My first step in the design process for my Color Wheel Quilt was to cut a lot of little squares. I used my AccuQuilt Go Baby 2" square die for this. I ordered this die specifically with this project in mind. I admit I'm not super happy with the results. I cut a total of about 250 pieces of fabric or probably 75 cuts (stacking 3-4 pieces at a time). After cutting just the first charm pack, I started to notice my cutting mat was warping a bit. By the 4th charm pack my cutting mat was quite warped, and I realized I was having significant distortion in my cuts. Rather than having perfect 2" squares, they were short--some almost 1/8" short. Some of the edges were also a bit wavy. After realizing this I started placing a piece of white copy paper on top of each stack of fabric to be cut. This helped a lot, but they are still not perfect 2" squares. I probably won't be using this die much in the future. I consulted AccuQuilt on this and was told the cutting mat should last 100's of cuts and the problem is likely a result of not cutting with the lengthwise grain. I did more more experimenting and still had the exact same problems even when cutting with the grain as directed. For some reason this die seemed to wear out my cutting mat far too quickly. I had to alter my seam allowances to make everything fit due to the shorter squares. Some of my seams don't meet due this this. Frustrated is a nice way to say how I felt. I had a few choice words in mind when I realized how off my squares were. Luckily it all worked out in the end.
So, on to better things. The following pictures show my design process.
I sorted everything by the six main colors.
I then sorted them even more specifically and arranged each stack from light to dark.
I began the layout process with four white squares and worked out in all directions with other basic colors.
My overall goal was to make it look like a photograph that is zoomed all the way in to the point you see the individual pixels. If you've ever done this, you've seen that some pixels seem to be the wrong color or in the wrong place. Some of the squares don't fit perfectly where they are located at in the design, and that's one of the things I love about the quilt.
This stack didn't make the cut. It's mostly the Dusty palette that didn't fit in well with the other colors. They were just too muted for the look I was going for.
The final design was 29x29 squares. I pieced it in rows of 9 or 10 depending on the section.
I don't have any pictures of the quilting process, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. I simply started in the middle of the white squares and went around and around and around. I wouldn't recommend this with a quilt much larger than this. The inner 6" or so were quite difficult, but as I worked my way out toward the edges of the circle, it wasn't a problem at all to turn the quilt.
I admit this is one of my favorite quilts, but I always have more love for my quilts that are uniquely mine rather than one starting from a pattern or other design. It makes me happy to have it on our wall. Although I still think it's a little weird to hang quilts for some reason. I think it just makes me feel old to hang quilts on my wall. I feel like I will become the crazy quilt lady. Oh wait, I probably already am.