Quilter's World Updates

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In the Quilting World

Let's have some fat quarter fun!

Let me introduce myself: I'm Carolyn Vagts, editor of Quilter's World magazine and writer of this update. That's my day job, and at night, I'm an addicted quilter. I tend to eat, breathe and sometimes sleep with my quilting. I have a beautiful studio with my work space right in it. How convenient, since I work at and with quilting. As editor, I am very hands-on with every issue. I'm also very hands-on with this update. I love to share my experiences with other quilters in hopes it will inspire them to explore the endless possibilities available to them.

With each update I select a book or pattern to accompany it. It's usually something that I feel goes along with the content of my update. This time my suggestion is the pattern X Marks the Spot. It's a fun and trendy pattern with a block pattern that's perfect for using scraps or fat quarter collections. With a new year starting I thought this would be a great pattern for anyone who's planning on cleaning out their sewing room.

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The X Marks the Spot pattern can be purchased at AnniesCraftstore.com.

I begin every new year with big plans to start exciting new quilts and learn the latest techniques. It's a great goal, but with little free time and more fabric than I know what to do with, I usually settle for a more practical goal, like using up scraps and stash. I've selected several fun patterns I've done in the past that I really enjoyed making and that work well with scrap fabrics and fat quarters. These are patterns that only require my time and my stash, and that I can make when I have a bit of free time. The first one I'm going to work on this year and hope that I can finish is X Marks the Spot. I originally designed this quilt to use with fat quarters but scraps will work just as easily. I just loved the way each block went together. I also loved how this one block could look so different, depending on the color choices. I knew when I made it the first time that I would revisit the pattern in the future.

So today was the day! I had a bit of time to work with my stash. It can be pretty messy around here since I have many containers full of scraps, and even with good intentions to keep them sorted by color, I've failed. I guess I should be happy that I've at least managed to keep them in containers.

After digging through a couple of my containers, I managed to come up with a color palette for the start of my blocks. It may change as needed, but for now, I have a direction to work with and lots of fabrics to choose from.

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Selected fabrics to choose from for the first few blocks.

Once I had decided on the fabrics for the first block, I pressed them and cut out the pieces needed. What is really nice about this pattern is that the cutting instructions are given for an individual block separately, making it extremely easy for using scraps.

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Fabric selection for my first block and cutting it out.

With all the pieces cut out for the first block, I headed off to my sewing machine to stitch them all together to see if I liked my color choices.

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All the pieces needed for the first block.

This block looks more complicated than it really is. There are only two different units to make, and it has a plain center square. The hardest part is the fabric selection.

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Piecing the units together to make my first block.

In a matter of minutes, the first block was stitched together and I liked the way it looked, except, when I began to put the fabrics together to plan out my block, something happened. The colors I originally sorted out didn't make the cut. I managed to pick out the subtler ones, but I do like them. I'll just have to dig a bit deeper in the scrap containers for more fabrics.

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My first completed block for this project.

After a bit of digging I found several great fabrics to make the second block. As has happened in the past, I have the feeling I may be making blocks for several quilts at a time. Actually, it's sort of fun when I'm working on several quilts at the same time using the same pattern. I get to really be creative with my color choices and my scraps. I simply use a few different project boxes to put the blocks in as I'm working. When I'm close to having the necessary blocks ready for one or more quilts, I lay them all out to see how they look. Sometimes, some of the blocks land in different quilts than I originally planned, but it's all good.

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I haven't given up on the fabrics I first sorted for this project. Actually, I added many more fabrics. Now I just need to make a few decisions about how many quilts I think this could turn into. Or maybe the best plan is to fly by the seat of my pants. This could be a really fun year!

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