I have always had a love and appreciation for quilting. When I was in college I spent one of my winter sessions researching the different quilt patterns and designs across the United States and England. For my final presentation I actually made a quilt. I wanted to do it all by hand because that was what the original quilt makers used to do.
Now that my job allows me to work with so many creative quilt makers I have been inspired to make a quilt for myself. I don’t think I will be able to master the art of quilt making or even impress most of you but will attempt my first quilt by machine. I hope my project will inspire the novices out there to take the plunge and make something for themselves.
I chose Windham’s Flower Bucket fabric collection by Genevieve Gail and decided to make a small quilt for a wall hanging. The colors are happy and playful and this will keep my mood upbeat. With advanced quilting tools, aka sewing machine, fabric bonding material and rotary cutter, the project started. Making the overall quilt top design was easy as the layout was created first on the computer. Free hand drawing of the shapes went well but always had to remember to add seam allowance. Assembling the blocks required concentration (no talking or TV) as you really have to pay attention to the direction you want to place the pattern. I ripped a few seams muttering to myself to be more careful. Why do I always manage to sew the longest seams with the fabrics facing the wrong direction so I have to rip them out? Checking each stage of progress by laying the pieces out on the floor was helpful but found it taken over by my cat and to get back with out some frisky play. Sigh
It is surprising how easy it was to do the appliqué work. With the Lite steam-a-seam 2 paper you can attach it to the fabric, cut out, peel the backing and stick to the top of the quilt. It will stay in place as you sew. AMAZING! OK I am not telling a veteran anything they don’t already know. I still remember the old days when you had to baste all the pieces down and hope they did not crawl when you sewed them on the machine – especially around curves. Thank you advanced technology! I have to credit Beth Hayes at McCall's Quilting for inspiring my border design after seeing her beautiful quilt in the McCall’s Quilting ‘America Makes Fast Quilts’ Autumn 2009 issue. www.mccallsquilting.com Thank you Beth!
A few minor mishaps and a few evenings later the top was assembled. I basted the top, batting and backing together. I admit I cheated by sending the top to my good friend Jean Ann Wright to long arm quilt it all together for me but I am not THAT skilled yet with drawing beautiful stitch work with my Bernina. When it was done she sent it back and I applied the binding.
Walla! Done! I had my first quilt in decades.
The Flower Bucket Quilt
Time spend on small project like this – a few evenings after work and all day Saturday
Hassles and cat interference – annoying
Looking at something that was accomplished by my own hands – priceless
Now I understand how the quilt lovers around the world feel when they finish that last bit of binding and stand back and admire their handiwork. But more importantly I have greater appreciation for all of you that are masters at the art of quilting. The work is beautiful and awe inspiring. The International Quilt Market is one of the best places to showcase all the creativity and talent. I can't wait to go. If you are there don’t forget to stop by the Windham Fabrics booth #900 – 905 and see all the new fabric collections we have to inspire you to create your next masterpiece.
If you cannot make the show, please be sure to visit our website: www.windhamfabrics.com
Quilting Merchandise Manager