Now that I have some pressing projects finished, I can get to work on Lotto-block quilts from previous winnings. I knew I had tops to be quilted; however, I also found some blocks waiting to be assembled. The first thing I did was check if I had blogged any arrangements in the past. I had–in the Way Past. (link here) I can’t believe they have been aging since 2011! After replicating the original layout, I promptly started to tweak the arrangement.
I had decided that this group needed brown and purple in the border; while I had plenty of purple, I was short on brown. So on select shopping excursions, I’d buy another brown. After two years I probably have enough. I need to add 12 inches lengthwise and at least 4 widthwise.
In the above photo I am auditioning arrangements for the 3-inch square pieces for the border. I am obsessive enough to keep each square separate till I have decided on placement. I’ve had too many times that I wanted only one of a grouping moved to preassemble any.
I’ve taken them off the design wall from the bottom up (starting at the opposite end from where I will start sewing) and marked the top square. I have a couple of those arrow pins (left, right, up, down) that I use. The left row facing the quilt is on my left when I sit to sew–but it is also marked with the pin. I also mark “up.” I will sew the first left pair then the first right pair. Then clip the thread and add the third square to the right pair and continue alternating like that to the end. It is like chain piecing except for the alternating. (I’d been doing it a while when I read all about it in one of Weeks Ringle’s books–she calls it “Leap Frogging.”) When I have only one long string, I make two strings each of half the row, and mark them clearly.
I find the pin markers necessary because when I get interrupted, I don’t always remember which end should be joined to the next square or which side I have in my hand and which under the needle. And you know we can’t plan interruptions to be convenient. I leave the pins in place till the row(s) is attached to the quilt.
So six rows later, and the top is finished, ready to go into that black hole called “To be quilted.”