Truly, I am working on sewing my rows together for Message in a Bottle, and will be showing you that progress in another post soon. Sometimes a quilter just can't help it, but needs to start a new project. Even before the last one is finished.
While I was at the Road to California quilt show, I bought a kit for The Long Road Home quilt designed by Bonnie Blue Quilts. You all know how I feel about kits, but this one had so many of the necessary generic background prints for the alternate squares, and they were great fabrics. I couldn't resist it. Especially since Thelma made this quilt not too long ago, and it is gorgeous. Here is her quilt (photo taken by Thelma, Cupcakes 'n' Daisies):
I think whether or not one uses a kit to make this quilt, the results will be quite similar. Due to the small amount of dark or colored fabric in the quilt, the emphasis is more on the alternate squares that make up the "background" for the chain pattern formed by the dark blocks.
I therefore rationalized the expense of the kit, thinking it would save me from depleting my precious stash of backgrounds. This kit was convenient, had great fabrics, and would save me a lot of time spent pulling 22 backgrounds, 18 shirtings and 18 darks from my stash. A lot of work goes into putting a kit together and one that is done well is worth the expense. I could not have improved upon this one.
When I opened the kit and examined the background fabrics, I was very impressed. They were all name brand fabrics by Moda or Marcus Brothers, and many of them were Civil War prints by designers like Paula Barnes, Judie Rothermel, and Jo Morton.
I used every single fabric in the kit. I did not swap out a single one, and that has to be a first.
Here are my nicely cut out fabrics, all ready to sew. This will be a great "kitchen" project: One that I can work on at the kitchen table while I watch my grand daughter, rather than just being able to sew during her nap time when I can sneak down to the studio (I use a baby monitor while she sleeps and hear every breath she takes). The stitching seems pretty basic, so the blocks should go together quickly without a lot of concentration.
One this about this pattern--There seems to be quite a lot of waste. I am not sure how this can be avoided, but perhaps if the quilt had been designed to be a bit bigger the fabric called for would have been the right amount? I don't know anything about designing quilt patterns, so any of you designers out there, feel free to educate us. How do you determine the amount of fabric you tell folks to buy? Do you cut it close to avoid waste, or do you allow extra for operator error?
The pile on the right is all my trimmings, and the pile on the left is what I had leftover. It seemed rather a lot to me. Hope I can use it in some other scrappy project. Or, heaven forbid, I misread the directions and should have used it...