Thursday, 7 November 2013

Sewing and Pressing and Cutting OH MY!

I have been a busy bee over here at Nessa's Place!  Check out all of these pressed seams!

I have a number of sewing books on my shelves that I enjoy browsing but have never actually made anything from them - that was until I bought a Kaffe Fassett / Phillip Jacobs bundle of 30 fabric strips and needed to find something to do with all those lovely colours and patterns.  These bundles of 40 fabric strips are commonly called jelly rolls, but my bundle only contained 30 so I needed to find a pattern that could adapt easily to various quantities.
And I did find one!  The pattern I found for this quilt required only 20 strips of fabric, so I just made it a bit bigger to incorporate my 30 strips, and added a few extra in too (7 blue ones as well as background fabric).
Here I am sharing the process of creating this quilt, but feel free to just look at the pictures - they are fairly self-explanatory.  It really is just a LOT of sewing and pressing and cutting... oh MY!

Just the Preparation is a Mammoth task!

I started with two metres of white fabric and cut it into 44 strips of 2.5". 

Then I sewed my 30 colourful strips of fabric to either side of one white strip, and 14 white strips to either side of one dark strip (I had some dark toned blues in my stash so I used those - the original pattern used red and it looks great with red too)
PLEASE NOTE: If you are following this to make one yourself, I would like to say that I wish I had done 8 of the blue sets as I did end up with enough of the coloured sets to have made another row in my final quilt.  But this would also mean you would need a bit more white, so perhaps buy a quarter of a metre extra just to be sure.
Using a sharp rotary cutter and ruler, cut every single strip set into 2.5" wide strips.  This took HOURS!
I ended up with two lovely piles - 122 blue centres and 255 coloured sides.  Then sew them together to create a nine-patch block.
I was left with a very tall pile of 115 nine-patch blocks, with warm blue centres, all completed.  Now this would have been enough satisfying work for anyone.  But unfortunately the cutting and sewing isn't over!

The disappearing nine-patch

Now for more sewing and pressing and cutting...oh MY!
Using the clear ruler, I lined up the edges of the blue square on the 1" line and sliced every single one of these babies up!
After all of that cutting, and the removing of a few slipped and miss-cut pieces, I ended up with 457 usable pieces.
Now to stitch them into strips, with the little blue squares all facing the same direction.  I sketched out the book's layout onto some graph paper with the original 236 squares and then drew in my extra squares to make a total of 436. 

 (I knew I would have some leftovers so I took out my least favourite ones, but if you want to make it, you'll be able to use all your squares if you just do one extra strip of white/blue/white at the beginning)
This was always going to be 'on-point' so I needed to add setting triangles to each end of the strips. The longest strips are 25 squares wide!  (The setting triangles are created by cutting 5.75" squares then cutting these into triangles.  The four corners are made by cutting one 3.5" square and dissecting it into triangles)
At least now there is no more cutting to be done - just more sewing and pressing... oh Yay!
Hopefully this will be big enough to cover a single bed.

Now for the Quilting

Although I did toy with the idea of using this quilt as a vehicle to hire and learn how to use a long-arm quilting machine, I have decided not to do the quilting at all.  I haven't as yet found any love or joy from the quilting part of making quilts, so I will pay someone to quilt this little lovely for me - But first I need to find some backing fabric before I can make an appointment with a quilter.  I look forward to sharing photos of my completed quilt!
N.B. The Trellis Quilt is now complete!  View it over here.


  1. Oh Nessa! I love this. It's wonderful. I'm making a disappearing 9 patch but using 4 fabrics and a different layout. But this one with the same or similar center squares and facing them all the same direction - I might have to make this. Can't wait to see the finished quilt, because the top is stunning! g

  2. Wow - that's going to be stunning! Quilting is such a lot of work!

  3. I bow to your patience - all that cutting and pressing! it looks amazing though! I hope you show us it again when you have it backed and quilted up

  4. Oh my goodness, I would never have the patience, your quilt looks amazing!


  5. Oh, wow! That is simply stunning! I'm in awe of your patience and workmanship. I haven't seen this style of quilting before. I was impressed at the effort involved in the FIRST lot of white and coloured strip I kept reading my jaw kept dropping! Truly beautiful work - well done you!

  6. Wow - lovely. I really like disappearing nine patch as a design but it is hard to cut up your nine patches isn't it?! Juliex

  7. Very nice, hadn't seen D9Ps arranged like that before

  8. This looks gorgeous - looking forward to the final result - you are so patient I just couldn't do all that!

  9. Thanks for all your kind and encouraging comments everybody! I have sent replies to you all, but some of you seem to be "no reply" bloggers, so if they don't arrive, I'd just like to say here that each of these comments has really made my week. Thanks for taking the time to comment and encourage me.

  10. Gorgeous Nessa! You do beautiful work!

  11. That's lovely, and great explanation! I've been making nine patches too, half with the white x half patterned to become an Irish chain, I can't imagine now cutting them into quarters !!!!!

  12. Wow! Amazing work. It's beautiful Nessa. The colours are so pretty together. What a lot of work!

  13. that's so lovely! I have this pattern too and did it from a 30s repro jelly roll, its great to see it done in another colourway, very pretty but yes all that cutting and pressing!

  14. That is very interesting...I enjoyed looking at the different pictures as you progressed. Lovely!.


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