Sixteen Patch Determination

I’ve wanted to make a sixteen patch quilt out of Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics for a while now. So tonight I dug into my KFC scraps that I had cut into 2.5 inch WOF strips and put them into light and dark pairs. And then I sewed the first strip set and first block.

I’ve hesitated to dig into a sixteen patch quilt because I’ve never been very good at sewing straight strip sets and I thought it would be impossible to construct blocks that would go together well. But my sewing skills have improved and I’ve learned some tricks for making strip sets straighter, so I decided to dig in.

There were two other things that encouraged me to strike out and take on something that I thought would be more challenging for me. The first was that Liza Lucy posted on the KFC Facebook page that the pandemic is a perfect time to try something new and make something that is more challenging than what we usually make.

The second thing was that Wanda over at Exuberant Color has started another sixteen patch quilt and wrote a blog post about it today. I remembered that she had done a tutorial on making a sixteen patch quilt some time ago, so I found it and took a look earlier today.

This will be scrappy, which makes me very happy!

It makes me laugh that I was so tentative in striking out on a sixteen patch. It’s not like it’s really precise piecing or a really complicated pattern. I just wanted to make it well and didn’t feel that I was quite ready for the task.

The photo above is all the 2.5 inch WOF scraps I have, divided into light/dark sets of two. Below is a sliver of a view of the combos.

I remember reading somewhere that the pairs for a sixteen patch quilt don’t have to read light and dark compared to the other fabrics in the quilt, just to each other within one block. So some of these combos are close. It’s entirely possible that these pairs will change as I make more blocks. And rather than waiting until I have enough scraps of the values I need, it’s likely I’ll cut some fabric at some point to finish some blocks. I made a few black and white photos to see how my fabrics looked together and that made me make some changes and omit one fabric.

I’ve been really busy at work and with sheep herding lessons on the weekends and getting my Christmas cards and gift shopping done, so haven’t done much sewing in the last couple of weeks. I have two different sheep herding lessons in two different locations on Saturday, so that will take up most of the day.

I am planning on working on the sashing for my improv batik quilt this weekend so I can check that quilt top off.

The weather the last ten days or so has been glorious! But we’re heading into another rainy streak. Rain is really typical for us this time of year so the nice weather is really a treat. We had an absolutely amazing sunset last night.

I also felt the need for a little more light in my outdoor holiday display so I ordered these cute little trees online. They arrived today… about a week earlier than they were supposed to get here. So I got them assembled and put in the planter box after work tonight. I love them!

I’ve really enjoyed seeing all the pretty Christmas lights around my neighborhood on our evening walks.

A friend of mine sent me these flowers for my birthday two weeks ago. And they are still absolutely gorgeous! I’ve never had flowers last like these.

It’s so nice to have flowers in the house this time of year.

10 Replies to “Sixteen Patch Determination”

  1. I’ve made several 16 patch quilts and they are amazingly easy to make. Just be sure to nest your seams and next to no trimming. I’ve never done one with all Kaffe’s so that will be next. With your sense of color, I’m sure it will be spectacular! Don’t forget – all work and no play makes Annie a dull and cranky girl!

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    1. I”m usually pretty good at making sure I make time for me and the dogs. There are just some times at work that make that more difficult. The calendar year end is a huge month for fundraising and it’s a stressful time to get everything all ready to go. But I have an amazing team reporting to me, so they make it easier and keep me inspired.

      I think my sense of color will come into play on this quilt just based on the fabrics I’ve chosen to use in the past. Other than that, it will be quite random! But I’m guessing it will be fun when it’s all done.

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  2. I’m glad you are making a Kaffe 16 patch. It is a good one to practice straight seams on, no trimming of blocks when they are done. I’m going to do a Kaffe warm color one when I finish this cool color one. I do a lot of spontaneous pairing of fabrics when I start and sometimes change them when I get to the sewing machine.
    My birthday flowers lasted 2 weeks too and I was surprised. I think it has to do with the variety they put in the bouquets.

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    1. I was looking at your array of sixteen patch quilts last night on your blog. It’s got me inspired to try some different approaches once I get this one done. I love some of the lighter ones you’ve done. . . thinking it would be fun to use some pretty and light batiks for that approach. Thanks for the inspiration! And for the detailed tutorial Wanda!

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  3. You know the trick to these is always iron to the dark side!!! Your seams will nest perfectly! Easy peasy and off you go. When doing long straight seams I also like my quarter inch foot with the metal guide. I love how you match and check your colors! You have such a great eye with color and texture! Enjoy the herding weekend. Your boys are so much fun to watch. Thank you for sharing them!

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    1. You know, I used to use the foot with the guide and I like the one without the guide better. But I haven’t tried the guide for a couple years. I should probably try it again and see now it works for me. I think my bigger issue with strip sets has always been pressing. Donna Jordan (Jordan Fabrics) uses a metal ruler to line up her strip sets against prior to pressing. I bought one a couple years ago and it’s made a big difference. Ultimately, I just need to be more careful and mindful that everything is straight. The Exuberant Color tutorial is thorough on pressing the seams. So I think I’m on the right track there. It will be interesting to see how this eclectic mix of colors and patterns come together, but you know I LOVE a scrappy look!!!

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  4. Love how the 16-patch is coming along! It’ll be a beautiful finish. Also, thanks for introducing me to Wanda. I’ll enjoy following her quilting, too. Merry Christmas, Lea

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