28 August 2010

Pop-Pop's Quilt Process Part 1

All right, here goes. I talked a while back about how I came up with the design for this quilt, but in case you missed it, I'll give you a refresher.
He had his private pilot's license back before I was born. The coolest thing about flying lower and slower than commercial planes is seeing the ground below. Fields, yards, gardens, pastures, and forests all turn into a very quilty pattern below. I wanted to capture that effect in a quilt - greens and browns of all types being both separate and together as part of a bigger pattern.
I decided on a disappearing 9 patch design to give the illusion of the ground below to my quilt. For those who don't know, a disappearing 9 patch is where you sew 9 squares together into a larger 3x3 square, iron it, and cut it into 4 pieces. These four pieces are your quilt blocks.
I wanted to use 4.5 inch squares for no particular reason. That would make the original unfinished size of the 9 patch 12.5 inches. The four blocks after cutting would be 6.25 inches unfinished, or 5.75 inches finished in the quilt.
I also wanted the finished size of the quilt to be even inches, not partials (I'm strange like that, plus it would use all of the blocks and not leave any as orphans). I wrote down the times table for 5.75 on scrap paper and picked 46x69 inches, or 8x12 blocks. That will need 96 of the blocks (the pieces of the 9 patch), which means I will need 24 9 patches. Did I lose anyone with all that math?
Each 9 patch will have either 5 brown squares and 4 green ones or 5 green and 4 brown ones. There are an even number of 9 patches, so I will need the same number of green as brown squares. Every two 9 patches will have a total of 9 green and 9 brown squares. So 12 x 9 (the 12 came from dividing 24 9 patches by two)  = 108 4.5 inch green squares and 108 4.5 inch brown squares. I guess I should get cutting! (Don't pay too much attention to the number of squares listed on the page in my picture with this post; the numbers are wrong)
So, what is the most pieces you've ever had to cut for a quilt before?

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