For our April scrappy project, I thought it would be fun to do a kid's quilt. And make (or learn to make) Prairie Points! This project leans a little toward the girlie side, but we'll discuss a slight variation that works great for a boy. Anyway, I wanted to give you a little advance notice so you would have plenty of time to plan your fabrics.
The main design/block for this quilt will be a rail fence (with only 3 rails), like this:
This is a great "skill builder" block because you need to use an accurate 1/4" seam to ensure that you end up with a 6-1/2" square (unfinished) block. After the first few blocks, you should have your 1/4" seam perfect and then just breeze through the rest of the blocks!
This quilt also has 2 sections with a little bit of applique. Each of these sections will replace 3 of the rail fence blocks, so if you're adamantly opposed to applique, you can just make more of the blocks or even substitute a larger piece of the focus fabric.
The planning part should be really fun! To help us pick which fabrics from our stash we'll use, we first want to find a "focus fabric". This will be a fabric with all the colors that will appear in the quilt. There will be more pieces of this fabric than any other fabric. You can select your focus fabric in one of two ways - decide what colors you want to use and look for a fabric with all those colors in it; or find a colorful fabric you like and then match your scraps to the colors in that piece.
Note: If you struggle with putting colors together, this method can be an enormous help. Finding a fabric with the colors you want to use gives you a palette to work from. Fabric designers are very skilled at putting colors together. They know all about using the proper hues and tints and all that stuff. You don't even have to use the focus fabric in your project! You could use it only to help select your fabrics, if you want. In that case the print doesn't matter - just the colors.
For this project you should have at least 3 colors to work with. And we'll be using our focus fabric in this project so you'll probably need somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 yard of it. Try to select your focus fabric with a white or cream or other neutral background. That neutral background color will be used for the applique blocks and also for a small border.
I knew I wanted pink and orange, so I started looking for a focus fabric with those colors. I chose this fabric that also has green:
Then I went through my stash and pulled all my pink, orange and green fabrics. From those stacks, I selected the ones that were whimsical and kid-like. Then I laid each one on my focus fabric and kept all the ones that matched or coordinated well with it. I ended up with this pile:
I tossed a few out when I started cutting because I didn't think they were whimsical enough. When I first started sewing them together, I wasn't sure they were coordinating well. But then I reminded myself that the designers know what they're doing and I that I should keep going. After just a few more blocks, I really liked how it was starting to look.
Here's the finished quilt:
This is a great beginner quilt - it's pretty simple and the Prairie Points add a lot of "cute" to it!
Come back here next month for all the details on making this easy quilt. (For more info on scrappy projects in our 12 X 12 series, click here.)