Friday, August 5, 2011

Forecast? Continued Ghastlie!

I really have to apologize for not getting back to the Ghastlies instructions sooner, but I plan to remedy that this weekend--barring any unforeseen circumstances as have seemed to arise in my life lately.

When I last left you (those of you intrepid quilters who wished to follow in my Ghastlie footsteps), you were fussy cutting your Ghastlie images and bordering them in black sashing--at least that's what I used. You, of course, may use whatever you wish. Let's continue on, shall we? I have a photo of the quilt top below just for reference.

I'm afraid you're going to have to do a little math at this point. Bummer, eh? But I think this is probably as hard as this quilt gets; the rest is much easier.

First, we're going to work with the blocks for the center of the quilt only; set aside the four corner blocks if you've decided to make them. So at this point, if you're making the large quilt, you'll be working with 13 blocks. You will also need your background fabric at this point--mine is the green with the black trees.

Because all your blocks will measure differently at this point, let's use an example measurement for my explanation--maybe you have one that measures the same; if so, pull it out: Let's say your block, with sashing, is 9-1/2" tall by 7-1/2" wide, okay? The goal for this part of the instructions is for each of your blocks to measure 12-1/2" square when we're done.

We'll start with the block width--7-1/2" on our example. First subtract 7-1/2" from 12-1/2" (the end measurement); that equals 5". This is how much fabric you'll need to add to the sides to make the block measure 12-1/2".

Now divide that measurement, 5", by two (because you're going to add half to each side) and that equals 2-1/2". To take into account the seam allowance you'll be using, add 1/2" to each. Now you know the strip of fabric you need to add to each SIDE of the block will be cut at 3". If you want a little wiggle room, cut it at 3-1/4" and square up/trim the blocks later.

Okay, and how long does that 3" strip you're adding to each side need to be? The height of the example block is 9-1/2", so that's how long you cut your strips: 3" x 9-1/2". And you'll need to cut two. Go ahead and do that and then sew them on each side of the block; press open. I'll wait right here.

Now we need to add strips to the top and bottom of the block to make it measure 12-1/2". Like before, this time we subtract 9-1/2" from 12-1/2", and that equals 3". Half of 3" is 1-1/2", and you'll add 1/2" for the seam allowance. Now you know you want to cut your two strips 2" wide. (If you like the wiggle room and trimming option, cut at 2-1/4" wide.)

And how long do you need to cut them? 12-1/2" (the width of the block after adding the two side strips). So, cut two pieces 2" wide by 12-1/2" long and sew those to the top and bottom of the block. Press open.

At this point, your block will measure 12-1/2". Check the measurement and square up/trim if necessary. Repeat with the rest of the blocks.

One little tip for this part: Some of your measurements before you even add the background fabric will be close to the 12-1/2" measurement. If you do the calculations and need to add less than 1" of background to the blocks, go ahead and add 1" and then trim down--it's easier than trying to deal with tiny strips. Also, press your seam allowance to the sashing side, so it's easier to trim the excess.

Next up: Directions for the alternating Irish chain/star blocks. Stay tuned!

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