My best friend (Angie, I know you are reading this!) has started to identify herself as a "quilter" in recent days. This was somewhat alarming the first time I heard her say it. I haven't really understand the pull, other than the simple act of sewing. Well, as I was about to find out, it is much more than just stitching some fabric together. It's about color, design, brain work, pattern manipulation (2D this time and not 3D) and ,funny enough, comfort. The process is much easier than trying to fit a garment (again the 2D as apposed to 3D aspect of it). I'm beginning to see the appeal.
We've been getting quite a few requests for quilting classes at The Sewing Room lately. Honestly, I have ZERO experience in quilting so it has been, with reluctance, that we bring students in who want to quilt. But, needless to say, we want to encourage the spirit of sewing in any way we can. So, that meant, at the least, I needed to try it out.
Here is a little photo journey of my first quilting experience:
I started by purchasing a home made Jelly Roll & the book I've listed above (Two from One Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott ) from The Recrafting Co., around the corner from the shop. Oh-so-convenient & affordable since it was all second hand.
The next step in the design I chose, was to divide my Jelly Roll into fabric color types and then sew 3 strips together in the color type assigned. All the 3 piece strips (Color A on Top, Color B in the middle and color C on Top) were then cut into squares and then cut diagonally into triangles. Then the triangles were all rearranged and sewed together to create a chevron design square.
I then sewed the squares + some triangles onto each other, following a diagram in the book. It eventually turned into this terrific pattern, creating the quilt topper. Because my Jelly Roll was a partial (and home made) roll of fabric, there was not enough to follow the full size pattern in the book. My quilt is a square instead of a rectangle, but I'm OK with that.
After I finished the main part of the quilt topper, my mom & I headed to the Quilt, Craft and Sewing Festival at the San Mateo County Event Center. My quilt needed a border and a binding. I decided that it would hang on the wall, so it did not need a special backing. I just used muslin.
One of our favorite booths at the festival, Fabric Chicks (Minden, NV), had everything I needed and was truly an inspiration. I loved all their beautiful fabrics and + their quilts were both unusual (see photo above) and charming. I can't wait to find out more about their work - they even host retreats!
Returning home from the festival, I added a border of Dictionary print fabric and also created my quilt "sandwich" - Topper + Batting + Backing. I basted them together and then drew out my pattern in erasable gel pen (disappears when you iron). Then safety pin based each channel before stitching.
Speaking of retreats, I took a break from my shop and from quilting for a few days in the midst of all of this and traveled to Portland, OR, to visit my "Quilter" friend. We ended up going fabric shopping at her favorite sewing center, Modern Domestic and also talked a lot about quilting. Go Figure! While at her counter chatting, Angie showed me this great book about using a walking foot (see above photo of book - Walk - Master Machine Quilting with your Walking Foot by Jacquie Gering), from which I found my "Quilting" pattern. The pattern turned out to be a diagonal grid of stitching with wavy lines over the grid.
Here you can see a closeup of the back of the quilt that shoes the pretty pink fabric I used for the binding. I also created a channel with the same fabric. This is for a rod to hang on the wall with a dowel.
Overall, the whole experience led me to understand better, the quilter's mind. The process naturally acomodates the obsessive mind. I fear I have now been sucked into the abyss, as my dreams are now filled with colorful fabrics and even more project ideas. What to do? oh, what to do?