Saturday, February 26, 2011

Learning to quilt

When I got my sewing machine for my birthday last year I really wanted to learn how to quilt but didn't know where to start. Until a trip to my local Scrapstore with my art loving daughter revealed a cheap source of 'upcycled' fabrics. So I decided to play with the techniques and had a lot of fun.

The first quilt I made was a pattern called 'Puss in the Corner' from Traditional Patchwork Patterns with Plastic Templates by Rita Weiss

Puss in the Corner wall quilt
Puss in the Corner wall quilt

I made it using the plastic templates included in the book but the squares aren't quite all the same. The floral fabric is an upcycled curtain material (I think), the cream is a calico that I bought cheaply and the green border & backing was given to me to play with by a friend.

close up of floral fabric used in wall quilt
close up

I echoed the seams with a contrasting thread when quilting but then left it unbound as I didn't how to do it.

Then I made another one using an amazing piece of scrap material:

Terracotta Woman wall quilt
Terracotta Woman wall quilt

It reminds me of a terracotta wall fountain. I patchworked her face and then using an open toed foot drew out the detail in the fabric:

Close up of Terracotta Woman's face
Close up of Terracotta Woman's face

I also picked out the detail in the leaves:

ivy leaf in quilt
ivy leaf

It then joined the first one in the 'pile to be bound' as I still didn't know how to do it.

Then in November I went to the Knitting & Stitching Show in Harrogate & came home with a Double Strip 90 degree ruler from Creative Grids. I made 2.5" strips and had fun with some Sanderson upholstery weight fabrics:

Upcycled Sanderson upholstery fabric
Upcycled Sanderson upholstery fabric

and turned them into this:

Blue & Yellow double strip wall quilt
Blue & Yellow double strip wall quilt

I echoed the seams again but this time in a matching thread. I also used a thicker wadding so it's a lot plumper than the others.

Blue & Yellow double strip wall quilt
Blue & Yellow double strip wall quilt

I really enjoyed using the ruler and so DH bought me more for Christmas.

So now I had 3 wall quilts sat in the corner unbound. They stayed there for a few months until I plucked up the courage to do something with them and I turned to YouTube. First I learned how to bind them:

and then I had to sort out the back. I started off by sewing it by hand but got fed up as it's slow and my handsewing isn't neat. But then I remembered another video that I found a few months ago that demonstrated how to finish the binding with a sewing machine:

neat binding and the stitching in the ditch is hardly visible
neat binding, binding join and the stitching in the ditch is hardly visible

I also added triangles in the corner to make it easier to hang them up (a tip I found on one of the Quilters forums on Ravelry):

Corner triangles to hang wall quilt
Corner triangles to hang wall quilt

I did all 3 quilts over 2 evenings and have conquered my fear!

All 3 quilts, the yellow door stop and the tall fabric box have now found a good home with my local Scrapstore to provide inspiration to others.


Modelwidow said...

Well done for conquering the 'fear' and making some lovely quilts in the process. Thanks for the Finishing by machine link, very useful.

Auntie Noo said...

They are amazing. I am loving your new found love for the sewing machine. And finding it very inspiring!

Alice said...

I've always admired quilts - love the finishing details. Beautifully done.

Arianwen said...

wow you really have cracked it! I love the first one and the yellow and blue one. Gorgeous!

Daisy said...

Wow, those look amazing, and very very clever

Diane said...

Hi there! I hust found your blog via Ravelry.
Your quilts are beautiful! I love the Rita Weiss book, it was one of my first quilting books about twenty years ago and I still use it often!