Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sixth Times the Charm Crib Quilt - Alternative Piecing Method

on my table

When a friend noticed I was making the Sixth Time's the Charm Crib Quilt from Handmade Beginnings, she sent me a heads up that it creates a big lot of scraps.  I asked her if she were to make it again, would she do it different? Her hearty affirmative was the push I needed to create an alternative piecing method

Anna Maria Horner readily admits that this quilt creates lots of scraps.  In fact, she even has another project in the book, the Nappy Scrap Pillow, that is designed to make good use of those scraps.  But, I have no desire to make a pillow for this particular nursery, and I really, really hate making lots of pieced scraps.  Pieced scraps just aren't very versatile.

If you follow Anna's directions in her book, you make three rectangles from your fabric strips and then fold and cut those to make two triangles from each rectangle.  At the end of the day, you'll have six usable triangles, plus the equivalent of more than three triangles worth of pieced scraps.  Yowzers.

To minimize extra piecing, I created my triangles via this alternative template method.

the making

First I calculated the desired finished dimensions of the triangles.  Next I created a triangle template guide for piecing.  Unfortunately, my cutting mat is not big enough, so I made the triangle template on my dining table using a carpenter's tape measure and my 60 degree ruler.  This was much easier than I thought it would be! 

happy triangle template

Double checking each corner with my ruler ensured a perfect equilateral triangle. 

Piecing Sixth Time's the Charm w/Template

When the triangle was roughly pieced, I aligned the bottom straight edge to the bottom edge of the triangle template and secured it with masking tape.  I stabilized the rest of the triangle with a bit more tape, since my table in slippery. 

cutting for my template method

Using my ruler and fabric pencil, I traced the desired edge of the triangle on top of my work.  Then, it was as simple as sliding in my mini cutting mat and making the cut along the pencil mark.

At first I was fairly paranoid that I would mess up the triangle angles.  But, after the first one came out correct, I relaxed and started enjoying the process.  I pieced all four larger triangles required by the pattern on Sunday using the template method.

cutting a la the book

Today I decided to piece the remaining two triangles (which are a slightly different size) via the method outlined in the book.  I was surprised to see that it really wasn't faster because of the time spent piecing large sections that weren't even needed.  I was also pretty nervous when cutting the triangle shape out of the large rectangle that I would cut the wrong angle, ruining my work in one fell swoop. But, happily, that did not happen.  (And apparently, triangles make me nervous.)

Scraps from Sixth Time's the Charm Quilt

After trying both  methods, I would 100% go with my triangle template method if I were to make this quilt again.  I don't know that one method is simpler than the other - that's not it.  I just don't like to do more piecing and cutting than is necessary, regardless of whatever future uses those pieced scraps may inspire.

P.S.  I have not included the desired finished dimensions of these triangles out of respect for Ms. Horner.  If you'd like to make this quilt, please reference a copy of her book.  There are many lovely projects inside.  It is my go to book when sewing baby gifts!


  1. I am wanting to make this quilt this summer...but I think I'll have you over in "real time" to show me your method...I can't stand all that fabric waste!

  2. What a great idea! Thanks! I purchased her book for this quilt, and hadn't gotten around to making it yet! Glad you did and that your friend's idea worked so well!! :)

  3. I haven't tried this pattern because of all of the scraps it creates (as if I need more) but this method fixes that problem! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Great job, Rachel! You explained it so well!

  5. Genius! You've made it more like a spider web block! A really big one, but that's great!

  6. Angela, It totally looks like a spider web. Now I'm going to feel bad cutting it down to a rectangle, but I'm going for it. I love the look!

  7. lovely! I think I would try to do the same thing but would make some crazy mistake, ahahah.

  8. brilliant! so glad you gave another method a go.

  9. This is hilarious! My friend just had her Engineer husband re-work this pattern to avoid waste! We're making two of these quilts together and cannot bear the thought of wasting so much fabric. Great to see we're not alone!

  10. I made this quilt a couple of months ago (http://www.fromroseavenue.blogspot.com/) , and decided that the next time I would skip sewing the strips into rectangle and instead piece them over a marked out triangle shape. There are a lot of leftover pieced bits waiting to be made into more projects. So far one baby quilt made with them. :)

  11. I have the book and want to make the quilt one day but th amount of scraps created is a little daunting - it's a lot of fabric that may never be reused. I'll have to file away this method and I have GOT to buy one of those triangle templates!

  12. thanks for the tip! definintely dont want to cut away that much scrap fabric! although.. if you need a place for that 'extra' ive got the perfect location here on my fabric shelf. ;)

  13. Thanks for the tip, and I appreciate your respect for AMH's original pattern. Very cool of you.

  14. thanks so much for that tip, I have the book, have cut out my strips and something wasn't sitting right with me. I googled and found you- and your beautiful finished quilt and now, things are better in my world and I can 'carry on'. Thanks

  15. Great job! You explained it so well!

  16. Someone was destashing the book on Etsy so I bought it. Can't wait to see all the fun baby things I'll be able to sew :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails