True North Quilt Top

I just love it when a whole bunch of seemingly unrelated things come together to make something beautiful.

I finally got around to making the quilt for my friend Jamie's baby, who is now going on 8 months old. The baby's room is coral pink and navy blue with touches of chevron print.

We originally designed a fairly complicated quilt with broken chevrons in all sorts of pinks, greys and navy. I LOVE how this looks, but I was intimidated a bit by attempting to figure out how much fabric I'd need and how best to piece it together. I think that's why it took me so long to get started on this project!


We went through a lot of iterations to get to that point...
 
A change of direction was in order if I had a hope of finishing this thing before the little's first birthday...

I know that Jamie also loves owls, and I found the same owl print I used in the Mod Owls Quilt in pink and grey on Fabric.com. This website is really becoming one of my favorite places to shop! I also wanted to incorporate the phrase "Aim True" in the quilt, so I picked out a navy print with arrows, then found another cute coral pink arrow print in fat quarters at JoAnn's- imagine that!


Most of the fabrics I ordered are actually printed cotton twill, which almost seems like a light denim. I've never used anything quite like this in a quilt before, but it's soft and really easy to work with, and so far it looks fantastic. I'm a tad concerned about washing it though, as the description says to hand wash and air dry, but I think it will be fine going through a delicate cycle.

Bonus! I love Fabric.com even more now. :) I ordered two different colors of the arrow print twill because I wasn't sure how I'd feel about the navy, and I only ordered a half yard in each. I hit the jackpot on the grey one and they sent me the rest of the bolt! It's a bit over a yard, which is awesome. I didn't end up using this one in the quilt, but it will make a really cute tote bag!


I had originally ordered two shades of solid pink Kona cotton, but I opted to replace the darker one with the perfectly coral fat quarters with the little arrows on them. Some things were just meant to be!


I started by designing the 45x54" quilt layout in Illustrator. I even made my own pattern swatches to resemble each fabric. Ha ha. I like this size because it breaks down into nice, big 9" squares that work up quickly. The patterns on my fabrics were also a bit bigger than I anticipated, so I'm glad I went with this size blocks.


I cut up all my pieces at the UWGB photo lab again... alumni perks! The nice big table really is great for working with fabric- and the lighting is much better than it is in my dining room.


Notice the lighting shift...

Back at home, I began to assemble the pink chevron blocks. I've been messing around a lot with half square triangles lately because they're so much fun. I decided to try the method of making four at once by sewing all the way around the outside edges of two squares face to face, then cutting them apart with an X through the middle.



Holy math. I finally figured out what size blocks to use to start with after a few hours of calculations and trial and error. If you want to try out some HST action, check out my handy chart! I even show my math if you really want to see it...

I came to the conclusion that I needed to use 7.5" squares to get a finished 9.5" four-patch block of HST blocks. It was pretty obvious after the fact that I probably should have double-checked my finished blocks and trimmed them down to exactly 9.5" before assembling the quilt top, but oh well. :)



 

Once I got all the pink chevron HST blocks assembled, I added them to the pile of 9.5" blocks and  sewed the quilt top together in columns. I love it!


 

Next up is coming up with a solution for the back. I have a large piece of grey Kona cotton, and I'm thinking about doing an ombre chevron up the middle. We'll have to see! :)

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