Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Racetrack is Quilted and Bound

The Racetrack is is open for business. Starting the New Year with a finished quilt. Hooray!

For years I've known this block design as Racetrack or Snake in the Grass. Boy, that last name does not do it for me. Yuck. Looking through my reference books I couldn't find either name nor could I find the design under any other name.

It's similar to Polka Dot, Drunkard's Path, and Robbing Peter to Pay Paul blocks but the important point is that the "road" must be centered on each side. I wrote about that aspect last year here.

Racetrack quilt top sewn
I drafted a six-inch block, then cut plastic templates with seam allowances added. I traced these with Frixion pens, something I don't normally use because the ink can never be removed. But these marks are on the cutting lines so will never be seen and they were certainly easier to cut out.

It's also not a beginner's block although I wonder if paperless paper piecing would make it easier. There are two quarter circles on each block which makes it harder. Take your time pinning and sewing. Be careful while pressing. When squaring the block you must keep the roads centered. In my case that meant the road edges lined up at 2.5 and 4.0" for the 6.5" unfinished block. Doesn't sound hard except those measurements must line up on each side. If you've pulled the block out of shape it may not be useable.

Pinning the Racetrack quilt and choosing thread color
To make the racetrack more than a single path, I added two four-way intersections...

A four-way intersection on the Racetrack quilt

and two three-way intersections.

A three-way intersection on the Racetrack quilt

Both intersections give the driver multiple ways to move his car along the track loops but to get a closed course with three-way intersections, use an odd number of rows and columns. My even-numbered rows mean the roadway runs off the quilt. I wanted to do that so our Fabulous Guy can extend the raceway with building blocks but other people may not want cars racing off the quilt/mat.

I considered sewing a median line along the road but finally just stitched in the ditch along each side and then went back and meandered on the background areas.

Radiator Springs Racetrack quilt

This old Moda stripe as been in the stash for years. I love stripes for binding and think the colors work well here. Plus, I'm trying to use up fabric when I find a good place for it. No more saving it for that "perfect" project. The blues and greens blend with the top while the cream background makes it sit back a bit. After all, the racetrack itself is the star of the show.

Radiator Springs Racetrack quilt detail of binding and carhops

This is the first time I regret using Mountain Mist. It always shrinks a bit so this is now the Radiator Springs Speedway. If I'd used Warm and Natural or something that doesn't shrink the racetrack might have been smoother. But cars will never be able to race down it independently. They must be hand-pushed.

Back, binding, quilting on Radiator Springs Racetrack quilt

The loud back is two fabrics that didn't make it to the front. Fun and bright.

Back of Radiator Springs Racetrack quilt

Previous post here. I'm surprised how quickly this one was finished. Perhaps because all the leftovers gave me more time for sewing. It's in the mail and should arrive by Twelfth Night. Who remembers that as the traditional day to exchange gifts?

Quilt Details
Size: 44.5"" x 44.5"
Design: Racetrack or Snake in the Grass
Batting: Mountain Mist Blue Ribbon 100% cotton
Thread: yellow Aurifil cotton Mako 50/2 and YLI nylon monofilament
Quilting: walking foot SID and free-motion meander

Yesterday my son called New Year's resolutions a to-do list for the first week of January. Hopefully mine will last a bit longer. Wishing you all a healthy and happy 2018.

Linked to Finish it up Friday with many other lovely quilts.

Enjoy the day, Ann

30 comments:

  1. Wonderful, well worth the effort.

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    1. Thanks, Judy. I think it turned out fairly well, too.

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  2. This is a great finish. Can see some little one spending hours with it. Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks, Angie. I hope he has several years' enjoyment with it. Happy New Year to you and your family, too.

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  3. What a great use of your fabric. Love the pockets of color that glow especially! It's going to be a treasure for the little guy who gets the privilege of owning this.:) Well done!

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    1. Didn't that turn out well? I had no idea all these stash fabrics would work so well together. I guess I need to consider yellow and orange more. They do glow.
      I hope the little one enjoys it, too.

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  4. This is just the cutest thing. What a great gift for little ones. I can also see it as a river coursing through mountains and fields but without the intersections.

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    1. You and me, Laurie. I was thinking it could be a river. Although with all the circuits, perhaps it's a Lazy River at the waterpark. It will be fun to see how he uses it.

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  5. Fantastic! It sure beats the racetrack panel I used (and added to with some novelty stops) for my grandson. It looks like someone will have hours and hours of fun on the road and lots of colorful places to stop and visit.

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    1. I like the idea of novelty stops and considered putting some on this. But they didn't seem to show on my loud fabric. So I hope he builds some housing with blocks. Also, with the space fabrics, he could include spaceship docks. Ha.
      I'd love to see a photo of the one you made. There are some lovely panels these days.

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  6. Congratulations on the finish - he will enjoy it SO much!

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    1. Thanks, Julie. I'm so glad it's done and hope he enjoys it for years.

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  7. There is sure a lot of advance planning on this quilt. Very fun quilt. I know what you mean about Mountain Mist batting. Some of the shrinking in my quilts has been most unwelcome. The backing is bright and fun.

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    1. Not that much although I made a quick sketch on graph paper. That's how I figured those roads must go off the quilt.
      I really like the shrinkage with Mountain Mist because the crinkling makes my quilts look a bit more old-fashioned. And I dimensionality the batting. Just not in this case. Ah, well. I think he'll like it anyway. It's not quite a severe as it appears in the photo.

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  8. How lovely to have your 1st finish for this year already! It's a great quilt, lots of roads to drive through, lots of adventures on the way! Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks, Linda. I get a kick out of him driving by the sandbars of alligators before heading to space.

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  9. Love this! And I too have been obsessed with striped bindings. Lately nothing else looks right to me!

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    1. Stripes make such good bindings. Since we both agree, it must be true. Ha!

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  10. The quilt turned out wonderful!

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    1. Thanks, Patty. I think he will like it.

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    1. Thanks, Deb. I think it will be especially good to use during this cold snap.

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  12. That was fast! I especially like that all the different fabrics you have used will let him drive from fields of flowers to the sea, into space and back down to the wilds of Africa (or wherever those crocs are lurking).

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    1. It helped that we had leftovers last week. Very little cooking or cleaning so more time to work. It was a bit of a slog to get is seen; everything was laid out first to get the track right. So I tried to finish as quickly as possible. Could easily have ended a ufo.
      Yes. I like all the places he can drive. Amusing ourselves is so important. ;-)

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  13. Wonderful finish!! He'll have endless fun with this, racing his cars, looking at the fabrics, and later appreciating his grandmother's wit and skill. Happy 2018!

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    1. Thanks, LeeAnn. I hope he does enjoy it for a long while. He’s young enough that it should interest him for a while.

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  14. Congratulations of having a finish at the start of 2018 - it's a beauty and what a time he will have racing around on this quilt!
    Lucky boy!! Sending wishes to you for a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful 2018.

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    1. Thank you, Maureen. I hope this year sees you back to full health, too. Because of the snow, the quilt is still en route. I think he will enjoy it; I certainly like the multiple routes myself.

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