Infrastructure Week 1 – Quilt Design and Fabric Prep

It’s finally here!! The start of our Infrastructure Quilt Along!! I love sharing quilt alongs with you because I get such joy out of encouraging others to make a complete quilt from start to finish. To kick off the QAL first we’ll discuss a bit about the design and then prep our fabric so we are ready to start cutting and sewing next week.

Infrastructure Quilt

Infrastructure Design

This was a fun collaboration between me and my talented friend Heather Black of Quiltachusetts. I asked Heather to design a modern block of the month type quilt without any curved piecing (her specialty) that would really showcase my Geo Pop fabric line. I was thrilled when she came up with this design and then I had the fun of breaking it down into sections and writing up the pattern.

Because Heather is such a fabulous designer, she had two ideas of how it could go together, either in blocks or rows. I decided that rows made more sense and figured that if we divided the design into 9 rows, that would work well to create the top row by row. Here’s an overview of each section of the quilt, which is explained step by step in the quilt pattern.

Infrastructure Diagram

You’ll notice there are some piece-heavy rows and some fairly simple pieced strip rows. This will allow us to keep up the interest while putting the quilt together over the 12 weeks, but also give us a few breaks so we don’t get burned out. You’ll also get to try out lots of different piecing techniques along with some optional fussy cutting!!

I highly recommend using the Tri-Recs ruler set for cutting the anvil blocks and diamond blocks. The pattern includes full size templates, but the ruler is so much faster and easier  – and I use it for lots of quilt patterns that I design.

Tri Recs tools

Prepping the Fabric

Geo Pop Bundle

I’m using all 25 Geo Pop fabrics for my  version of Infrastructure. Of course you can make any fabric substitutions that you like – see the back cover of the pattern below for similar colors to use.

Infrastructure Supply List

I’m a big advocate of prewashing because I’ve seen too many accidents occur even with high-quality fabric. I recommend separating lights and darks, and washing the fabrics using a couple of dye magnet sheets like Shout Color Catchers in the wash. This will help catch any excess dye and will prevent it from redepositing onto your fabric in places where you don’t want it to be.

Shout Color Catcher

If you are working with smaller chunks of fabric like less than 1/2 yard, you can put the fabrics in a mesh laundry bag to keep them from getting all tangled up.

After my fabric is washed, I iron it and starch it. I use a hot, dry iron on the highest setting and cheap starch from the grocery store. My favorite brand is Faultless premium starch.Binding

Starching Tips

To prevent flaking, I spray starch completely on one side of the fabric I’ll be using. I let it rest for a few seconds, and then flip the fabric over to the back side to iron (the non starched side). Once that’s done, I starch the side I just ironed, and then flip it over to the previous side and press again. So I’m adding starch to both sides and ironing both sides, but the iron doesn’t burn the starch since I’m pressing from the opposite side. The starch makes the fabric stiffer so that there’s less stretch while manipulating it.

Check out this short video on how I starch and press my fabric:

Share Your Fabric Pull

Once you’ve decided on which fabrics you’ll use, be sure to tag us on instagram @christaquilts  and @quiltachusetts and use the search hashtag #infrastructurequilt so we can all admire your pretties!!

You can also share pics in my ChristaQuilts Facebook group and ask questions as you are getting ready. We’ll dive in and make Row 1 next week and I can’t wait to see your progress!

Enter the Givewaway!

Head over to Heather Black’s blog at Quiltachusetts to see which fabrics she’s working with and enter this week’s giveaway. The prize is a copy of EQ8 software from Electric Quilt! I use EQ8 for ALL of my quilt designs. In fact, I was able to take Heather’s original sketches, redraw them in EQ8 and easily recolor the quilt pattern using swatches of Geo Pop.  Now I can’t imagine making quilts without it!

Electric Quilt 8

Important Links

Infrastructure Kit

2 thoughts on “Infrastructure Week 1 – Quilt Design and Fabric Prep

  1. MJ Quilter says:

    Good morning Christa

    I have noticed that many of the professionals recommend using spray starch when preparing fabric for cutting and piecing. Do you launder the quilt when completed as I have read that spray starch will attract insects?

    Thank you Mona (MJ)

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    • Christa says:

      I usually launder them when they are done traveling for trunk shows etc. Bugs are only an issue if the starch is made from actual food product, but most aren’t so it’s not usually an issue.

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