I’ve been branching out more in what type of quilts I’m tackling these days, and I’ll admit that I got sucked into the My Small World quilt frenzy, which rather surprised me! The pattern is by Jen Kingwell, and features in the Spring Special edition of Quilt Mania, photo at the top on the back cover. There are 2 language versions of this, French and English, but the good news is that the English versions seem to be hanging out in many good newsagents and bookshops in the UK and North America (and no doubt other countries too, I just haven’t seen any mentioned), and if they’re not available near you, you can find it online easily enough.
The only thing is that at 33” x 52” it’s quite small, and I really like to sleep under my quilts, so the only way to go, in my mind, was to ‘supersize’ it by increasing the size of all my pieces to bring it up to a desired width, and then repeat a bunch more blocks at the bottom to get the required height because frankly the idea of just making a zillion more teeny blocks to add to the top nearly made my head explode ;o) I happened to mention this on IG and was asked if I would post some tips on how to go about it, so here goes!
These first bits I’ve discovered about the pattern will cover any size of the quilt, and some are actually editorial errors:
- In the cutting instructions, the letters are not in order, so don’t panic if you find you’ve suddenly leapt up a large chunk of the alphabet!
- The text instructions show the size of fabric to cut, the images show the finished size of the piece and the templates are the finished size. What this means is that you’ll see different numbers next to the lettered sections between the images and the cutting instructions, don’t panic, it’s deliberate! For the templates, you need to remember to add your ¼” seam allowance all around.
- The image for Diagram 9 is missing, or rather Diagram 8’s image is actually repeated under 9. To see the image of Diagram 9, check out the bottom left hand section of Diagram 10 or check out this link on the Quilt Mania site
- In Diagram 12, the centres of the churn dash blocks should be B squares, not A squares – this is wrong in both the cutting instructions and image, but has been corrected in the later churn dash blocks in Part 6
- There is a typo in the cutting instructions for Diagram 17 – it should be AP not P (it’s labelled correctly in the image)
- In the cutting instructions for Diagram 29, BO is mentioned twice at 2 different sizes, the second one should actually be an AK
- The template for piece BF is missing its label, it’s the largest semicircle
My next suggestion would be to review all the templates and work out if you actually need them to be templates, or if you can make them up another way. For example there are a number of HSTs in there, so you could actually make them using the 2 square method for extra stability rather than sewing the bias edges which could stretch out of shape. If you need a review of appropriate HST sizes, then I have a tutorial here which has a calculation table up to 8” finished. There’s also a few flying geese units in there as well, and again I have a tutorial here with calculations up to 4” x 8”, and for the QSTs I have a tutorial here with calculations up to 8″ finished. Finally, there’s a few bits that are totally Sizzix friendly (or presumably Accucut friendly, sorry, I don’t use that system to be able to definitively tell you), so you could cut out your LV ‘sky’ pieces a lot more quickly than by hand, for example. I’ve never bought a quilting die for my Sizzix before (having bought it long ago for paper, and then upgraded the machine for making bag embellishments) because I don’t normally ‘do’ lots of repeated little cut bits of fabric, but I weighed up whether or not my time was worth more than £11.99 for a square die and decided that it definitely was! I’m sure I’ll use it again anyway, and the clamshell had been needing an excuse to leap into my basket…
So how to supersize it… I suggest you do the next bit in a spreadsheet, you can do this on the computer or old school on a piece of paper, whatever works for you.
- To start with you need to establish how much bigger you want to make it. For the ease of maths I would suggest making it a whole number, but if working in 1/16ths of an inch floats your boat, I’m certainly not going to stop you increasing the size by 1.67 or something like that!
- Now you will need a column in your spreadsheet for the original FINISHED size of each lettered piece. In the next column you will need to work out the adjusted FINISHED size. You need to use the FINISHED size rather than the cut size because you’re not increasing your seam allowance too. Do you think I got enough capitalised ‘finished’s in there to make a point?! I doubled the size of all my pieces so for example where A was originally a 2” finished square, my A is now a 4” finished square. Once you’ve worked out the finished size, you can work out the cut size by adding ½” to the measurement for each side to take account of the ¼” seam allowance all around, so my A square is cut at 4 ½”.
- For my templates I carefully traced them all from the magazine (as I find photocopying thick magazines leads to distortion near the spine), then I scanned the tracing into my computer and went over all the lines in Illustrator before doubling the size of each piece. That might be slight overkill, you could probably just as easily photocopy the tracing at 200% or whatever your chosen size is. Note that if you go up to 200% you will need A3 sized template plastic rather than A4 size in order to fit some of the larger arch pieces on.
- I then went through and worked out how many of each piece I needed for each section for each type of object, eg LV for the sky, green for grass, all the buildings, windows, roofs etc. You can skip this bit if you like flying by the seat of your pants, but I just like to know what I’m doing up front, not least to see if I need to round up more fabric than I have planned for the quilt.
Since I doubled the size of mine, here’s the Sizzix dies that I bought to save my sanity:
The final part will be to decide exactly which blocks you want to repeat to make it long enough. For mine, I’ve worked out that I need it to be half as long again, but that’s the bit I haven’t quite got to in my spreadsheet yet!
I hope that made sense to you. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to be sharing the measurements etc online that I’ve done for mine because if I do that then people could bypass buying the pattern, and, well, apart from breaking copyright laws, pattern designers need to eat too! Also, I’ve made up a few hybrid blocks to make things easier for me that do not tie into the pattern letters exactly, and that would probably confuse you (I’m not entirely certain it won’t confuse me!)
Here’s the 3 fabric lines I’ll be embracing for this QAL, which are absolutely not my normal style, but I figure if I’m embracing new quilts, I can embrace new fabrics too ;o)
They play together nicely IRL, I promise!
So are you joining in the QAL? Are you going for the original size, or are you supersizing yours too?