Monday, July 18, 2011

Making It Up As I Go--Begining Quilting

I saw this amazing pack of fabric when I started looking for fabric for the circle around quilts.  It's called "Gypsy" and I loved it.  It just seemed kind of bohemian, kind of 70's, but with really bright versions of 70's colors.  Technically it was marketed as a "quilt kit", but in reality it was just a set of coordinating fat quarters with an extra large piece of fabric for a binding, along with a quilt pattern.  But I saw the fat quarters as basic supplies for any quilt I wanted.  So when the ridiculously overpriced kit went on sale 50% off I bought it.

The quilt pattern that came with it was for a smallish full-sized quilt.  So I began by laying out trace paper--gluing it together at the overlapping seams--to the size of a full quilt.  Out of curiosity I laid out the fat quarters on my quilt pattern.  It looks like there would be enough the cover the surface of the quilt twice.  So I'm curious with all the cutting and sewing to see how far the fabric goes.

Looking at my inspiration quilt, I identified the lines of the main quilt segments.  The first line goes straight across the middle.

So I took my huge trace paper quilt pattern and folded the bottom half up (valley style).  Then with the points to the center of the quilt I folded it in even thirds.

You can see how the pieces are not just triangles.  The center top and center bottom pieces are triangles but the other four pieces are trapezoids.   I then cut the six segments apart--labeling the top side up and labeling the seams that will have to be matched back up ("A" to "A" etc.).

Then I began sewing the pieces using the paper-pieced string quilt method that a friend suggested to get the look I was going for. 

This center piece is not yet completed but here is the progress.  I decided to cut each of my fat quarters into two six inch and two three inch strips, and I am sewing those together in an organized-random fashion.

I am very pleased with the results so far. 

I am undecided as yet of how I will finish it.  When I first bought the fabric I thought I might make a new bedspread for my and Jeremy's bed.  But I've also been contemplating the need for a dedicated family picnic blanket and think this fun pinwheel-esque pattern would be fun for a picnic quilt.  If I was going to do that I would back it with a more sturdy fabric, and maybe use no--or very thin--batting?  These are all ideas I hear, but really don't have much experience with.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Another nice thing about large quilt pieces is the quilt comes together more quickly.  I have to say this is nice for two reasons.  First anyone beginning a hobby likes to be encouraged to continue by quickly seeing substantial results.  Second, mom's of three busy boys don't get a lot of free sewing time.  So when I only have 20 minutes of sewing time in the evening (after set up and put away time is factored in--because I won't tell you what happened last time I left my sewing machine up and unattended during the day time. . .) it's nice when I can see progress each night. 

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