Group Project: 9 Cuts

It all started with Thomas Knauer‘s Quilt Design Coloring Workbook. The small group in my modern quilt guild that focuses on design was working on some of the starters. One in the ‘Chance and Intuition in Modern Art’ suggested seeing how many shapes we could make by drawing 9 lines. One member made a block using 9 cuts of random fabrics.

From that the idea morphed to make a group quilt.  Each would have two fat quarters of the same fabric, one a background color and one a print. Each would add a third coordinating fat quarter of their choice. Basically we would make a cut, then shift top fabric to bottom on one piece, then either cut again or seam. Eight times.  We saved the 9th for when we would get together.  Here are my three blocks.

We had a sew day yesterday.  I wish I had thought to get a photo of each person’s blocks; however, we were too into next step planning. We set aside one of each set to keep whole, then piled two stacks of three and one of four and made the 9th cut, shifted one piece and added small insert strips of accent colors. We did this to better distribute the colors.

Next we had a discussion of whether to trim to standard squares the size of the longest possible edge on the smallest block or to trim each block’s four sides to the largest they could be. We did the latter.

Here is an early layout.

2 early layout

Of course much rearranging followed. And since the blocks were not all the same size, much measuring as well. We added varying amounts of blue on the sides of each block and  blue wherever it was needed to get to a straight seam across.

And here is the top, all but the final border to get it to twin size.

2 top sans bordr

It was quite fun. If you plan to try something similar, be forewarned that it took a lot of time. We started at 10ish, took a lunch break, and packed up  a little after 6.  Early on we had two sewing machines, then three. But often we had to wait to see a row before making final decisions on the next row. Or a third seam couldn’t be sewn till we got a piece back from its second seam. We used some of the waiting time for math but some was just waiting.

I’ll be linking with Ad Hoc Improv Quilters and Tuesday Colour Linky Party (buttons in sidebar).



Filed under quilting

10 responses to “Group Project: 9 Cuts

  1. That does sound like fun! And I like your blocks. I look forward to seeing the “finished” quilt 🙂

  2. I love how this turned out! Thanks for the heads up that it is time consuming. It sure looks like fun, though 🙂

  3. Betty Colburn

    As a member of the group, I say: It was great focused fun. I think we all learned a lot about each other’s ways of thinking about quilt design and construction.

  4. Improv is interesting when you let one aspect completely take control. In this case, the cutting process has produced a degree of spontaneity I think would have been difficult if you’d been exclusively driven by colour or layout. I like it a lot!

  5. What a fun project! I really like how it turned out, I think you made the right choice by adding all the blue.

  6. dezertsuz

    What an interesting idea. I really liked your blocks, and then seeing them all come together was so interesting. You clever quilters!

  7. Carol E.

    I love it, and the process sounds fun.

  8. Cher Smith

    great creative fun!! and loved all the photos

  9. This is awesome. I was so impressed by Thomas Knauer’s quilts at the Houston Q festival last year – I also had a nice chat with him. I got that book a few months ago. Your post motivates me to try out some exercises.

  10. I love this idea! What a great way to make a group quilt. Thanks so much for sharing on Clever Chameleon, I’m saving this idea for a future date. 🙂

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