This was the first pattern and fabric I bought to try my hand at quilting. I had, at that point in time, barely managed to piece a single block for a friend's Guild President's Quilt. She laughed at me all through reading about that particular little project, because my skills were so insanely pathetic. Only she laughed in the most encouraging manner so that I didn't give up.
When I bought the pattern, I had two thoughts -- a jelly roll pattern (something using pre-cut long strips of 2.5" width) would be easiest, since I would only have to cut the strips to the right length, and I knew I didn't want any triangles. The triangles in my friend's block gave me fits. It never crossed my mind to worry about anything else, which is the benefit of being clueless when you start --- you don't know enough to know what's hard and what's not, so you are willing to tackle anything. At least, I was.
The helpful staff at the quilt shop where I bought the jelly roll and the pattern were encouraging, until I talked to the lady who wrote the pattern I was buying, and tweaking. See, she wrote the pattern for a 4-color way jelly roll. It was meant to have four colors in it, plus the black for the background. I wanted to do the whole thing in red, white & blue. Even with light blue and dark blue, that was four colors total, including the cream that would also be my background. She wasn't thrilled at the prospect of a baby beginner like me, with no confidence at the time, rearranging her pattern. She was really worried I would not get all the tweaking just right and would wind up discouraged. She was wrong.
Still, she was helpful. She figured roughly how much extra of the other colors I would need to compensate for using one less color than intended, helped me think through what I was getting into, and very dubiously set me on my way. She was more than a little concerned about accurate piecing since I was so new and doing this all by hand. I took that as a challenge, ignored her doubts and vowed to do a fantastic job.
Mostly, I did.
Now, I won't be winning any awards or anything, and my quilt did turn out a few inches smaller all around than what it is supposed to have turned out, but it also ended up where all my seams but one match up pretty well and the whole thing is square. When you put the borders on, you are to measure across the middle, top and bottom and average the three measurements to determine how long to make your border, and then work the fabric of the quilt into fitting that length. I did this and was delighted to have less than a half-inch difference between top, middle, bottom each time I measured. Now, maybe a time will come when an eight-inch difference bothers me, but for my first project and having heard from my mentor friend that a customer quilt of hers had a 2 to 3 inch difference, I was thrilled.
I finished all of the piecing and borders in time to take the quilt top with me, along with the backing fabric, to Colorado where Kim had a domestic machine and a long arm kind of machine and promised to help me quilt my quilt.
|close up of the pantograph design we used on my quilt, "stars & loops"|
I used Superior's King Tut variegated thread in a light to dark blue.
|the quilt, all spread out|
the binding turned out, totally by accident, to be blue on the blue sides and red on the red sides,
except the side shown to the right which is half and half. Total accident, but lovely!
There are purists who will say that since Kim quilted it, I didn't make a quilt, I only made a quilt top. I'm okay with that (and the label, which is not on yet, will have both names; I'm proud to share credit with Kim on this one!). Seeing it on the couch, though.....wow. I kind of still can't believe I did it. Even part of it.
|flipped so you can see the backing fabric, which I love.|
We keep the quilt folded on the back of the love seat when not in use.
Any new hobbies you have found this year? Or plan to start? Get back to? I'd love to hear about it.