Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Making of an LA Dodger

My nephew and his partner love the Los Angeles Dodgers.  When my nephew was a little boy playing baseball, he worried about which position he would play for the Dodgers.  It wasn't a questions of if he could possibly become a member; it was a question of what he would be doing when he plays.  So when I asked them what they would like for their first child's quilt, they of course said "Dodger-themed."

Do you know how difficult it is to find MLB fabric this time of year?  Even in California there wasn't any cottons nor flannel Dodger fabric.  Online, I could find fleece, but very little affordable fabric.  Since I didn't want a fleece-backed quilt for this one, I decided to make a quilt with a top that is made of Dodger colors.  When I came across some Dodger flannel on eBay, I ordered it.

The pattern I selected is a simple scrappy 9-patch.  It's not a large quilt--maybe 40x56--so it only took about 400-2.5 inch squares.  I just used scraps.  Someone who just started quilting asked me if I had enough scraps to do this?  And I laughed because it didn't make a dent in the scraps I have hanging around.  The only pieces of fabric that are from stash are those for the sashing and the binding.  

One of the easiest patterns is a 9-patch.  This pattern calls for 20 blocks for the center piece and 18 for the border.  The center pieces are five-brights and four low-tones.  Using Dodger colors of light and dark blues (with a splash of red and grey) along with white, I built the scrappy center blocks.  I mixed in creams and neutral tones with the whites.

After ironing the blocks, I stuck them up on my "design board" to see the layout.  My "design board" is simply a felt-backed plastic picnic tablecloth that I glued onto a round curtain rod.  I stick it up on my china hutch when I want to use it.  Otherwise, it is wrapped around the curtain rod and tucked away in the closet.

Speaking of blocks, have you ever sewn the wrong end to the blocks and don't notice it until you are ironing the blocks?  And do you also, like me, notice it but iron it anyway in hopes that the error is not really there when you turn it over?  No?  Well that just the way my mind rolls ;)  Then I have to uniron it, unsew it, and put it together correctly.

Once I got the center to something I want, I started working on the border blocks.  They are easier to put together because they consist of one bright color and the rest are low-tones and neutrals. The four corner blocks are all neutrals and low-tones.  

Now it is ready to put together.  I sometimes get confused as to which block goes where when I am taking pieces from the design board.  See my "studio" takes up three rooms in the house: the dining room where the design board is hanging, the kitchen where the ironing board is waiting, and the sewing/desk area on the other side of the kitchen.  I usually think I won't get confused and just carry them.  Other times I get smart and number the pieces (which takes way too much time so I only do it this way when it is imperative that the design is exact), make note of the order in which I remove them and only take off a little at a time, or my newest trick is to take a photo of them.  Regardless, something always gets out of order so I try to make sure it doesn't matter :)

A bit of putting together and TaDa!  I have a finished top, waiting for the flannel backing to arrive.  Wouldn't it be cool if it came today or tomorrow and I could finish this quilt to take it with me when I leave for southern California on Friday?

So that's the way I create a Los Angeles Dodger.  



Lynn W. said...

Lovely Dodger quilt even without official Dodger fabric.

One helper hint for mixing up rows (and even that isn't foolproof) involves using some of those lovely white selveges and cutting them into 3/4" or so pieces and pinning the row number on the first block of each row. Now in order not to have to redo this for every quilt I put them in a small container in the basket with my threads. I had enough "sets" for 5 quilts until figured out a reasonable place to stash them. It still isn't foolproof because yesterday I sewed row 2 to row 1. Just sayin ~~

Leslie Peterson said...

Very nice--good quilt for a dodger fan.

Scrappy quilter said...

Very nice quilt. I really like the design as well as the colors.