I've spent the last two afternoons piecing together the red cross block variation quilt top requested by my niece-in-law for her soon-to-arrive little girl Emmy. Robin from my art group looked at the picture I'd been sent and said, "you can make this in an afternoon." Well, maybe SHE could, but she was mostly right. With the large pieces and no seams to match, it went quickly. Here you can see I am chain sewing as much as I can, having pinned my layout print next to the machine for reference. With only two colors and two shapes, it would be easy to get confused about the order when not completing one row completely at a time.
No need to draw arrows on my diagram to tell me which way to press my seams. As Eleanor Burns would say, "turn to the dark side", i.e. press seams toward the darker fabric. This avoids the possibility of shadowing through the lighter fabric. This may seem obvious to you, but I always get confused at first figuring out which way to place my sewn unit so that the seam does go to the dark side, can't visualize it. But it is really very simple. Whichever fabric you are pressing towards is the fabric that goes face up on the ironing board.
So here we are at the end of the first day's session, all rows complete and laid out in order. I have to say I'm finding that grey a very pretty one, almost silver. It's just a solid, and grey at that, and I didn't anticipate that I'd enjoy sewing with it as much as I do fabrics with "real" color. The next afternoon's session went quickly too. Even though there was no matching of seams, I still pinned along the length. The longer the seam, the greater the chance that one side will move under the presser foot at a different pace, leaving you with extra at the end of a seam that started out even. But the pins didn't need to be spaced closely and I could run the machine faster than I normally do - speed seaming! Seams were pressed towards the side with the most grey. And then it was time to think about quilting thread.
I laid a few ideas across the quilt top with the backing/binding fabric nearby. White would be the safest choice but the grey which matched the fabric might also work. But I really really want to add some color over the top. I want to do that. So I looked for a teal like is in the backing and found the Trilobal from my Superior Threads sampling order. Oh yeah - if it were MY quilt, that's what I would do. That bright orange on the left was also a possibility but would make a really bold statement. Time to check with the niece-in-law because, after all, she has been involved in the designing and fabric choice of this quilt from day one. I need to know what she wants to do. I couldn't be more delighted that she chose the teal! Time for one last good press, piecing of the backing and layering. Then the quilting can begin!