Thursday, September 20, 2012

Update on the 1600 Quilt...

Okay, so I never actually got around to posting about it, oops!  But, the quilt in question is the one I mentioned in this post, the one I made that started the entire nursery set!  I'm not sure if the jelly roll I started with was smaller than "normal" or what...but there is no way I could make my single jelly roll turn into a full (twin sized) quilt!  I decided I would have needed four of them to make a "normal" quilt!  However, I have managed to find out where the original pattern came from (or at least who is claiming it as their own) and wanted to share that with you.

First, I saw the blanket idea on someone's blog, I bookmarked it, ran to the nearest store (WalMart), and bought myself a jelly roll!  I then stared at the blog (Happier Than A Bird Quilts) for a week or so, and at my newly purchased jelly roll that sat on my desk, before finally deciding I had studied the directions long enough to not really screw it up.  I'll be honest with you...part of the reason I never got around to writing a post about it was because the other blog site was down and I could not reference back to it!  But, it is back up and running this morning.  She took "liberties" with the original and I then took some more when I used her "pattern"!

With her site back up and running, I was able to answer a few questions (asked on my personal Facebook page) about the quilt pattern.  First, "Why is it called a 1600 quilt?"  Well, looking at Heirloom Creation's page regarding their quilt pattern...(found here) it is called a 1600 quilt because it starts off "life" as a 1,600 inch strip!  You start with a jelly roll (or stash of pre-cut strips of your choosing) that are all 2.5-inches by 40-inches and you use 40 strips.  40 times 40 is...1,600!  Ingenious, I tell ya!  I believe my jelly roll only came with 32 strips though, so I guess I actually made a 1280 quilt?  Next time I make one of these, I'm going to buy my fabric off the bolts and cut my own strips (2.5-inch cuts the width of the fabric of your choosing).  I may or may not choose to do mitered corners (the angled seams on the ones at Heirloom Creations), but doing straight seams is sure easier to keep even!  I also did not cut off 18-inches before I started like the original says, or even half a strip like she did over at Happier Than A Bird Quilts, I simply cut off 8 to 10 inches.  It seemed to work out very nicely.

Next time I would like to have more than 8 patterns in my fabric choices...I may start just asking for an extra 1/4 yard of everything I buy to build up a stash of strips!  Of course...I "could" also go through my boxes (and boxes) of fabrics and just start cutting them up too...but most of those are "special" prints that I want to find the "perfect" use for (another way of saying I'm a fabric hoarder).

If you own a sewing machine (or have access to one), you really should make one of these quilts!  The size I ended up with is just longer than a standard crib mattress is wide (the stripes should run horizontal, not vertical like they do on my finished quilt) and as for width (length on mine), I have it tucked under the mattress by about 4 inches in the photo above and the folded over part at the top reaches just to the top of the mattress!  Perfectly sized to lay across the end of a twin bed or over the back of a chair or the couch.  If I had had the entire 1,600 inches to start, it probably would cover the top of a twin bed (like old style handmade quilts were supposed to).

It really is easy to make!  After you sew all the short ends together (into a super long strip), you take your two ends (the start and finish of you strip), sew them together, cut the end so it can open up, finish your end (so your stitching doesn't unravel), fold again and repeat!  Follow the directions on either link above!  I ended up using a low loft batting with my finished quilt "top", originally I purchased a super high loft one (for uber fluffiness), but was talked out of using it.  I suggest quilting it to your top now rather than waiting like I did!  We (my Mom helped me put the backing and batting on this quilt) had to piece together the flannel I used for the backing on this one as well.  When I purchased it (for another use originally), I bought what they had left, which was two one-yard pieces.  That just means there is a seam on the back...but it is hardly noticeable and I believe it is toward the "foot" end of the quilt  anyway.  Once we got the backing sewed on, we then put the batting in (like I said, do this before you do your backing...much easier that way).  To keep the batting from shifting with washes, I simply sewed "in the ditch" down every other strip (the batting directions said to quilt ever 4 to 6 inches, since the strips were 2.5 inches to start and I used a 1/4-inch seam, the stitch "lines" were 2-inches, making every other one at perfect 4-inch intervals).  I could have also gone the other direction and quilted the now striped backing into squares, but I think that's a little bit of overkill and then my "imperfections" would have really shown up!  I should mention I also top-stitched around the outside edge of the quilt, to help keep the batting in place and also to give the quilt a nice, crisp edge.

So, there it is...the project that started the "theme" for our little boy's room!  What came after finishing the quilt was a set of curtains (which I have semi-detailed in this post here) and was finished up with a little pillowcase (here)!  The curtains were made using a "pack" of fat quarters that matched the jelly roll and the pillowcase was made using another "pack", this time of pre-cut 5-inch squares.  I especially like the curtains because they can be taken down, washed, and re0hung however I feel like hanging them!  They are pocketed at the top and bottom exactly the same!  I can flip them over, trade positions, anything I feel like doing (except sideways)!  I may even take this idea into our "office" space once I get the curtain rods up down there...because I will eventually be sharing that space with Garrick (or he will be sharing with me since he has taken over the entire area right now), I'll even concede a bit and use some black in the curtains (backing counts, right?).  Those windows will only require a single curtain each, but, I also need to get curtains made to cover a 12-foot space to separate the office area from the living room space!  I have the curtain rod...just need to get it put up and get to sewing!  We semi-measured and I'll need 2 yards to reach from floor to curtain rod (4 yards really since they'll be seen from both sides, need to look nice coming and going) per curtain and I think I figured out I would need at least 6 curtains!  Yup...that's a winter project for after I find a killer deal on fabric (I'm talking 60 to 75% off or the $1 per yard sales)!

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