Minecraft Quilt

Last November, I started piecing a quilt using a free pattern by Kelli Fannin. I appreciate the generous sharing of such a great pattern, design, and instructions. The Minecraft quilt front is made of 12″inch blocks representing the characters in this video game. Fat quarters of the Minecraft colors were used to make the blocks. The blocks and the sashing were fun and easy to make.
The major problem that I had was when it was time to sew the rows of blocks together. I sewed the top three rows together, and then sewed the last two rows as a section. When I went to sew the bottom rows section to the top section, I realized that the bottom section was wider than the top section. I do not know where the mistake was made. I checked and re-checked the sizes of the blocks and the sashing, and all resulted in the correct measurements. It was so frustrating. This was right before the Christmas  holidays, so, I packed everything in a box and put it away for a better day.
In mid-January, I pulled everything out and started problem solving. I did not want to rip and redo. A bit of trimming helped to make things more square, but the bottom was still wider than the top. I could not cut anymore without damaging the face on the blocks. I put my Math Hat on and started making calculations for taking in seams without having to rip all of the seams. When I had some numbers with which to work, I took the quilt sections to the Mesquite Bean. I knew I would get some excellent advice. Nancy works at the Mesquite Bean, and she is one of my go-to people. We brainstormed and she showed me how I could take in a bit of each seam from the bottom section to make the blocks and sashing line up correctly. There were also other quilters in the store who gave their two cents of information and ideas. I love the way quilters are so willing to help. I know that Nancy likes chocolate chip cookies, so I made sure she got some the next time I went to visit her at the shop.
After the top was pieced, I started piecing the dragon for the backing. The dragon was made in three sections. The challenge with the dragon was the number of small pieces in different colors. The pieces ranged in sizes from 1.5″ to 7.7″ x 24″. Once the dragon was completed, the next problem was building a backing above, below, and on the sides of the dragon section. Once again, I put on my Math Hat. Then I went to Nancy for her to check my numbers. I also needed some fabric for the binding. I had bought some yardage of a licensed Minecraft Fabric. There was not enough for the whole backing, so I had to piece. Even though this was a quilt filled with challenges, I ended up enjoying making this quilt. I always used to tell my students that it is fun to learn, and I found this quilt to be a fun learning process. Now, I have to sew the binding…not my favorite part. But, I cannot wait to see the faces of the recipients of this quilt.

Never Say Never

One of the quilts I made in my first year of piecing quilts, was a Darth Vadar quilt. This quilt was made of over 200 squares that were 2.5″. I was happy with the results, but upon completion, I said, “Never again!” Piecing such small squares with accuracy, when it was only about the third or fourth quilt I ever pieced, was absolutely challenging. Well, how soon we forget!
Last November, I began piecing a Minecraft quilt. The free pattern is by Kelli Fannin. My hat is off to Kelli! She designed such intricate and true to character blocks. She captured the dimension quality of the Minecraft game. The blocks are designed to resemble the characters of the game. The 12.5″ blocks were easy enough to make. Kelli also designed a pattern for the Ender Dragon. She used this piece as part of the backing. I decided to give it a try. The sections for the dragon were made of pieces running the gamut of sizes from 1.5″ squares to 7.5″ x 24.5″ squares. Cutting, sorting, and organizing and keeping track of the pieces just about did me in. I cut and pieced only one section at a time. It took me three days, one for each of the sections. I just about called it quits today, when I realized I had sewn in a row in the wrong spot. After a coffee break, I got back to it. I am happy to say I finished the dragon.
Now, I have to figure out how to finish piecing the back. My original plan was to make more character blocks that Kelli provides. However, I thought that this might distract from the dragon being a focal point. Also, I am a bit tired of cutting the tiny pieces that are required in making more character blocks. I had purchased some Minecraft fabric that might be enough to use to frame the dragon. I have pieced a backing for some of my quilts, but usually, the pieces were all the same size. The dragon is about 5 inches shorter than the width of the quilt. Then, I have to account for the extra fabric for quilting. I have crunched some numbers, but I am still unsure as to what to do. My best bet is to visit my friends at the Mesquite Bean and ask for help. On Tuesdays, they have an open sewing room in the back. There will be plenty of quilters ready and willing to give advice.