I decided that I wanted the squares to be 3" so that the quilt top would be 33" X 45" before the sashing and border. I thought this would be a good size for the baby quilt, and would only require that I cut 2 strips of 8 different fabrics. The fabrics I selected are (the colors are much more vibrant - I'm still learning to use my camera!):
I played with the sequence of the fabrics until I was happy with the order. I then cut 2 sets of 3 1/2" strips from each fabric. I split the 8 fabrics into groups of 4 and sewed each group in the order that I wanted. Once I had 2 sets of 4 strips, I made the tube by placing the 2 sets together with right sides facing, and then sewing both the top and bottom 1/4" seam. The tube was now formed.
I pressed the tube to flatten and straighten it, and then cut 3 1/2" strips from the tube. A 45"long tube made 11 strips. Each set of 8 strips only makes half the quilt.
I placed the strips next to each other and began the pattern. I opened the first tube strip by removing the stitches on the square that was the center of the quilt. Then I placed the second tube strip next to the first one to determine where to remove the stitches so that the Trip Around the World pattern can begin. Thus, for my quilt, the solid purple that framed the light purple floral square began the pattern:
By placing the strips next to each other, you can see where the tube has to be separated. In this case, the blue-purple square had to be separated from the light purple floral square, and I did this with a seam ripper.
Once that seam was opened, I had the second strip of the quilt completed. I continued these two steps for the remaining 3 strips on the right side of the quilt.
Since this is the Trip Around the World pattern, whatever you do for the right side of the quilt, you have to do the same for the left side.
Now that all the strips are prepared, I'm going to sew them. Remember, this is only the top half of the quilt. The bottom half is done in the same manner, but on the opposite side of the center strip.
Stay tuned for the next part ...