My First Quilt – Part 3: Checkerboard Top

With all my strip pairs sewn it was time to turn them into strip blocks. My overall goal was to get a really random spread of the rainbow colours all over the quilt, with out it being overly calculated.

I sorted the colours into groups of dark warms (purples/reds), dark cools (greens/blues/greys) and brights (yellows/oranges/pinks) and then grabbed one from each group for the sets. The dark cools seemed to out number the other groups so I had to swap a few of those in towards the end but it was the first of many exercises in not over thinking things.

A few of the combos really stuck out to me. The worst was a royal blue/gold/dark purple set that screamed school uniforms and football jerseys. The best was a complete accident and I didn’t realise until I was ironing but the colours (navy blue, canary yellow and bright teal green) alternating with white almost exactly match a dress I bought earlier in the year. Not at all the colours I’d usually wear but the set just confirmed how much I like them together.

Strip set that matches my dress!

All the strip blocks were sewn together, and then sliced up again (are you serious!? but I just… ok fine) and arranged into pretty little piles. Once again I had to practice turning my brain off and just grab different strips from different piles while having flashbacks to maths classes on permutations and combinations.

Strip sets for rainbow snapshots quilt

First they were joined back into reasonable size blocks, then laid out on my “design floor” in the order they were made, with the minimum amount of swaps to avoid big clumps of the same colour. A couple black & white snaps to check for value balance, another swap, then back to the sewing machine to sew blocks into rows and rows into… my first quilt top! Ta Da!

The finished quilt top.