“HopScotch” aka Quickie Top #1

by Stephanie on May 26, 2011

in HopScotch,layout decisions,My Design Process

HopScotch quilt top

This is the “quick-and-easy” quilt top I threw together two weeks ago when my sewing brain needed a break from Blockapalooza complexity. (I had to wait for the ‘palooza thing to come off the design wall before getting a photo, hence the delay in posting about this.) It was partly inspired by these small quilts, which are appealing, but there are limits to how far in the simplistic direction I can force my normally over-the-top inclinations to go.

If plain WOF (width-of-fabric) rows wouldn’t do it, I considered making something like this, which I have drooled over in the Kaffe Fassett book mentioned in Jane’s post. Another version here .

I liked the varied-height row idea, and the make-it-wider than WOF aspect, and wanted to take it one step farther. I came up with something new by pulling a bunch of prints from the stash, and cutting 2 WOF strips at 2.5″, or 4.5″, and/or 6.5″ from each print. From each fabric I cut one shorter and one longer piece (don’t remember lengths off the top of my head), and some squares. This was fodder for random 2″, 4″, and 6″ (finished height) rows, each interrupted by some squares of a different fabric.

The squares form a wobbly column, because on the finished 4″ rows the squares section is 20″ wide (5 squares x 4″). On the 2″ and 6″ rows, the squares section is only 18″ wide (9 squares x 2″ and 3 squares x 6″). Here’s a detail shot to illustrate how that works:

The 20″ wide squares section on all the 4″ rows line up with each other. But the 2″ and 6″ rows (with squares sections only 18″ wide) each line up with the 4″ rows on either the right or left side of the squares section. That’s why the untrimmed sides of the top (see first pic, above) are ragged.

My sister pointed out that the structure of this layout would be a lot easier to see with more contrast. And she’s right, but I used this a random jumble of prints on purpose. I like obscuring the details, so at first glance it’s clear that something is going on, but a closer look is required to reveal how the layout works.

That said, I would like to play with stronger contrast and limited colors on another of these some day. I think it would be nice in all blues and purples, for example.

Since I already have way too many WIPs piled up, a tonal version of this one will have to wait. In the meantime, I’m calling this one “HopScotch” because it reminds me of this . I’ve already put together a back, including a fun label…

pieced quilt label

… and I got it pin-basted on Sunday afternoon, so it’s ready to quilt.

My plan is to try out a different quilting pattern/motif/whatever on each row (repeats allowed), partly just for fun, and partly to practice free-motion doodling. It’s around 66″x80″ , so plenty of opportunities to play around.  If all goes well I’ll start quilting this before the long weekend is over. You may be able to see that I bravely stated “May-June 2011″on the label, in hopes I’ll get finished before the end of next month. We’ll see if trying to shame trick myself into productivity works.

BTW, this one is aka “Quickie Top #1” because I cut a whole bunch of fabric strips without planning how many of what size and print up front. This resulted in a good-sized pile of unused and end-of-strip pieces left over. So I made a different(smaller) top from the leftovers. I’ll show you that one, too, real soon.

I’m thinking of writing up a tutorial for “HopScotch” (with more/better pics, maybe a diagram, perhaps when I do a tonal version?), and would love some reader feedback on that idea. Is it worth my time to write up a tute? Is this design appealing enough that someone else might like to make it, too? Or does it look like one of the cats ate my stash and barfed all over the design wall?

My curious mind wants to know, and your opinion will influence my future projects/priorities decisions, so I hope you’ll leave a note in the comments…


1 Alison May 26, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Very effective….love all those florals together, looking quite tropical

2 kathleen May 27, 2011 at 5:11 am

It’s so pretty – I’d love to see a tutorial.

3 Cathy May 28, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Yes, I see the structure of the layout and I like the movement in it. I can also imagine the stash fabric I will use. I appreciate quickies 😉 so maybe, just maybe, this one won’t languish in the WIP pile at all – so please post the tutorial. Thanks, Stephanie.

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