I shared my Zombie Ball quilt last week. Since Cotton Club is offering kits for this quilt I'm sharing a tutorial for how I made it. It's so simple that this won't take long at all!
If you are making this quilt I assume that you already know the basics of Paula Nadelstern's kaleidoscope techniques using templates and understanding symmetry of the fabric prints. I'm only going to be showing you things that are specific to this quilt.
The quilt is based on the Drunkard's Path block. Each block finished to 6". You can draft your own or do what I did and print out this one from Electric Quilt. If you draft your own draw a 6" square and then draw an arc with a 4 1/2" radius. Add 1/4" seam allowances to the pieces and you are ready to get started.
Well almost! First you have to create templates. You will need one for the quarter circle, one for the background and then a half-background for the 4 corner blocks. To make that one cut the background paper template in half on the diagonal and add seam allowance on the cut edge.
I have 1 new tip for using these plastic templates. If you make these quilts you already know that you have to make a template for every piece. While making this quilt I figured out how to reuse my templates! I use black Sharpie (or other permanent marker) on one side to mark the seam allowance and center on the diagonal. These lines will be used to position the template on the fabric. Flip the template over so that the black ink is against the fabric. Use another color Sharpie marker to mark the placement lines for each individual piece. After you have cut the 4 pieces for 1 ball erase the positioning marks with rubbing alcohol! I used 1 template for all 9 balls in this quilt.
I don't have an in process photo of me cutting out the balls but I used 2 colors of Wings and cut 4 identical pieces. You can see in the quilt photo how I positioned the colors to make it look like there was an orange overlay. I cut all 4 pieces for one block, cleaned the template and them cut the next one. I did this until I had 9 different balls. Just be aware of the template placement so that the diagonal center line of the template is on the center of a motif so that each piece is symmetrical on it's own.
The magic for this quilt comes in the background pieces because they are all cut from one fabric.
You will need 16 identical pieces for the center blocks. This photo shows you how I cut them from the middle of the fabric. This is why you need 2.5 yards! I did mark some postioning lines to make sure I kept the template straight. Because I was very careful with the alignment of the black and lime lines in the middle everything met up perfectly when the blocks went together a created a wonderful secondary pattern.
The 16 side blocks are cut from this part of the fabric. For these I did not mark guidelines. I cut a 6 1/2" strips making sure that the strip was centered. Cut 8 and then flip the template and cut 8 more. You need 8 mirror image pairs.
For the 4 corners you need to use the corner template and cut 4 on each side of the template because you need mirror images for this too.
The quilt is 6 blocks by 6 blocks. Here's a photo of part of it arranged and ready for sewing.
I pinned my blocks in the center, at the edges and once between the center and edges. I found that sewing them with the background piece on top was the easiest for me.
I spent three days looking at this quilt and trying to figure out the binding. Eventually I realized that it really didn't need (and wouldn't benefit from) binding.
I'm quick like that. Only 3 days!
A facing was the right answer because that print that I used in the outer blocks created the perfect edge. I used a different fabric for the facing because I had it but there's enough of the Cascade left to use that for the facing.
Tomorrow I'll share a tutorial for how I do a facing on a quilt.