Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Postage Stamp Table Cloth Take 1

Monday's request for motivation was to start my new table cloth.  Using the directions from Oh Fransson I got started. 

For my tablecloth, I need it to be bigger than 30" by 48".  (Love how exact I am?) That's the table top size.  I have been finding everything from 2" to floor length overhangs.  I've decided that it doesn't really matter and I'll make that part up as I get there.  Oh Fransson used 100 2"X2" squares for her blocks and ended up with blocks that are roughly 15" square.  So - going with 2 of those across and 3 down, I will cover the top of the table.  Add in some sashing between the blocks and a boarder, I will have a good sized table cloth.  Right?  ?  ? 

So - if I need 6 blocks (3 green ones and 3 blue ones) then I need 600 2" squares.  That's alot of squares!  I need 300 in each color scheme.  I have 6 fabrics in each color scheme which means I need 50 squares in each color.  If each square is 4 square inches (2"x2" - remember way back to junior high math...), and I need 50 - then I need to have at least 200 square inches of each fabric.  You can break 200 into 20x10 - which means you need a piece of fabric which is 20"x10" (or many other combinations of numbers which multiply to 200).  I quickly measured my washed and ironed fat quarters and they happily met those measurements.  So - I was good to go.

The first challenge was to figure out how to cut 2" strips without going crazy.  I did some thinking, I did some googling and I finally remember what I learned in Geological Mapping and Cross Sections and used 2 rulers!  I need to get a second ruler that's long enough to cut the strips because I still had to move both rulers and line them up each time.  That's OK though - it's just motivation to figure out which width of long ruler I need to buy next!

To cut each strip into 2" squares, I used 2 rulers.  This time I was able to keep the top ruler stationary, and just slide the bottom ruler along each time.  You might ask why I didn't just use the grids on my cutting mat...  That would be a really good question.  The main reason is that I have a really hard time keeping my fabric aligned with the grids for some reason.  Anyway, if you do it my way, then just make sure that the long edge of your fabric stays lined up with one of the lines on your moving ruler.  Then cut in 2" increments. 

 Then I needed a pressing board.  I took my warping board (used for dyeing yarn) and covered one side of it with 2 layers of home dec weight fabric.  Oh Fransson used batting, but I didn't have any that was wide enough and it seemed like way too much work to cut and piece batting so I decided to see what would happen.  It seems to work well.  I have no complaints.

 Next I needed to make my grid.  I thought I'd get clever and use a print out of 2" squares.  Truthfully?  It wasn't worth it.  I used it to make my first time (with my long ruler) and that was it.  After that I just used right angles and my long ruler to draw parallel 20" long lines which were 2 inches apart. 

 Here it is.  At first I spent alot of time trying to get all the lines perfectly straight.  But the muslin stuck to the pressing board fabric and it was a HUGE PITA!!!!  So I stopped...  I figured I'd come up with something after. 

Here are my 6 nice stacks of squares ontop of the fusible interfacing and you can see the muslin grid showing through.

So - I forgot to take a pic part way through of laying out the fabrics.  What I did was to take 100/6 = 16.66667 and decide that I was going to need 16 or 17 of each fabric.  I counted those out.  Then I picked one and started putting them down randomly.  This is where the squares on the muslin were REALLY useful.  I wouldn't try this project without some kind of grid.  I roughly followed the movement of a Knight from chess.  And that seems to have worked well.  I did keep back 1 or 2 squares from each fabric to use to fill gaps later on so that I didn't end up with 2 of the same fabric next to each other. 

Once it was filled, I took my time and carefully adjusted each piece so that it was in line with it's neighbors.  I think this step was vital. 

 Here it is after sewing my first set of seams, cutting them open and then ironing them. 

And my super excited picture of my "rectangle" block.

And it's all done.  The second set of seams went well.  Cutting them open got faster.  And it was so gratifying to iron it open and then turn it over to see my creation.

I'm really enjoying the modular nature of this project.  I now have 1 finished block and the squares to do 2 more.  But, I don't have to do them right away.  I can store the squares in bags and work on it more in awhile.  I am getting alot of hope for quilt plans.  I like the idea that I could put together a block when I have scraps available and not have to do the whole quilt at once. 


  1. I made a pillow using this technique, and I found the process so tedious! I wanted to try making some more pixelated style pillows, but I'm finding it hard to motivate myself. ;)
    I love the greens!

    1. It's funny. The 1st block went so fast and was really exciting. The 2nd and 3rd have taken longer. But, it's a fun break kind of project.