Monday, 19 September 2011

Another go at quilting

I was getting a bit fed up with sitting round the house after my accident on holiday and I didn't have any plans for the weekend so when I saw that my local craft studio was running a beginners quilting weekend course I jumped at the chance. I've made a quilt once before and although it turned out OK I made lots of little mistakes along the way and I thought it would be useful to learn properly. Plus I am slightly addicted to buying fabric and I need to start using it!

After discussing possible ideas I decided to make a simple quilt with square patchwork to make the most of all the fabric I had. I took a few pictures along the way but, as always when I get involved in something, not as many as planned. (Apologies for the photo quality - some are on my phone and it was a miserable day on Saturday).

I cut 96 six inch squares using a rotary cutter and ruler and roughly arranged them to sew together. I seem to have been drawn to pink fabric (again!) so this is going to be quite a pink quilt but I tried to balance it out a bit with some turquoise and blue patches.

After much pinning and sewing and unpicking and resewing and swearing at the sewing machine I came up with this for my quilt top:

I didn't take any pictures of the next stage which involves making the quilt sandwich with wadding and backing and then loosely tacking all the layers together. Once that was all done it was finally time to do some quilting! YAY! Unfortunately making the quilt top had taken longer than expected and by this stage it was 3pm on Sunday and I was flagging! I just had time to start quilting but would have to take it home to finish off!

My initial plan was to free motion quilt in a swirly pattern. The teacher got me started on this and I had a go. I don't know if it was because I was very tired or it just isn't my thing but I found the free motion quilting SOOOO stressful! I just couldn't get the balance between the stitch speed and the speed to move the quilt around at so I ended up with wildly differing stitch lengths! After much huffing and puffing I'm ashamed to say I decided to admit defeat and give up. I really want to learn how to quilt beautiful swirly patterns but I don't think this is the project to do it on - I think I will have to start with something smaller and less challenging initially.

By that time it was nearing the end of the class so I just had a go at quilting a couple of straight lines on my quilt and brought it home to finish off.

Unfortunately that means I now have another thing to add to my WIP list! Since I got home I've been thinking about this more and I think I might unpick the straight machine quilting I did and hand quilt this one. I really like the effect of hand quilting and it is an opportunity to try something I've not done before. Plus I like the idea of sitting with this on my lap and feeling cosy whilst I quilt on a cold Autumn evening. It also means I won't have to fork out for a walking foot for my machine! It would take a long time though.....I'll keep you updated!

Dotty xx


Wendy said...

Wow you got so much done!!! Love the quilt top. Free motion quilting scares me too and I only attempted it on a taggy blanket which measured 8"!!

Jane said...

Lovely lovely! You are so multi-talented!

Diane J. Evans said...

Lovely, Cara! Don't give up on the free-motion quilting -- you chose a daunting project with which to start. This is a large quilt, and the best way to practice FMQ is with a small sandwich at first. You'll get good at it very quickly, I guarantee it, because you're so very good at all the other artful projects you've engaged in.


Annaboo's House said...

I cannot offer advice about quilting, but I can say how much I love the fabrics you have chosen!
This is a thing of beauty and I wish I could do something like it!
Have a good week. And don't give up on it!

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