Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Puzzle, A Key Number and God's Abundance

Whether, it's Sudoku, crossword or jigsaw puzzles, we all love the challenge of solving the problem. Planning the layout for a quilt is just another "puzzling" dilemma; a math problem to be solved.

In the plastic bag was a large pile of black 3" squares. While I used the printed 3" squares on the previous quilt, I saved all the solid colored squares in hopes of combining them with the black squares. Again, I delved into the Undercover Quilters' box and found two solid pieces approximately 1/2 yard each, two narrow longer strips and a bit of neutral brown. These fabrics seemed to loosely coordinate into a color palette.

Finding the key number is the solution to joining these assorted fabrics into a quilt top. Of course, I wanted to go large to make it a quicker finish. Four of the squares pieced together yielded a strip 10-1/2" long (a good size) and would work out nicely as a cut size for a width of fabric. But, my strip of striped fabric wasn't wide enough to cut 10-1/2" squares.

The answer was to change from a square cut into a rectangle 10-1/2" x 8" (the measurement of 3 squares pieced together.) This was a perfect key number to cut large pieces from my 1/2 yard fabrics as well as the long strips. Any fabric remaining from cutting the rectangles was cut into 3" squares to incorporate into the pieced rectangles. This worked out so well, I had almost nothing left to discard.

As I worked to assemble the pieced blocks, I realized that the black 3" squares were cut with a bit of creative license. (This could explain how these pre-cut squares landed in the donation box.) Some I trimmed with my scissors at the machine, a few I had to discard (too small), and others I maneuvered into the blocks. I tried to match corners but --- reality check--- the quilt would be just as warm if the piecing wasn't perfect.

When I started, I was hoping there would be enough to maybe a small lap quilt. What could you expect from a yard of fabric and small scraps? But, like the Lord multiplied the 5 loaves and two fish, He had bigger plans than I did. I found to my amazement there was enough, and just enough, for a twin size quilt top. Should I really be surprised?

After laying out the blocks, it was easy to piece them together as I cheered for my Wisconsin Badger football team, who started out with a bang and hung on to defeat No. 1 Ohio. Hurray!

Oh, so sorry Ohio :(

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