Wednesday, January 12, 2011

postage stamp quilt along - creating strip-sets

So: I've joined in with the ps. I quilt January quilt-along, for which we're making a postage stamp quilt.

The reason it's called a postage stamp quilt is because it's made up of tiny little 2"x2" squares. LOTS OF THEM.

Traditionally, one makes a postage stamp quilt out of scraps. And probably sews all the squares together individually. Did I mention that there are LOTS OF THEM?

Luckily, the quilt-along isn't going to be sewing individual squares together - we're going to strip-piece it!

First step: picking the fabrics for the quilt. I'm using a few batik jelly rolls that I've got lying around. One set of 'darks' and one set of 'lights'.

postage stamp quilt: jelly roll strips

I would have preferred to use a solid white print for the pale strips - the blogger at ps. i quilt is using white solids - but I don't have any to hand and I don't have the time to order any in. So this set is going to be light-and-dark batiks and I can hopefully swing it so it provides sufficient contrast in the main body of the quilt.

First task was to separate the strips into sets of five: 8 sets of dark-light-dark-light-dark, and 8 sets of light-dark-light-dark-light.

I only had about 60 strips in the previous pic, so I had to raid my yardage stashes for more - and, moreover, for more vivid prints. I'm just not a fan of browns, browns, browns, purples, and, ooh, look, more browns...

postage stamp quilt: 16 strip sets

I had some trouble with the relative values of the quilt - what the eye sees as dark vs. what it sees as light. Some of the fabrics that were in the 'dark' roll were actually 'light' values and so didn't contrast enough.

Enter the red-light filter to help reduce the colour and give us a better idea of the 'value' of the prints! (You can buy these at quilting stores, but, you know what? I made these with black cardboard and cellophane. So much cheaper and easier than getting myself to a quilting store.)

postage stamp quilt: colour values of strip sets

As you can see, most of the fabrics are pretty distinct from each other. There are one or two that might cause problems but on the whole, they won't be so noticeable.

Next up is the nasty, picky part: sewing all these strip sets together...

I'm thinking of auctioning off the finished quilt for the Queensland floods. I mean, it'll be a month or two before it's actually finished, but still...

Also, presently putting together the red, white & blue rail fence. Pics to go up tomorrow.

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