Updated: Sep 1, 2022
Are you ready to start playing with all your pretty, pretty fabrics? Today I am going over some general information and doing the prep work for making the Nothing but Love sampler quilt.
A few things to know about this quilting project
There are no hard deadlines or crazy rules, this is a fun, slow-paced, quilt along that I hope has learning opportunities for quilters of all skill levels.
You have the choice of piecing the blocks and then finishing your quilt the traditional way - putting it all together and quilting it as a whole OR you can complete it quilt as-you-go (QAYG) style and it will be all done when you put the blocks together. If you choose to do the QAYG method please know that the blocks do get slightly smaller and you will lose some of your points. This does not affect the overall loveliness of your quilt, but I wanted to warn anyone who might be bothered by this fact.
Last each block is the same size and can be switched around in the final layout of your quilt. I can get particular about things like same fabrics touching and spreading out different block styles, so feel free to change it up. If you want to do the diagonal rainbow version, you will need to decide first, so you make enough blocks per color.
My philosophy on this is "A quilt pattern is like route on a road map - there are many ways to get to the same destination."
Now on to the good stuff!
Fabric Pull and Prep
What colors and fabrics are you going to choose?? Are you team Two-Color or Team Scrappy/Rainbow? No matter what you decide your quilt will be beautiful. If you're having trouble, I have two suggestions: go to your closet and pull out your favorite thing to wear - use the colors in this item/outfit as your palette! Second option, go fabric shopping (in your fabric bins, online, or at the local quilt shop) and see what strikes your fancy. The good thing about fabric designers and collections is that they do all the work for you!
Click below for the downloadable Fabric/Supply List.
The original Nothing but Love quilt is a two-color quilt with the beautiful (older) collection from Bunny Hill for Moda called My Redwork Garden. I LOVE it! But this time around I am going for more rainbow sherbet and using Adel in Spring by Sandy Gervais for Riley Blake. (This is a current collection in stores now if you like it too.) The pinks are from Riley Blake - Shabby and Blossom, plus the stripe from Kimberbell.
I am also using Kona Snow for the background, and a pale gray Bedrock by Whistler Studios in the border.
Now that you've made THE decision, I suggest pressing your fabrics, and organize them by color or grouping - main color, print color, background (that is how each pattern is written). I do recommend using a pressing spray (or starch if you prefer) as it makes the pieces cut and sew nicely, and it's easier to press as you go. I have been loving my Flatter spray and the smell is delightful!
Two more tips about fabric choices - be careful with directional fabrics like stripes or animals/flowers with an upright position - they can be wonderful or they can make you crazy trying to keep them lined up. **Same with tone-on-tone whites...just sayin'.
When pairing fabrics in blocks it looks nice to have variation in your patterns: linear designs (stripes) vs. round patterns (dots), high- and low-density motifs (like the vine vs. the bird), and simple (one picture repeating) vs. complex designs (multiple pictures). This is a whole blog post unto itself, but I just wanted to mention it here as well.
Batting - QAYG or not QAYG?
The Nothing but Love Throw finishes at approximately 60 inches square. If you are going to quilt it traditionally or using your favorite longarm quilter than you need a piece of batting that is 68" square.
If you are all in for the quilt-as-you-go (QAYG) method than a 60" x 96" piece is what you need. I think a packaged Twin size batting at big box store is close to this.
You will need to cut sixteen 14" x 14" squares, two strips that are 7" x 52" and two strips that are 7" x 64".
Here are the steps I used to make all the cuts and have very little waste and NO "franken-batting". (If you are using scrap batting, I love "franken-batting" - sewn together batting bits.)
Unfold it and find the width (60") and length (96") of your batting piece.
Fold it in half length-wise twice, so now it's 24" wide and 60" long. Match up the edges and smooth it out so it's ready to cut.
Now cut 14" across your folded piece to make a 14" x 96" piece. Cut 4 pieces total.
Unfold 2 of the pieces until they are just in half once and sub-cut into 14" squares. **Start at cut end NOT folded end. You should get 7 squares out of the 96" length.
On the 3rd piece, only cut one pair of 14" squares from the end to make the total of 16 needed. Then fold the remaining batting in half and cut it in half width-wise, so now you have two pieces 7" x 82". Shorten them to 7" x 64".
On your final piece, keep it folded in half once, and cut the length down to 52" (so 26-27" is half). Then fold it in half again if needed and cut in half width-wise to make two 7" x 52" pieces.
You have 2 small scrap bits left that can be used for additional projects or to practice your quilting motifs.
Backing - This quilt is reversible
The backing requirements are the same as the batting - sixteen 14" squares, two 7" x 52" strips, and two 7" x 64" strips.
This quilt will basically be reversible, so have fun with your fabric choices.
Here are my tips:
Choosing a directional print will add stress.
Choosing similar colors will help hide your thread color if you are concerned about your quilting.
Choose all the same fabric or do a patchwork of multiple fabrics but decide how much you want to pay attention to placement of back fabrics.
In general, back fabrics could show through or shadow your front fabrics if they are much darker, so keep that in mind.
To make the border strips of backing, cut six 7"x 42" strips and join them together with a 1/2" seam. Press the seams open and then cut the lengths that are needed. I like this method because then the seams don't match up (just one of my hang-ups).
And that's all I have for you this week! Here is a recap of the quilt- along schedule:
December 20, 2021 - Quilt Along Intro & Details (link to read below)
January 10, 2022 – Get Ready: Prep the Fabrics & Batting
January 17 – Affection
January 31 – Refuge
February 14 – Joyful
February 28 – Adoration
March 14 – Devotion
March 28 – Inspiration
April 11 – Besotted
April 25 – Admiration
May 9 – Infatuation
May 23 – Faithful
June 6 – Smitten
June 20 – Cherish
July 4 – Patience
July 18 – Comfort
August 1 – Grateful
August 15 –Hopeful
August 29 – Enamored
September 12 - Sashing It All Together & Finishing Details
**Each “between block” Monday there will be a post for quilting the blocks:
January 24, February 7 & 21, March 7 & 21, April 4 & 18, May 2 & 16 & 30, June 13 & 27, July 11 & 25, August 8 & 22, September 5
I will see you next week for Block 1 - "Affection".
Be blessed my friends,