It Seems I’m Now Quilting…

Generally I sew clothes, I do the occasional bag or crafty thing, but mainly it’s stuff we can wear, and I never really saw the point in quilting.  It seems though that my love of crochet blankets has spread into blankety things made from fabric and after finally completing the quilt I’ve been collecting for and sewing over about 5 years I am well and truly hooked.

This quilt is a free Amy Butler pattern called Lotus Brick Path, it’s not a hugely detailed pattern but then it’s not a hugely complicated quilt!  I used fat quarters for the top (a yard of fabric cut into 4 rectangles/squares is a fat quarter, a yard cut into quarter yard strips is a skinny/thin quarter) which were mainly bought on Ebay.  I used 24 different prints in total and they’re a combination of bugs, novelty prints, patterns and florals loosely based around the same colours.

Basically you cut your fabric into ‘bricks’ and then you stitch them together in strips and then stitch the strips together so they’re offset.  I took ages and ages laying the strips out to try and ensure no patterns were right next to each other, but of course now I look at photos I can see that I didn’t do that brilliant of a job!

This quilt is turned and top-stitched rather than being bound.  It meant that I ended up pinning it together twice to try and keep it in place.  I used Hobbs Premium cotton batting in it which is unbleached and 20% polyester.  The batting was thinner than I thought it would be, I’m not sure this will be a very warm quilt.  The batting didn’t shrink too much when I washed the quilt at the end so it’s not quite as wrinkly as a lot of quilts seem to be, I quite like it though.

The backing is a Joel Dewberry print, it’s impossible to get the colour to photograph right, it’s chartreuse and a wood print.  The actual quilting, where you sew through all the layers to hold it together, is just stitching in the ditch between each row of bricks and it gives sort of the feel of planks on the back I think.  I adore this print and were it available on a thinner fabric I’d own lots of garments made from it!

I sewed in alternate directions to try and keep it more even and used a walking foot.  I’m not sure I was all that successful but for my first attempt I’m happy.

Something that really isn’t good on this quilt is my cutting.  I didn’t own any quilting rulers, something that changed this morning when 2 arrived (I think I’m in love with them which is good considering the huge amount they cost!) so the bricks are not even and you can see how off the rows are if you look closely at what should be half bricks at the end of the quilt.  Trying to totally square it just seemed really hard for a full quilt top so I cut one end straight and then measured down with my yardstick, made a mark on each column and the trimmed it off straight.  It’s a bit annoying that it’s so wonky, but again I can live with it for a first attempt.

For now it’s living on the back of my sofa with the patchwork owl pillow I bought when we were on holiday (when I figured out mentally how much buying supplies would be, figuring out a pattern and then the time it would take to sew the rather pricey cost of the owl seemed a lot more reasonable!).

After getting that quilt done and dusted I totally have the bug.  I bought a good beginners book and had been collecting for another quilt anyway so I finished off buying what I needed for that.  I’m going to be using a pattern called Fat Quarter Frolic and doing the Twin size which actually should just about be big enough for my standard double bed.  I have always been a big fan of owls, I had a china bird collection as a kid and the owls are the ones that I’ve kept.  Obviously with owls being in fashion at the moment it’s great for me because I can stock up on stuff and it was pretty easy to collect the 18 different prints and a backing print for this quilt, had I tried a few years back it would have been quite difficult.  I actually have a few spare prints that either the feel of the fabric was wrong or the pattern just wouldn’t work so I’m going to try and make a few cushions using those to practice my patchwork and cutting before I start this.

And because I am incapable of keeping my enthusiasm in check I have also started collecting fabric for a pattern from the book to make for Jim.  It takes 20 half yards(well actually 3/8ths but I’ve not seen a shop that sells fabric by the 8th) plus the backing and binding.  I’ve bought 6 prints so far and the binding fabric.  Once I get a plan in my head I find it very hard not to follow it, although I will be trying to slow down and buy a little at a time from now on because it’s going to be a while before I even get started on this one!  Sadly the planning and getting supplies tends to be followed by long periods of inactivity, hopefully that won’t happen with these projects, at least I can sew one block at a time if that’s all I feel like doing!

Finally, I dug out some fabrics that I had collected with the idea of doing some sort of quilt at some point (some of these fabrics I’ve had for 6 years or more).  I have no idea why I started buying pansy print fabrics or why I thought I would one day make a quilt from them but I guess I know myself better than I think I do because here I am using them for a quilt!

This is a star block made using my new rulers for the first time.  The block is from a tutorial on the Cluck Cluck Sew blog which I came across last night (doesn’t help that this obsession has hit while I have some sort of virus, it’s much easier for me to get sucked in when I don’t feel well).  I have 10 fat quarters of pansy fabric (11th on the way from Ebay, this is an illness on top of the physical illness I tell you…) and some cream as well as the above green.  I only need another 47 of these blocks and I’ll have a quilt top!  I’m doing these to practice cutting really, I don’t have enough fabric to actually finish the quilt so I will make up what I can and do more whenever I come across more pansy fabric (anyone seen any?).  I’m proud to say that my block came out as a damn near perfect 11″ square which is what it was supposed to be.  I’ve got a lovely Liberty print and some Kaffe Fasset stuff to use as well so I’m looking forward to trying more of these.

There is other sewing and I finally blocked the shawlette that I finished at the end of June but I must drag myself off to make dinner or I’ll be in trouble with the rabble!


5 thoughts on “It Seems I’m Now Quilting…

  1. Jo says:

    I like the quilt you are planning for Jim, it looks fun. I bought a quilting book but only got as far as reading it!

  2. I had a big quilting “moment” back in the 90’s, and I still have an half-quilted king-size patchwork quilt in the secret drawer of my wardrobe, waiting for me to get round to it. The trouble is, I was hand-stitching it… in a complicated pattern. I am not even sure I still have the template. I can imagine my daughter finding it in 50 years’ time and thinking “Oh mum!” in an exasperated way. Well done for finishing yours! The wiggly lines add character!

  3. I’ve been feeling the quilt bug lately as well, and recently block printed a bunch of fabric which I hope to make into quilts as soon as I’m back from vacation. I sort of want to get opinions on it to see if it’s viable to offer my hand printed fabrics as fat quarters, but also, I’m so sick of my ugly duvet!

    Your quilt is adorable, and I love your choice for the back.

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