Friday, July 31, 2015

Big Ass Heart - a Lovely Quilt

This quilt started out a little as a challenge and a little to use up some of my 5" charms that I've picked up from a couple swaps.  Angelina (@weenachaween on Instagram) made a wonderful quilt and she dubbed it her Big Ass Heart Quilt.  I wanted to make my own.
My collection of 5" charms has been growing.  Some are from swaps.  I participated in three or four rounds of swaps for 5" charms.  These swaps were hosted by the amazing Amateur Quilter.
Some are from when I trim up my leftovers from other projects or from quilt backings.
Some are from when I use the majority of a charm pack and have a couple leftover.
Ultimately it means I have many, many of these.
Stacks and stacks of 5" charms.
I sorted through my stacks and stacks and started building my 9-patch blocks.  This quilt is made entirely with the disappearing 9-patch block.  The blocks are mindfully constructed (lights in one portion and brights/darks in another) and placed so they go together to create the heart shape at the center of this quilt.
There are a total of five different layouts for the 9-patch blocks.  The light colors and the brights/darks make up the majority of the blocks.  The outer border blocks (the three smaller blocks in this photo) are precisely made so the reds are in certain spots.  These blocks will be used as the outline for the heart and give it shape.
Making the 9-patch blocks and cutting them was easy.  Working on the layout was the hard part.
Each side of the outline mirrors the other.  This is how this quilts differs from many disappearing 9-patch layouts.
As the size was determined by the size of my charms this one turned out to be a great throw size.  I think the finished size was around 65" by 65" (this answer was reached mathematically and does not factor in the quilting or post washing shrinkage).  I think if I was going to make another I might add a couple rows, one to the top and bottom to frame the heart a little better.
I quilted the lighter background portions with a long, wavy meander in white thread.
The heart was quilted with red thread with a simple small-scale meander.  I wanted the quilting to give it some great texture.  The washed quilt is wonderfully soft.
Scrappy binding is the best!  The label was embroidered and attached with the binding and then the diagonal edge was sewn down by hand.  This one is like the one Bonnie Hunter uses on some of her quilts.  Pat Sloan has a similar method that she covers here.  The label is so important!
This quilt really made me happy.  Quilting should make you happy.

Have you made anything using up those little leftover pieces?

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