I think it is lovely and your spread of lighter colours is balanced and works well. I have seen a few of these in progress so it is good to see a finished one. xx

Sally said...

Lovely quilt, thanks for sharing the link. I have also worked on quilts that I became more enamored with as I worked on it - scrap quilts tend to be that way.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

pretty - pretty- pretty!

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Your Checkerboard Chain is beautiful, JanineMarie! I haven't seen Lori's original, so can't compare yours to what you were shooting for, but I really like yours. The bright scrappy 9 patches, with the varying cream/white backgrounds really make a pretty combination. Love all your photos of the quilt, but definitely had to smile at the colander eclipse one. That's how I saw the eclipse, too!

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Gorgeous scrappy quilt, Janine!!! I love the quilt swirl photo! Your flowers are looking happy, too!!!