Bright Sisters begins

I’ve been watching The Midnight Quilt Show on YouTube featuring the marvelous Angela Walters (Quilting Is My Therapy) and I fell in love with the quilt featured in this episode┬áthe minute I saw it:

The pattern is called Color Block Drunkard’s Path and was designed by Carl Hensch (3 Dog Design). It’s available on Craftsy. My version, Bright Sisters, will be a gift for my sister Sonja when it’s done. She already knows, so it’s okay to blog about it.

I chose to use Kona Cotton Solids from the Fat Quarter Shop instead of the Boundless Solids used in the pattern. I have to admit that matching up the colors was a huge part of the fun for me. In fact, I had so much fun I did it twice — at first I matched with Moda Bella Solids, but switched to the Kona because of a timely sale at FQS. Here are my delicious fabric choices, unboxed and ready to prep!

stacked fabric in a rainbow of colors
All the pretty colors!

I could tell that one of the keys to making this quilt will be keeping careful track of the colors to cut and piece them correctly, so I made labels and clipped them to the fabrics:

Fabric labels and a paper cutter
Trimming the labels
Clipping labels to fabrics
Labeling in process
Fabrics sorted and labeled
All labeled!

There’s nothing I like better than a chance to be over-organized! Except maybe a chance to be over-prepared. Before cutting anything, I made cutting diagrams for each color to help make sure I got the pieces right. I also copied the cutting and piecing directions for each color onto its diagram to keep everything straight. Here’s one example:

diagram showing how to cut the fabric yardage

After reading the directions in the quilt pattern, I’m going to change a couple of the steps as I go. For instance, you’ll see 4″ blocks in this cutting diagram instead of 3.5″ blocks as directed in the pattern. I’m not great at accurate curved seams — another reason I’m excited about making this quilt, since I need the practice — so I’m giving myself a little extra wiggle room on the concave curve piece. As you can see on the cutting diagram, I’m using a 4″ square of fabric (the black shape) and aligning the concave template (the white shape) so that I have some extra along the top and left edges. After sewing the curves together, I can trim the block down to 3.5″. It takes extra time and a little extra fabric but it should help make sure my circles match up, I hope. It worked well in the test block I made. I’ll let you know how it works out for the quilt!

I’m also using this method to make 8 half square triangles at once, so that’s why you see 8″ squares in my cutting diagram too. Happily, all the numbers of HSTs needed in the quilt divide nicely by 8!

If you’d like a blank copy of my cutting diagram to use for your own projects, you can get it here.

Next time: Cutting into that beautiful fabric!


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