I love all of the #APQquiltalong projects, so it was difficult to choose just one to make. (Confession, I didn’t choose just one—I’ll be blogging again soon about my other choice.)
While I wondered what the Quilts and More Easy Addition quilt would look like if I used just three colors, I ran across the perfect fabrics! I chose Peppered Cottons by Pepper Cory for Studio e Fabrics in Pepper (31) for the background, Morning Glory (28) for the corners, and Midnight (82) for the plus sign. If you’re not familiar with Peppered Cottons, they’re considered a shot cotton. Shot cottons typically have one color of warp threads (lengthwise threads) and a different color of weft threads (crosswise threads). So the thread ends you see on the selvedges will be a different color than the threads ends you see along the cut edges. In the fabric drying photo below, you can see the threads along the selvedges and how different they are in color from the finished fabric. From bottom to top: Pepper has the tan weft threads and black warp threads, Morning Glory has aqua weft threads and magenta warp threads, and Midnight has black weft threads and blue warp threads.
Following the tips on the information sheet about Peppered Cotton, I prewashed my fabric (with my beloved Shout Color Catchers), dried it partly, and let it airdry the rest of the way. I’m not typically a prewasher, but felt it was wise to follow the tips from Pepper Cory and Studio e Fabrics on this one. Also, following the information sheet’s suggestions, I starched. I do feel that prewashing and starching helped to make the fabric easier to work with and less wiggly through the process and gave it a little more body.
Then it was on to cutting and arranging the sample block and the math. Why math? First, because I wanted to make the quilt wider by two rows of blocks (so basically, square). Second, I thought since I was using only three fabrics, I might be able to do some strip piecing to make the construction go faster. Third, I’ve worked with cross-woven taffeta before (woven like these cottons are) and I remembered that sometimes the fabric looks different depending on the directions of the warp and weft threads. That caution was also mentioned in the information sheet. So I had to rethink the cutting so that I was treating each piece as if it were a stripe and that I wanted the stripes to all be running in the same direction. In the end, I’m not sure this step was necessary, but that’s just the way I work.
Then it was on to the sewing! I did end up making strip sets for the centers and side pieces for the corners, as you can see.
With all the sections put together, I was ready to make the blocks.
And here’s one finished!
I’m still not sure if I’ll bind it in the Midnight color or the Pepper, but I can’t wait to have it all together and on the longarm! Now to dream about how to quilt it…
How’s your APQquiltalong project coming?
–Linda Augsburg, editorial content chief