25 June 2013

OUT Chapter 4: Red Red Completely Red

You are going to flip over my next guest.  I am so pleased to introduce Astrid of Red Red Completely Red.  I actually first came upon her on instagram.  She posted photos of a black and white cross quilt that I fell in love with and I was hooked.  I think maybe she whipped up this project in 25 minutes or so, she is wickedly fast.  Welcome, welcome, Astrid!

oh the places

Oh, what a pleasure! Oh, what a thrill!
I'm so glad to be here at No Big Dill.
No T-shirt or trousers, no jacket or kilt --
I've taken a book, and made you a quilt!

This book is about places and spaces you'll go,
and one of those places made me want to sew.
Just look at these stripes -- a circus gone wild.
I saw all the colours and instantly smiled.

oh the places

So take out your fabrics, take out your pins,
take out your scissors and let us begin!
This quilt is not made with patterns or plans,
simply start sewing, and see it expand.

First pick your colours: pink, red and white?
Blue, orange, violet? Pastels or brights?
Sometimes, you'll find that colours that clash,
can get along nicely when put in the mash.

oh the places

Cut fabrics in strips, all the same length,
From selvedge to selvedge -- use all your strength!
Vary the width of your coloured strips,
But keep whites all even evenly-sized when you snip.

(In my quilt, the coloured strips were cut between 2" and 4" wide, while the whites were almost all 2")

On your marks, get ready -- soon you will see,
How much fun it can be to sew improvisationally!
Simply take a white and a non-white in hand,
And stitch down the long side -- like this, understand?

oh the places

Sew strips in groups of seven, eight, or nine,
and soon you'll have lots of blocks full of lines.
Now here's the good bit part -- the best part, the fun,
take out your scissors and slice into one!

(To get started, I measured the width of one block of black strips, and cut a block of red strips to the same size, lengthwise, to fit perpendicular to the first block. The quilt grew out from there, with most blocks being rotated 90 degrees from the block next to them, and some longer, thin strips used to fill in awkward gaps.)

oh the places oh the places

Keep testing and adding stripes, this way and that,
Sew quarter inch seams and press them all flat.
There's really no rule as to how big to go --
Trust that your creative intuition will know.

When you get to a place that feels like enough,
Stop! Put down the needle! Eat a cream puff!
When you are ready, back, baste and bind,
Then take your new quilt outside and unwind.

oh the places oh the places oh the places oh the places

Where will you and your quilt go to next?
To London? To Paris? To Rome or Quebec?
One more idea, to remember your trips,
Free-motion quilt each place name onto a strip!

oh the places

After reading her contribution to OUT, I not only think she gives Dr. Seuss a run for his money with her cleverness, but it makes me think I can actually quilt!  (Orange?!) Thank you so much for being here today, Astrid!


  1. Ahhhhh!!! This post and this quilt are SO COOL!! I love it! And I'm inspired. Thank you both!

  2. Thanks so much for having me, Katy! What a wonderfully fun project it was.

    And thank you, Rebecca and Shifrah! :)

  3. Rhyming quilt instructions! Soooo (or sew) awesome!

  4. This is so fantastic! I love the quilt and the rhymes. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. I adore this so much. I have never wanted to quilt anything, but Astrid makes me want to try! This post...perfectly perfect! :)

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. These instructions just made my day! Such a fabulous quilt!

  8. Wow, Wow, Wow!!! Not only is that my kind of sewing / quilting, but the poem!!! Hats off to Astrid!!!

  9. This is so amazing-- quilt and post!! Just awesome.

  10. I've been a long-time reader of No Big Dill, and a big fan of OUT, but I'm usually just a blurker . . .
    this entry? amazing! with the rhyming verse and the beautifully easy quilt . . . I'm in love! :)

  11. Oh Astrid, I love this! I remember seeing it on IG and had no idea it was for Once Upon a Thread. So cool. And you are so funny....I thought....oh good I'll actually be able to see a photo of her now!...and then you go and tease with your eyes. haha.
    Love you.
    Beautiful work!
    - Dana

  12. I loved this post--so clever and fun to read! I am not a quilter, but I may just have to try this...

  13. What a talented poet who can sew it! (Sorry, I just had too!!!)
    Love - love - love!!!

  14. This post was a blast! Thanks Astrid and Katy!

  15. I love this! How awesome to make a whole rhyming description to go with Seuss. The great part is that the only quilts I've ever finished were the ones I made for my kids, 100% improv like this, and backed with......Seuss fabric.

  16. Gah!! I NEED to make one of these now! My favorite OUT contribution so far.

  17. Oh how I wish I could rhyme like that, so clever Astrid! I remember you commenting on this quilt in Instagram and mentioning the book and then when I saw Katy's guest line up I wondered if this would be your showcase. It is such a fun and colourful quilt, such talent you hold!!

  18. So clever! This might be a first, a tutorial in perfect rhyme. Well done Astrid!

  19. The quilt is awesome (love the graphic nature of it!), but the clever spin on Dr. Seuss takes the cake!! So cool - this was a super fun post to read and makes me want to learn how to quilt:)

  20. I love Astrid!! She is a genius. Truly! What a wonderful post!!!


Be a lamb & tell me what's on your mind.