This one started with a small picture clipped from a magazine subscription ad. I had tossed it in my idea box a couple of years ago and ran across it recently when looking for something fun. Here's the original idea.
I looked around the internet to see if I could find a pattern, but with no luck. So I first drew it in EQ, but then drew it out the old fashioned way, with my old drafting tools. My version doesn't have as many ribbons in each wave but I didn't realize this until after it was sewn. Oh well, it still works.
I cut some templates from plastic and used them as guides for cutting the fabric. I started out drawing around them, but then got lazy. I confess, I did use them with the rotary cutter which I know isn't exactly safe, but I was very careful. I promise.
One of the fun things about scrappy quilts is playing with all the different fabrics. As I was cutting out each piece, it put them on my design wall to make sure I was getting a good mix of colors. I also check to make sure I didn't miss any letters of the alphabet. This pattern is particularly fiddly with 6 pattern pieces, 3 are the mirror of the others. The design wall especially important with this pattern; I couldn't have kept it all straight without it during the cutting phase.
Having lots of fun with this. Did I mention one of the big pains with scrappy quilts is putting away the fabric after you are done?
Starting out, I was going to mark each piece with alignment marks and pin in 5 places. I did this for a while, then again I got lazy and tried not pinning. The curves are pretty large so I tried the method of sewing curves by holding the concave piece on top and feeding it through the presser foot gradually matching up the edge. I discovered it worked when the curve went one direction but not the other and not on all fabrics. Darn. I really wanted the outside edges to match correctly so I wouldn't have to trim. I knew it would make things easier when I put the blocks together. I wanted the seams to match properly or the pattern wouldn't work as well visually. Finally I decided pins really were necessary but only at the start and the end of each piece; since the curve was so gradual I didn't need them in the middle.
I had to rip and re-stitch several blocks to get those edges to come out even, but it was worth it. Putting them all together was very simple. I pressed each alternate block in different directions so I could nest the seams between them but with the curves I needed pins to make sure they lined up properly.
It turned out a very happy quilt. The little boy who received is happy too. His last name is Fish and it was a happy coincidence that I included an unusual number of fish fabrics (I didn't know who was going to get it when I started). I added to my usual ABC poem on the label a line to count the fish. Hopefully I'll have a happy picture soon with his smiling face. I might make one for myself using "regular" fabrics, it's such a fun pattern visually.