Hello all! Welcome to the halfway point of the Sea Breeze Mini Quilt-A-Long! Have you been keeping up with all the amazing contributors so far? It’s been quite a week! A big BIG thank you to Angie for being such a phenomenal host (and her incredibly kind words in my introduction on her blog!) :)
This is my first QAL, and I have to say that I was a little nervous about joining in with such a talented group of quilters. But if I’ve learned anything, it’s that the quilting community is incredibly supportive and welcoming! And so with that, I was ready to jump in!
As usual, I gave myself some parameters to work with…
- I have to use fabrics from my stash.
- follow the pattern.
- break the pattern.
First, it was time to pick fabrics. Originally I was leaning towards prints, but ended up going for solids. What can I say? Old habits die hard! I decided on these awesome neon solids from Riley Blake. Aren’t they so fun?
Once I had my main fabrics picked, it was time to start playing with possible color arrangements. I planned on adding black or white for my background color but kept it open as I started to try things… I made a quick mock-up in Adobe Illustrator and got to coloring! My only rule was I had to leave the block placement as it was in the original pattern. I went through quite a few ideas. Some kept closer to the original look, others went pretty far out there… I almost always try layouts out in Illustrator first, unless I’m doing improv. Just to give you an idea, here are some of the options I came up with.
It was fun exploring all the different ways you can break up the pattern. As usual, I used my family and friends as a mini focus group. And as usual, they all had a different favorite. I took cues from the ones they liked and came up with this layout. I love how the black and white balance out the neons, and it still really highlights the pattern. It’s simple and graphic, right up my alley!
This was my first time with half square triangles (HSTs), and I can see why they’re so popular. They’re incredibly versatile, and it’s a great way to get a number of blocks done quickly. If you haven’t tried them, you should give it a shot! This pattern has you make them in the traditional method, but there are a number of tutorials on how to create as many as 8 or even 18 HSTs at a time!
I chain pieced all of my HSTs, fast and easy. Then it was time to iron and trim. It’s been so hot in Los Angeles, I was grateful that I only had a mini’s worth of pieces to press!
I used my standard square ruler to trim the HSTs. It worked fairly well, but I can definitely see the appeal of the bloc loc. If you’re new to HSTs and a little worried about squaring them up, a helpful trick is to make your starting squares slightly larger than is called for. This will give you a little more wiggle room to get your seams perfectly lined up on the diagonal when you trim.
Such happy little scraps!
Sewing the quilt top was fairly quick. I had a few issues with things lining up, and I did have to rip out a few seams and try again. They’re not all perfect but I’m happy with the final result.
So here it is, my finished quilt top… Now I just have to quilt and bind this little bugger! Hmmm, what to do, what to do!
I’ll be sharing my finished quilt on August 2nd. Keep an eye on Instagram for some sneaky peeks until then. Be sure to hop over to Gnome Angel to learn more about all of the participants and see their fantastic takes on this great little quilt. There’s also still plenty of time to get in on the fun and make your own Sea Breeze Mini! Angie’s site has all the info you need to get started. The incredibly talented Ms Midge is hosting a progress link party here, go check it out! And if you’re participating, be sure to link up your progress so everyone can see what you’ve been up to :)
Have a fantastic weekend!