Around the World Quilt — Beginning

All of the Around the World pieces needed to be taken apart and recut. The original quilter’s template was a little off, so the fan units did not form a 90º angle. I drafted a pattern which would allow for the largest wedge-shaped piece I could get away with (because vintage fabric is precious). These pieces were all cut from 1940s and 50s percales (no feedsack), and most of them are cut at odd angles — probably just any old way she could get the most wedges out of a fabric scrap. Spray starch helps when cutting bias pieces — I use lots of spray starch.

Here I have finished drawing around the new template and trimming the 540 original pieces (only a few were stained and had to be discarded).


Next, I needed to cut 324 more wedges from my own vintage prints, because I want to make a larger quilt than the original quilter had in mind. Fortunately, I had two big pieces of yellow and green vintage percale that matched the solid colors in the original blocks.


Here are the first four blocks, which I stitched together by machine. Because there are lots of bias edges in these blocks, it helps to cut the sashing on the straight grain, which keeps the blocks from stretching. My plan was to add half blocks around the outside edge, to mimic the original quilt pattern, but now I’m thinking that I like it the way it is. The center of the quilt will still have the look of the original Around the World blocks, but the yellow sashing will be on the edges.  What do you think?


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