Thursday, January 29, 2015

I am DANCING about my Dancing Nine-Patch

I learned about these "freebie quilts".... or "leaders / enders".... from Bonnie Hunter.  They are so named because you assemble them in those in-between moments...  bits and pieces assembled together when you are switching between projects or using up the last bit of thread on a spool or bobbin.   And they are "freebies" because you don't really delegate time to working on them... its rather sneaky way to work on a quilt.

The beauty of these projects was that supposedly, and without you really noticing, you could end up with all the completed elements for a quilt!!  you could just assemble and enjoy!

I was going to plan my very first "freebie quilt"!!!

A "leader /ender" project does not usually have a complex pattern and I decided my first "freebie" would be a lap or baby quilt using the Dancing Nine-Patch from Bonnie Hunter's free patterns.

I had set aside some light blue fabric for sashing so when the time came to put the quilt together, I wouldn't be scrambling for enough of something to finish the quilt.  Or maybe I somehow knew I would end up needing a quilt for a baby boy.

The other thing about this project is that you start with a big pile of fabric strips in the size that you choose.   Because I choose a 2" square for my nine-patch pieces, I knew I would need a lot of nine-patches to do a quilt.  As I completed the nine-patches, the strip pile went down and the nine-patch pile went up but I didn't stop to count, I just kept going until I ran out of fabric in the strip pile.  Apparently, I should have stopped and counted somewhere along the line....

So fast forward to a time when I need a baby quilt.  I decided I would put it together and enjoy the fruits of my freebie/unnoticed labor.  I checked the pattern and it indicated that I would need 64 nine-patches.  

Hmmmm....   I most definitely have 64. 

In fact, I have ANOTHER 64!!!

I should have counted.... because, in total, I have 160 of them.

I decided to scrap the baby size and go for the gold!  Who ever says a quilt is too big?  No one!!!

So I start sewing rows together.  The photo shows the rows laid out on a queen size bed.  The vertical rows are sewn but the rows are not sewn together.  At this point, I am not sure how big I should make it...  I have enough completed nine-patches for another row in each direction, then I would add a stop border and an outside border. 

Or I could make 2 LARGE baby boy quilts...  because I just found out another friend is having a boy.  and I still need baby quilts.....

Whatever I decide to do, this was certainly a fun quilt AND it put itself (themselves) together without me realizing it.  I think that is pretty darned incredible.

Can't wait to finish it!!   (or them... !)

My mom is coming for a visit before too long and our "deal" was always that I did the machine sewing and she did the hand sewing for our joint projects.   We have already decided that we are going to make her a quilt while she is visiting but I think I will sneak some quilt binding into her pile of "to do" while I am working on her quilt....  think she will notice??

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