This is one of those blog posts where I want to crawl under a rock and hope no one notices it took me two months to hit print, but that won’t get the Big Block finishing and backing completed on our PWQAL quilts, will it? Instead, I had a serious talk with myself that went something like “Suck it up, Buttercup, and “Get your big girl panties on.”
And here I am, finally posting the Big Block Finishing and Backing Instructions, offering thanks for your patience and forgiveness for my tardiness. Oh! And did I mention that I’m not providing just one setting. How about THREE?! Yep, three settings for you to choose from, because sometimes more really is better.
First, why did it take so long?
Truth be told, my quilt tops have been done for ages. The tops. Not the quilts. In December I think I hit quilting overload with the extra push to finish presents for Christmas. Tendonitis flared in my wrists, and sewing became unbearable. I normally do all my own quilting, and it wasn’t even an option. I really wanted to have my quilts completely finished to photograph and show.
Big Block Finishing and Backing Setting #2
As you can see, that hasn’t happened yet, but at least I am able to sew again. I should clarify, when I say sew, what I really mean is hold an iron and a rotary blade. Crazy how difficult the most common tasks become. I can do them pretty easily now, but I keep a brace on my right wrist still for added support. I’ve also managed to quilt one quilt (I do it on my sewing machine, not a longarm) but to be honest it was pushing things, so my Big Block quilts are still unfinished.
The red and white quilt is Setting #2. It was by far the easiest, and I love it. I also want to point out, that if you don’t want to use all your blocks in a quilt, you could easily divide them up to create three or four table runners, or a lap size quilt and matching table runner. Above, I cropped a section for my Setting #2 pic to give you an idea of how a table runner would look. You can download the Instructions for Setting #2 here.
Big Block Finishing and Backing Setting #3
Next, we have Setting #3, which I adore. I have never made a stripped sashing with 9-patch cornerstones, and I’m not sure what possessed me to do it for my big blocks, but I am ecstatic over the results.
Despite the number of pieces involved it really wasn’t difficult. I worked on the 3-inch finished, 9-patch cornerstones for months, but in a leisurely way. I was using them as “leaders and enders” while working on other projects. If you’re not familiar with the concept, you really should check out Bonnie Hunter’s books or her web site. I finally started using this technique the past year, and I go through a lot of leaders and enders in no time, building blocks in between other blocks!
I think the most difficult thing about this quilt was trying to decide how to lay out the blocks.
Neither Setting #2 or #3 have outer borders. I like the finished sizes and the look of each as is, but you could always add borders and increase the backing to make a bigger quilt. The instructions for Setting #3 can be downloaded here.
Big Block Finishing and Backing Setting #1
And finally, Setting #1. I did not make a quilt using this particular setting. Yet. Our Big Block quilts don’t quite measure the same size as Fat Quarter Shop’s original smaller-block version quilts. I drafted this design to give a setting that looked like FQS’ original quilt and adjusted the fabric measurements for the backing, as well, for those wanting to make the pieced backing the FQS instructions provide. You can download the instructions for Setting #1 here.
And so our Big Block version of Fat Quarter Shop’s Patchwork Quilt Along comes to a close. Once again, I’ll list the links for the different settings available for download. Feel free to contact me with questions or should you find
in any typos (gasp).
If this is your first time hearing about Patchwork Quilt Along below is an outline.
Each month during 2017, Fat Quarter Shop will post a new free pattern and video tutorial for the Patchwork Quilt and encourage participants to donate to Make-A-Wish Central & South Texas in lieu of payments. Fat Quarter Shop and Moda Fabrics will each match up to $10,000 of the donations raised. (#awesome) Learn more about it and how you can help here!
Check out the blogs every month of our quilty friends. Watch their process, and see what fun fabric collections they have selected!
*Psst! The designers of the quilt’s fabrics – Bonnie & Camille – are sewing along, too! Fun!
Please share your progress and creations along with all of us on our Patchwork Facebook group. Post your blocks using #patchworkquiltalong on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.