You may be wondering why my latest quilt, the scrappy trip-a-long, is in my bedroom. It is not because it is finished and gracing the bed already (I wish!) but because now I have a substantial number of blocks made (twenty), I really needed to see them laid out.
The ideal way to see how your quilt is coming together as you make it is to have a proper design wall, of course. This is basically a very large piece of board which is covered in flannel on which you then arrange your fabric blocks. You can buy these custom made, for quite a few pennies, I expect, but the question is, where do you put such a thing? Where do you happen to have enough space and where it won't be completely in the way, too?
As I mentioned, the design board is covered in flannel, that's because due to the furry nature of the fabric, when you put cotton blocks against it, they basically "stick". The other day, it struck me that our wall of wardrobes was a nice large blank space. Off I went into my quilty den, in search of my stash of old flannelette sheets which I hoard for backing quilts. One pre-loved flannelette sheet and four old skirt hangers (from a thrift shop) later, and I have myself a temporary design board.
I actually need my steps to reach the top! Because my blocks are not entirely flat (because I haven't pressed all the seams yet), I have used a pin in each corner to help keep the blocks stuck on.
The beauty of this arrangement, along with its "cheapness", is that it is not permanent, so when I do not need my "design board", I can simply roll it all away and it shall take up precious little space to store. I now need to get a larger sheet as I've still two rows of blocks to add to the bottom!
It really does help with a large quilt such as this, with such a scrappy nature, to stand back and see the patterns emerging. Taking a photo and looking at it on the screen helps you to see the quilt top in a whole new light and pin point areas which either work really well and can be replicated or don't work well and need to be moved around.
I am in a bit of a quandry with this quilt. On the one hand, I want to just enjoy making it and not be too "controlled" with it, that is the idea of a scrappy quilt after all. It's meant to be a bit crazy but I feel it needs a bit of order to allow a pattern to emerge, then again I do not want to have all the leading diagonals in the same colour or fabric as this creates too much of a distinct pattern for my tastes. My head naturally likes a bit of tidiness and order so I am having to fight to allow the scrappy-ness to join in!
This quilt top has certainly sent Charlie Boy into a trance! I think he's dreaming of the day when this top becomes a quilt and he can cosy up in it.
Just hold the fur balls please, furry friend!