Sunday, September 27, 2015

Progress Report and Lessons Learned (So Far)

I am still improvising solutions for working on large quilts in my small space with a smaller design wall.  This weekend, I went outside.

9 blocks

I am making a very large (100 inches square) version of the quilt. This chunk is 9 blocks (upper left corner) of the 25 blocks in the quilt. Because I decided to forgo cutting the 891 white squares in the original design and cut larger sections as each block allowed, I got a little bit of a jump start on the quilt-along schedule. Also, I am a little obsessed with it ...

Making the blocks out of numerical order made it easier for me to see the transitions of the various colored subway lines.  This corner includes blocks numbered 1-3, 6-8 and 11-13.

I mentioned before that I had saved the block patterns from the original QAL in 2010.  While I did save the block diagrams, I did not save the helpful blog posts ... that are now no longer online.  Oops.

I've approached cutting the white background into larger pieces where possible by cutting for the individual blocks as I assemble them.  I print the block diagram and mark it up to know what sizes I need to cut from the background.  I start with width of fabric (WOF) strips that are cut in widths that are equivalent to 1 square, 2 squares and 3 squares. As I am making the decisions of how to chunk the background area, I am also thinking about how the block can be sewn together and pressed, since the pieces in a single block will no longer be a simple 8-by-8 grid.

I suspect the time saved by not cutting those 891 small white squares is now being spent deciding what larger sized chunks I need for each block and puzzling the pieces together–but since I enjoy that kind of a challenge, it's all good :-)

It's going to be a monster quilt–had I made a single block before cutting the 709 colored squares, I think I would have decided to make a smaller quilt–but I am looking forward to quilting it and already thinking about the quilting design.

Because the scrappy orange line is prominent in this section, I'm joining the last orange link-up for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. If anyone has been eying the Tokyo Subway Map Quilt pattern but not sure they want to cut all those squares, I was thinking how one could cut the squares from one color each month as part of the RSC (there are 12 colored lines in the quilt).

I am also joining these lists:

Oh Scrap!
Design Wall Monday
Creative Goodness

19 comments:

LA Paylor said...

it's just amazing together. I am really intrigued. I did make a twin out of two inch squares and is it heavy! So many seams. I think this idea of trailing color would be a good way to use some of my leftover two inch squares. LeeAnna

Edith said...

Very nice, I'm considering making this quilt myself, I just love the way it looks, so fresh.

QuiltSwissy said...

I really love this quilt. I think I would do exactly what you are doing by cutting the larger squares. Less opportunity to get out of shape in the grand scheme of things later on.

For some reason i missed the last post about the cats. that is so funny the way they love o play with blocks.

floribunda said...

This is going to be great, Sophie! I've always loved the pattern...

desertskyquilts said...

I love it, Sophie! I think the time figuring the background is time well spent. Maybe it doesn't save a lot in the long run, but I think it saves stitching time, and pulling out your hair. =)

ninawithfreckles said...

This looks lovely!

I was pondering cutting larger squares and rectangles for the blocks, but then decided against it, due to time constraints. It's easier to follow the original pattern of cutting each square separately, although sewing will be interesting for sure. I've never made a pixel quilt either...

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Quilter Kathy said...

This is just so cool!

Ramona said...

Wow! What a great design and such fun, too. I'm looking forward to watching this grow!

Nann said...

I remember that pattern and the QAL. It's still very intriguing . . . looks as though you've got it figured out. (If not, then it's your design!)

A Nudge said...

I'm not sure I could keep it all straight for the construction, but you are doing a marvelous job of conquering the logistics of a Big quilt. Looking marvelous!
I invite you to link this post to WIPs Be Gone. Thanks for sharing, Sophie!

scraphappy said...

What a fun quilt! I always wonder at chunks vs individual squares when making grid based quilts. I guess I can see the benefits of both plans. Graphically, it is such a fun quilt. I can see how much fun it would be to personalize it with different maps.

Libby in TN said...

First time I've seen this. I can see how it is challenging to build, but I'm with you on using the larger background pieces, especially if you're using the same background throughout. With all that said, I really like it!

Kaitlyn Drinkwater said...

Great quilt! Good for you for sticking it out with the larger construction :) Kat @ katandcatquilts.blogspot.com

Kaitlyn Drinkwater said...

Great quilt! Good for you for sticking it out with the larger construction :) Kat @ katandcatquilts.blogspot.com

Erin said...

Wow, I can't imagine cutting out almost 900 tiny squares to make this quilt! I agree with your decision to cut the white into bigger pieces; makes much more sense. Love the look of this quilt!

Cynthia Brunz Designs said...

Great progress on your quilt. Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

Dee Dee said...

Love it. Thanks for the great tip about making the background pieces bigger

Linda in Calif. said...

I think it's just smart to cut larger pieces - although you might be right about the time saved is being used figuring the cuts. I love the quilt so far.

Sheila said...

That's going to be a BIG quilt. Love this pattern and you you quilt.

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