Sunday, July 18, 2021

Boston UnCommon

 In the quilt world, there are pattern names and quilt names. Sometimes they're universally accepted and sometimes they are regional - same pattern, different name. Sometimes, as quilters, we think we may have even invented a new design ... which usually turns out not to be the case. 

I saw a picture of quilt called "Boston Common." I've seen different color variations of this quilt many times over the many years of making quilts and looking at quilts.

And ... I wanted to make a quilt in Red, white, and blue.

And ... I wanted it to be fairly simple piecing.

And ... I wanted it to be a decent size.

And ... I wanted it to have a bit of a WOW.

Here's the story of how I did and did NOT achieve my goals ... BOSTON UNCOMMON

Using graph paper, I drew out what I wanted and colored it in with crayons "big WOW". I counted up how many of each color square I would need and pulled lots of (red, white and blue) fabrics.  "Decent size" indicated that I should work with 6.5" squares (1st mistake). I had a small piece of "sort of patriotic" fabric and threw that into the mix.

Working with 6.5" squares and a limited amount of eagle/flag fabric meant I had to piece it. I only needed a few of these but did have to piece 2 squares - no problem, it worked.

My favorite "big WOW" quilt is using the M&M Sew Charming - 96 Charm Challenge. I cut apart and glued together my colored drawing to make sure it was going to work. Then I cut it apart again and glued it together for a sewing map.

Then I sewed the top together.

It was REALLY big and I kept going (mistake #2).

Now it was time to do the cuts. I marked the diagonal lines and stitched "less than 1/4" on each side of the line and cut ON the line.

I laid it back out to double check that the blocks did actually line up according to my colored map - and they did! ... almost.

There was something wrong with the above picture. (mistake #3).

These 2 fabrics should not have been touching.

No problem - take 1 out and replace it with a different neutral.
That's better! Time to sew up the last 2 seams.

Mistake #4 - I should have replaced it with the eagle/flag fabric.

THAT is why I had to piece the 6.5" square of eagle/flag fabric. I did and fixed it and all was right in my world ... maybe.

The quilt is HUGE!
Mistake #5 - my frame will only accommodate an 80" wide quilt.
The quilt measures out 100" x 116".

Thankfully, a dear quilter - Donna Capps - has the equipment and skills to come to my rescue. She reached out and offered, I accepted, we did a couple of drive-by drop-off/pick-ups and in 5 days - I had this beautiful (and BIG) quilt all ready for binding.

Lessons learned ... 
1. I could have (and should have) stuck with my 5" charms that I dearly love. 
2. My colored map worked great - and would have been perfect had I followed it.
3. Using scraps in what isn't actually a scrap quilt can and does work. Note to self - don't try and mix up the scraps, simply keep them in the piles by color.
4. If your gut is telling you something (this is going to be big) LISTEN.
5. Accept help from a friend.

THANK YOU Donna Capps!!

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