After creating all of my blocks, my next step was to figure out where each block would go. I started by randomly laying each block on the floor, side-by-side. I tried not to ever let any two seams line up with one another. Sometimes it happened, but not often. By alternating where the seams are, it makes the quilt stronger. I stood back and stared at the "quilt" and walked away and came back. I swapped a few blocks to try and evenly disperse all of the concentrated areas of color. If I felt like there were too many splotches of green in one area, I would try to move it to another section and replace it with something orange or red. In the end, I didn't stress over it too much because every time I moved a block, it was tricky to find another one that would be more suitable, but also not violate my "no two seams together" rule.
Once I finalized the layout, I labeled each row by pinning a number to the first block on the left. This way I would be able to maintain the layout even after I disassembled everything to sew it together.
I was very careful to make sure that my corners were squared up before I sewed anything together. I knew that precision now would be important later in the process.
The next step was to figure out the backing. I decided to use a twin-sized sheet because it would save me the trouble of having to sew together strips of store-bought fabric (which are not as wide as my quilt). An added bonus is that Ikea sells twin sheets separately and for only $4.50! I never could have bought the necessary 3 yards of fabric for that bargain price.
Again, I went to the store expecting to buy a raspberry-colored piece of fabric. I had it in my mind that it would be a soothing color to balance the vibrancy of the front. Unfortunately for me, that plan failed. Ikea didn't have that color. The two best options were red or dark blue. I considered the red since it matched the border perfectly. However, I reminded myself that I was looking for something to bring some sense of calm to the quilt. This was, after all, a present for my grandma, not a 7-year-old girl. I settled on the dark blue, even though there wasn't a lick of blue anywhere on the quilt.
I had saved some scraps of fabric from my twelve original prints, and I wanted to incorporate them on the back of the quilt. I think it's prettier when quilts have some pizazz on the back. S had used her scraps to make a strip with alternating pieces of colors and backing. Hers was beautiful and I was inspired! Here's the end result:
Turning*Turning. Her "Mamma-Jamma Knot" and tutorial on the "Ladder Step Stitch" were invaluable to me.
leather thumb-protectors before I work on my next quilt).
It was truly a labor of love.