Thursday, April 23, 2009

Buggy Barn Convoy

I have been working at a local quilt shop each saturday. She has me arrange different things in the store, help customers and (my favorite thing) make quilts and things to display in the store. When I first saw the new Convoy pattern by Buggy Barn I knew I wanted to make it for Monkey.

(cute huh? Click on the picture to take you to where you can buy the pattern)

Luckily Karen, the shop owner, thought it would be a great quilt to display so I got to work. I've also been wanting to do something special for one of my friends so I ended up making two.

Now, I will be honest. Up to this point I had only done 1 Buggy Barn pattern 8 years ago and it was not a good experience. I understood the method but no matter how careful I was and how many times I checked my 1/4" seam allowance, my blocks were always too small. Despite my bad experience, I jumped into Convoy feet first and to my surprise it was a delight. (For those of you who haven't done a Buggy Barn, or don't know what they are, you basically stack a bunch of fat quarters, Cut them all at once using a template, do a little switch-a-roo with some of the pieces and then put it all back together. It is quite fun build the blocks and see how your fabrics go together.) Anyway, Buggy Barn must have done some tweeking to their patterns because my trucks and tractors went together like a dream.

Overall I thought the Convoy pattern was great however I do have a few suggestions should you decide to give it a try.

First, by following the pattern you will end up with 7 extra trucks and tractors. If you have a use for extras or are planning on making the bumper pad this is great. If not, carefully read the pattern before buying your fabric so you will know exactly how many fat quarters you will use. I would suggest getting 8 for the trucks and 7 for the tractors. This would make two extra blocks, but also gives you a little flexibility incase you don't like how one of them comes out.

Second, the pattern calls for wool for the tires. I didn't want to pay $30 a yard for wool so I ended up getting a textured cotton (see close up of the tires below). It kind of looks like tire treads and worked great. I used Heat n Bond light to bond the tires to my blocks and then went around them using a free motion stitich.

Third, the pattern says to piece each row, then add the road and then put on the tires. WHAT A PAIN! Stitching around the tires when there is all that bulk is not fun. I would suggest carefully measuring out your seam allowances, adding about
1/8" and bonding the tires. This makes them MUCH easier and faster to stitich.

That's it. This was a great pattern and I'm excited that Monkey will have a manly quilt drag around and snuggle. :-)

Here's a picture of my (almost) finished product.

From Pattern Review Photos
P.S. My fabric is the Tranquillity line by Sandy Gervais for Moda