Let's Make a QR Code Quilt - Step 2: Making the first three rows
Part 1 - Making your pattern is here. If you are just joining us, go back to that post and follow the directions to get your pattern!
You should have your pattern ready to go and your fabrics chosen. You need at least one very dark color and a white or off white. If you decide to go with a pastel color instead of the white, it has to be a very pale color so that it will read as white with your phone's camera.
I tweaked my pattern a bit from last week. So I started over.
This is the message that you will be able to read when you scan my code:
I'm using black as my dark for all of the dark. I am not mixing in colors there.
So now what?
Let me show you with mine.
1. First, mark off the sides of the pattern into a grid. Use a straight edge to make sure the lines correspond with the design squares. Use mine as an example.
2. Number your lines like I did.
Here are some pictures explaining it: (Think Ikea furniture construction! -they have lots of pictures with no words - for those of you who have never put together a piece of furniture purchased in boxes from Ikea.)
Mine is 41 pixels by 41 pixels. My finished squares will be 1"x 1", so the quilt will be 41"x41" when finished. I'll probably add a small border so that the edges don't get cut off as I tend to bind at 1/2" and not a tiny 1/4".
3. If you want a design in the background, go ahead and color it in now if you've not done it.
I wrote my sis and she suggested using green and yellow for the subtle background 9 patch. Well, I started to do it. I colored in my new pattern and started cutting fabric into strips. I was wondering if there was going to be enough contrast between my green and yellow to be able to see it but I forged ahead.
Then I took some pictures and there wasn't. The green and yellow were too close together to be able to enjoy the potential 9 patch - it was going to look all "mushy".
So, I changed it to pink and green background - and I colored over the yellow on my pattern - with a red pencil - so they are more or less pink. That's fine since I didn't have a pink colored pencil in my colored pencil pack anyway!
4. Note the paper clipped piece of paper in the picture above. You need one. Go find one! Or two. I'll be adding a paper clip to the right side of the paper for next week!
This paper is needed to cover up the rows of your pattern to help keep you from being distracted and keep you from making mistakes.
I started by cutting out my light green and yellow. My very light green is on the far left - it's quite pale. The center picture shows the green and yellow. In strong sunlight, however, they look too close. So, before I went any further, I threw out the yellow and opted for the pink - which shows up a hotter pink in this picture than in real life. I'm working with a lot of artificial light in my sewing room - and sometimes the colors are quite strange.
Here is my colored in pattern after I added red to the yellow - to simulate pink.
You will be reading your pattern as a grid. Each square is going to be either light or dark - just like the pattern you printed.
5. Cut some 1.5" strips of each color - maybe you are only using black and white - then cut 1.5" strips of black and some of white. I'm using light green, pink and black. I cut some strips. Keep the rest of your fabric nearby. I don't know how much you need. Make sure you have plenty (2-3 yards of each color). Everything depends on your pattern and your message size and your strips size.
6. Make some strip sets. Do not try to sew individual black and white (or pink or green) squares together! It's too hard!
I sewed a variety, here is a sample - one green/one black, 2 greens, one pink/one black, 2 blacks, 3 blacks, 2 pinks, etc. You'll see.
7. Cut off 1.5" segments off of your newly made strip sets. These will be units that you will use to form your design.
8. Put all your pieced strip sets into a container so you don't lose them! You will need to periodically replenish these strip sets as you see what you need and are using most frequently.
9. Start sewing together, using your design as a guide.
Here's your first row as shown on the pattern: Start with 7 black squares and then a green, then 4 more blacks, then a green, then that empty spot should be green (I colored it in), etc. I placed the pattern beside me as I sewed.
Let's take a look at my first row.
See, how according to this first row, the squares are 7 blacks, so I used a 3 segment black and two 2-segment blacks to make a total of 7, then a green/black piece, etc. to follow the pattern. I did it the entire row using this method of already strip pieced segments. By using those pieces found in my plastic container, I never needed to use only one tiny square to make up my row.
As I worked, I placed the pieces in the order according to the pattern, and then sewed them together. I then double checked that they were in the right order. It is imperative that you are a perfectionist when doing this!
I placed a safety pin in the far left of the row so that I wouldn't get it turned around and sew it together wrong. I usually do this with my quilt tops. I will leave the safety pin in through the process of construction.
When I finished putting together my first row, I counted to make sure there were 41 pieces of fabric. There were!
I went ahead and made the second row - following the diagram for the second row. I moved my paper down one row and made sure I followed the pattern as indicated by the row.
I finished the second row and put it on the ironing board just under the first row to admire!
I placed a pin in the far left block, to keep tabs. This time I used a straight pin so I wouldn't get it confused with my first row - which has a safety pin.
Then I made the third row. I pinned the far left. I once again made sure I had 41 squares.
I decided that 3 rows was enough - I wanted to sew them together before anything gets lost or mixed up. So I did. I made sure the blocks with pins on them were matched up. When I pressed the rows, I made sure the entire row of seams were alternating, so that the seams nested nicely.
Here are my first three rows sewn together.
Then, even though I'd looked at it several times, I didn't notice the mistake. I think my mind was on how to word this post - and not the placement of the blacks/lights as it should have been.
And so I did. It's not a hard fix when you don't make mistakes in multiple rows. I will be very carefully constructing rows after this. Even more carefully than I was.
This is after I fixed it. Now it is fine, as far as I know!
Here is the diagram I'm working off of. If you look carefully, you will see that they look the same. That is my goal! If I find a mistake, I will fix the errant block! Perfection is important if I want it to scan with a QR code reader when done!
and that's where I am. Three rows done!
By next week, I'll try to get 10 more rows done - It will start look like a code.
Homework for this week!
1. Mark your pattern as I showed with a grid - and number your rows.
2. Find a piece of paper and a paper clip to cover up the unnecessary rows while you work.
3. Cut strips 1.5"x WOF (width of fabric). (If you choose to make them bigger your quilt will be enormous! But you can. Just keep them as squares when cutting into segments.)
4. Strip piece some of your strips into various combinations of colors.
5. Sub cut into 1.5" segments.
6. Put segments into a box to keep together.
7. Using your pattern, piece together three rows.
8. Sew together those three rows into one part of a quilt top.
9. Don't lose your pattern. Just don't.
Whew! Now you are caught up!
And that'. See you next week with the next installment!
See, it's not that hard!!!
Have a great day!
Don't forget - my sis has some wonderful goodies for you over in the store. Be sure to check it out!