Odori Quilt, patience and a new family member

I was thrilled – THRILLED – to be asked to be part of Fat Quarter Shop’s Odori Quilt-A-Long using Art Gallery Fabrics.  My to do list had completely other feelings but we won’t go there! I picked my fabrics and waited for the delivery of more gorgeous fabrics.  They did not disappoint.  I chose some of Bari J’s line Wild Blooms and am just smitten with them.

The pattern calls for WOF strips to be sewn together then cut into triangles using the Odori ruler. Since I hand piece, I’ve never felt comfortable with cutting a hand sewn seam, shuffling and sewing. Machine stitches are so much tighter and more stable than hand stitches. I can stitch a tiny stitch but not that tiny. I came up with a plan and am not going to share it because about 3 days in – too late to start over – I thought of a much better way to get started. I’ll share that process further down.

I cut. I pieced. I marked seam lines. I ironed. I sewed. I marked more seam lines. Pinned. Sewed.

Deadline weekend came and I still had more to go. My husband and I had purchased an RV and we were scheduled to pick her up that Friday. I gathered all my sewing, my iron and board, pins galore and a needle and we went camping for the weekend. Did you catch that - one (1) needle. Who does that?! I had a couple of moments of panic when I thought I lost it but found it both times.

I curled up in my favorite camping chair all weekend while my husband played with the new RV – christened Lily Mae, by the way. More pinning. More ironing. More sewing. And it was all so.completely.worth.it.  This quilt top is stunning. I love the colors. I love the pattern. I love everything about it. But most of all, I love that it pushed me out of my comfort zone. I’ve discarded several patterns because they involved steps that I didn’t think would translate to hand piecing. But pooey on that – I’m a quilter – we can do anything! If my great grandmother can quilt using the tools she had, I can figure out how to adapt any pattern.

Here are some progress photos and the details on the fabric I used.

Anywhoooo - here's what I would suggest for the first few steps if you want to hand piece. Cut the WOF strips as instructed. Instead of sewing them together, go ahead and cut them. This is a little tedious. I first marked my sewing lines on the middle strip. I marked my sewing lines on everything I sew - if you don't use sewing lines, I'm amazed at your sewing skills and you can skip that step. You need to figure out how many of each piece you need - remember that the outside strips are going to be both the tiny top and the wider bottom. Using your ruler, just cut that many out of each strip. Rotate the ruler to get the correct cut. Then sew 'em all together. I promise you - this was better than the way I did it! I plan to make mine a little bigger and this is how I'll cut the remaining out. Once I got the striped triangles pieced together, I followed the pattern.