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Geo Quilt I: Planning

July 22, 2016

Some people are free motion, decide-as-you-go type of creators; I on the other hand really enjoy the creative planning process. Seeing as my little creative heart has made it its mission to dabble in myriad of creative outlets, I often have a lot of WIP’s (works in progress) that I switch between. For instance, here’s a few of the current projects that are in motion:

  • Making bags to sell (status: 20 exteriors cut in different solid canvas, some linings purchased but uncut)
  • Hand-stitching a Moda jelly-roll quilt (status: 4 sets of 8 rows stitched together, on the last set)
  • Crocheting pot-holders for B’s mom (status: supplies purchased, youtube videos watched)
  • Making a new backpack (status: pieces all cut, need to buy rivet and eyelet tools)
  • Replacing Joel’s coat zipper (status: one side fully sewn in, other side needs to be sewn in)
  • Marker drawing patterns (status: ongoing)

Just to name a few. On top of that, I’m usually in the planning phase of future projects; things like pattern collections I’m interested in exploring, new bag and garment patterns to try, and in this case, new quilt tops to customize.

This quilt is built from the Jaybird Quilts Arcade Game quilt pattern, which I first stumbled upon on Instagram. I love when a quilt does something unexpected, which in this case plays with the classic illusion of 3D geometric shapes. Although I really loved the shapes in the quilt top and the use of color to drive home the illusion, I didn’t actually care for the actual colors in the quilt. Maybe I’m boring or err on the side of simplicity too much, but I just didn’t want to follow the pattern as described. So instead I made the process totally overly-complicated and did a lot of counting, the result being a kick-ass quilt that I CANNOT wait to make.

Customizing the Quilt Top Pattern

The quilt top blocks are comprised of triangles and diamonds. After making a digital version of the quilt top in Illustrator, I played around with coloring. Once I got things how I wanted them, it was time to…count. Really. Your trade off for straying from the quilt pattern is more work, but the end result is something completely special. And luckily the work isn’t hard, just tedious. I broke each quilt color onto its own layer in Illustrator so that I could isolate them and count how many diamonds and triangles were in each column.

Counting Diamonds and Triangles one color at a time

Counting Diamonds and Triangles one color at a time

Doing the Math

The Arcade Games quilt calls for fat quarters, so right off the bat I converted the instructions to make sense for yardage. No biggie, the pattern says I can get 5 triangles per fat quarter strip, and 2 diamonds per fat quarter strip. If I want to use the full width of yardage (which I do), then I can get 11 triangles per strip, and 5 diamonds per strip. I’ll use these numbers to help me calculate how much yardage I need of each color.

Diamonds and triangles per strip

Just like counting the pieces, calculating the fabric needed isn’t hard, but there are some steps to it. First I needed to find how many strips I need to cut for the number of pieces I have of each color. Once I know how many strips I need, I can multiply that by the width of each strip to get the amount of fabric needed in inches. Dividing that by 36 will give me the amount of yardage I’ll need. I usually round up from this number.

calculating how much fabric is needed

doing the quilt math

doing the quilt math

After doing the math I realized just how large this project is that I’m embarking on. I decided that it probably makes sense to make a smaller version of the quilt first to get the technique down, and to test the colors out. So I did the process again but with the smaller baby sized layout and that’s where I’ll be headed next.

Next Steps

My very next steps are color hunting (read about my final color selection here). I already picked out some KONA solid swatches online, but we all know color in person does not match the color on the screen. I’ll either just eyeball it at my quilt shop, or maybe I’ll invest in some of the color cards offered by solids manufacturers. I figured KONA was the go-to, but I recently stumbled across Bella solids, and the waters instantly became murkier, but a good, colorful-fabric murky 🙂

What projects are you planning? Do you enjoy doing quilt math as much as I did for this? Do you have a favorite solids manufacturer?

signoffUntil Next Time.
Love, Dylan

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