See all the posts about V’s quilt HERE.
This is the part of the story where certain people will (and I know some already do) think I’m a bit crazy.
Since I wanted the quilt top to be a random scattering of all the colors, I needed a way to actually randomize the blocks. If I’d been using paper, I would have shuffled them like a deck of cards. But shuffling 8.5″-square fabric quilt blocks isn’t that easy. I thought about going high-tech and using some sort of random number generator, and then I considered a bit lower-tech method using dice… Nothing really satisfied. I had too many fabrics and I wanted to sample without replacement… and the easiest way to do that was to literally draw slips of paper.
I spent about 30 minutes getting the slips organized. I labeled my fabrics (coral 1, coral 2, green 1, green 2, green 3, etc.) and made slips out of scratch paper to represent each of the blocks: 6 slips for each of the 25 purchased fabrics, 13 slips for the nursery scraps, and 5 “wild card” slips. I dumped them all into a bowl.
Then came the best part! I realized that my daughter could absolutely help me with this part! She was delighted to draw the papers for me to lay out the next square. She drew every slip (and she truly was unbiased, since she can’t read yet!), and delightedly watched as the quilt took shape on my craft room floor. Throughout the process, I stuck to the randomized pattern unless two of the same fabric were drawn in a row. Otherwise, I left it alone until all the slips were drawn.
It took more than one session to get everything laid out…
But finally, it was done– at least, the 100% random part. Remember–those holes are for the “wild card” blocks: their colored stripe will be determined at the last minute.
After the randomized quilt was laid out, I gave myself a short amount of time to do some rearranging. I didn’t want too many strips of the same fabric too close together, and so there were a few places that definitely needed to be swapped around. After that, I tried not to think too hard and selected fabrics for the five “wild card” spots.
Behold, the quilt top layout! On to the sewing!
Total time to lay out quilt top: 1.73 hours
Total time to complete last 5 squares: approximately 1 hour