Thursday, January 27, 2011

quilt!

I've been working on a new quilt.  I wouldn't call myself a quilter, but I've made two quilts (without any sort of real clue about what I was doing).  My first, in 2008 was made out of scraps of fabric from other sewing projects (mostly skirts I'd sewn) and consisted of simple squares.  I was inspired to try it after getting a lesson in using a rotary cutter during a trip to visit my parents.  Here is my finished quilt folded on the back of Dovey's favorite chair here at the farm:



It's pretty small and should really be called a patchwork blanket because it's not quilted at all, but I still love it.

I made the second quilt last winter.  Here's a photo of the finished quilt top draped across the sofa at my house in Cleveland:



And the finished quilt folded on the loveseat on the upstairs landing here at the farm:




(Yep, I used leftover fabric from that quilt to make a couple things in my etsy shop).

I love having blankets around and enjoy making crocheted blankets and quilts, too.  It's really comfy to curl up on that loveseat and pile on the quilt and those crocheted blankets.  I have visions of some day having piles and stacks of quilts and crocheted blankets, maybe in a pretty, white painted, glass front cabinet or draped on a quilt ladder or in a basket, or, or, or...

The other day I mentioned that I was cutting out fabric for a new quilt.  I'd been saving this fabric to make a quilt since last winter.  I bought a variety of prints from Amy Butler's Love line (watch her Love video, it's really fun) when I was on a roll with the blues and greens quilt (also Amy Butler fabric.  Yep, I love her).  I thought I'd maybe make a quilt with hexagons, kind of like the free downloadable pattern on Amy Butler's website, but then I decided to go with squares and rectangles.  I had eight fabrics for the top of the quilt and my plan was to slowly work my way through cutting the fabrics two prints a day.  I think I stuck to that plan for the most part.  And then I spent some time thinking.  I cut sixteen large squares (two of each pattern) and 64 rectangles (eight of each pattern) and figured that I would make sixteen blocks each with a center square surrounded by the long, skinny rectangles.  I had to figure out how to arrange all of those pieces after cutting them because I had no plan from the beginning.  After a couple sketches and a few sessions of laying the fabric on the ground and on the guest room bed, I came up with a pleasing arrangement.



I'd never made a quilt with actual blocks before and I'd never used white in a quilt before, but this time I wanted all of my blocks surrounded by white (not knowing much about quilts, I didn't know that surround would be called "sashing").  After coming up with my pattern the next step was sewing each block.  What a fun and manageable way to put together a quilt!  Again, my plan was to break the process down so I could work on other things and not have the quilt be my main focus.  I would make two blocks a day.  Here's my first block:



It took a little figuring because I wasn't sure how to sew all the overlapping bits (I'm serious when I tell you I don't know what I'm doing), but I figured it out and got a rhythm going.  Here are my first two blocks:




Well... my plan quickly derailed and I became obsessed with putting together my blocks.  And then once all sixteen were finished I just had to figure out how to do the sashing and sew all of that, too.  Here's an in-process shot with Dovey helping (she cannot stay away when fabric is on the floor):




I finished the quilt top yesterday:




Each of the blocks is about 10 inches; the sashing is 1 inch and the border is 4 inches.  I guess that makes the entire quilt about 54 inches square (if my math is correct; my brother is the math teacher, not me).  It's hard to photograph a quilt.  I dream of being able to hang my quilts on the clothesline and photograph them that way.  Until then, here are a couple more photos taken when I pinned it to the wall:






Not the best, but you get the idea.

I am so excited with how it turned out!  Now I just have to get the back finished and put it together.  I have another fabric from the Love line for a majority of the back and plan to make a simple pieced back.  Maybe just two stripes of the patterned fabric and a stripe of white.  Maybe something a little more complicated.  We'll see.  I'm also not sure how I'm going to put it all together.  Will I follow quilting rules (as I've heard them from my mom) and quilt first?  Or will I sew it all together like I did with my first two quilts and decide to quilt or not to quilt afterward?  I'll let you know.

8 comments:

  1. Wow you have so many talents! I would love to know how to make a quilt. Yours is beautiful. And I love the photos of your kitty!

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  2. Dear Anne, What a wonderful quilt you are making. Yes, you are a quilter, and yes you are an artist. Really great how you have the courage and imagination to experiment and create. Nice that the ceilings are high so you can hang your finished quilt on a fist floor wall sometimes. Love, Dad.

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  3. Your quilts are lovely Anne. I have never had a go at quilt making - too many other projects on the go! I like the idea of a pile of assorted quilts and crochet blankets all stacked up!!!

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  4. Oh my gosh they're all so pretty, your new one is going to be great! It looks to me that you lnow plenty about quilting!

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  5. I love quilts - all that history they carry with them - little reminders of outfits and people. Yours are so pretty.

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  6. The quilts you have already made are lovely Anne. I can see by your second one that you like my daughter's favorite colors. The idea of a cabinet filled with quilts sounds very pretty.
    Your new quilt is really rich. The colors play off of each other beautifully and I think the bits of dark red just add a wonderful zing!
    You will soon have to stop saying that you know nothing about quilting!

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  7. Dearest sweet anne, your quilts are gorgeous!! I really adore all of them and the selection of fabrics are just fantastic!! This made me think of my own quilt blanket that i started last year but it's still far from being completed! I must try to it done this year! Have a lovely merry happy day and love to you!

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  8. Thank you all for the quilt compliments! I'm enjoying figuring things out as I go and enjoying playing with fabrics and colors, not worrying too much about anything other than pleasing me. I have yet to finish my quilt, though. Daunted by the fact that I did my first two quilts the "wrong" way, I stopped. Do I continue doing things "wrong" or do I attempt the "right" way? Luckily I have lots of other projects to work on while I think about it.

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