Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Mixed Bag, Chevron Quilt… Fun & Done!


A few weeks ago, Moda happened to have a colorful header on their website: a segment of  colorful chevrons from the Mixed Bag quilt kit. 

The geometric shape, the modern prints, and the unique design of the quilt… beckoned me…


Well, I couldn’t resist.  I ordered jelly rolls & binding, and 4 soft & cozy brushed flannels for quilt backs.


Sitting there on my cutting table, the cheerful fabric begged me to put everything aside, and start stitching!


I started with the free Moda pattern.  Find it here.

My experience with this quilt reminds me of one of my favorite websites,  Allrecipes.com.  People post recipes, then readers comment/rate the recipes.  Except, the comment section is usually pretty humorous, reading something like, “I really liked this cookie recipe.  Five stars!  I did make a couple of minor substitutions though… I didn’t have any crisco, so I used butter.  I thought two cups of flour was too much, so I only used 1 1/2 cups. I added 1/2 cup of applesauce rather than all that sugar.  And, I didn’t have chocolate chips, so I used walnuts and raisins.  My family loved these cookies.  Great recipe!”

What?  You made a whole new recipe!

Anyway, I digress.  I did make a whole new recipe for this quilt.  I had to.   Imagine this.  Two jelly rolls= 80 strips.  The free pattern only uses 62 strips.  What about the other strips?  I sure wasn’t throwing them out…And, the moda pattern wasted a bit too much from the individual strips too.  By cutting carefully, I was able to increase the chevron wedge length  from 12” to 13.” 

The result?  My quilt top measures 72” x 76” (instead of 49 1/2” x 59 1/2”).


Mixed bag kits are now available with a “supersize” option… we’ll add an extra 1 1/2 yards of backing and 1/4 yard of binding (for a total of 5 yards backing, 3/4 yards binding)… and you’ll be all set for a 72” x 76” quilt, if you wish.  It only increases the price by $18, yet nearly doubles the size of the quilt.  Click here for quilt kits.

Oh… one more thing.  I strip pieced this quilt.  It took me a little bit to figure out the best way to do so, but I am sure glad I did. I saved a ton of time, and the quilt came together really nicely, even with all those bias edges.

Some tips:

1.) To strip piece, make sets of 6 jelly roll strips offset by about 2” (I know, my ruler shows a 2.5” offset, but I figured out later on that a 2” offset was plenty.  Be sure that you press strip sets really well.  Use half the jelly roll strips (36) to make 6 strips sets in one alignment, the use the other half to make mirror image strip sets (offset the opposite way).


2.) Once you have 12 strip sets (6 of each orientation), subcut into chevron wedges.  The pattern calls for each wedge to measure 12” at the base.  Cut carefully, and you can actually get three 13” wedges from each strip set.  (Though we used a big 45 degree specialty ruler, you can easily cut these wedges with a regular ruler as shown in the pattern.) 

BTW, if you want this large 45 degree triangle ruler, and live in Bismarck/Hettinger, we will happily sell you one. Smile Sorry, we worry it will break if shipped in the mail).Sad smile  You could also order it from QIAD, find it here.

3.)  Arrange wedges into rows.  Aim for random fabric placement.  Assemble four rows of each orientation, 30 strips per row.



4.) As you join the chevron wedges, offset the 45 degree tips by 1/4.” Your needle should fit right in the crook of that little “V”  as you begin your seam.   Follow the pattern instructions, paying special attention to pressing seam allowances correctly.


5.) Once you join your chevrons into rows, you’ll begin to sew rows together.  Handle carefully… these bias edges want to stretch!  As you join the rows, no need to pin.  Simply lock your seams together as you sew the rows, by gently pressing the fabrics into position with your fingertips.


6.) When you press these seams, you’ll have perfect points.


7.) The quilt top ends up with a Zig-Zag edge.  It’s heartbreaking, but this edge is trimmed off to a square edge

Matthew & Aimee declared the quilt top “fun & done!”



My favorite print in this collection is the little origami shapes.  I’m embarrassed to admit that I was well into piecing this project before I noticed them. Surprised smile  (Look closely at the light blue stripe!


I’ m thinking this quilt will be a great addition to Matthew’s Hettinger bedroom.  We just got him these sheets and big fuzzy orange blanket from Target for Christmas…

Matthew chose the grey hexagons for the backing.  I was secretly wishing for that choice.  He has excellent taste in fabric!





TaDa!  Another quilt top ready to go to for quilting.  Let me know if you have any questions about my tips…

Oh, one more thing… We have fat quarters bundles and layer cakes of MIXED BAG.  Find them here and here.

Happy Quilting!

~ Laura