First Quilting Projects

I have just recently learned to quilt and completed my first project. This twin-size bed quilt is made from pre-cut fabrics. Pre-cuts come in sets of patterns and colours that go together. This one is by Moda Fabrics and it is called Salt Air. I got a “charm pack” (a set of about 40 5-inch squares) and a “jelly roll” (a set of 2.5 inch strips, each about 40 inches long) and made this Jelly Charm quilt. I learned about this pattern watching the wonderful videos on YouTube by the Missouri Star Quilt Company, starring Jenny Doan. I also took an online class at Craftsy with Joan as the instructor. But really I did the class for confidence and fun: I learned pretty much all I needed to know watching videos.

So this quilt consists of one block pattern that is sewed together in rows of 5 blocks. The centre of each block is a charm square, and I used the jelly roll strips to make a border around each square. It was fun figuring out which fabrics to pair with each other. Then I had to arrange them on a work surface to decide on where each block would be placed. I eventually want to build a “design wall” – a vertical surface onto which you can place or pin blocks to plan out a quilt. But for now I use an old white bed sheet laid out on our bed. The border and back fabrics were chosen from bolts of fabric within the Salt Air collection.

After putting together the top (“piecing”) I had to “baste”, which means put together the three layers of the quilt. I had to use my kitchen table, which wasn’t big enough, but I made it work. I used safety pins to hold the three layers together (top, batting, and backing) and then it was time to quilt!

This is what I was most looking forward to. I was inspired to begin quilting by reading Leah Day’s blog, the Free Motion Quilting Project. The design I chose for my quilt is called Spiral Knots. It was an easy pattern for my first time, and I thought the spirals went well with the patterns in the fabric. After many trouble-free practice sessions I was dismayed after doing a full quarter of my quilt to see that the stitches beneath were loose and I had to unpick it all. Turns out I’d forgotten to adjust the thread tension when I switched from my piecing foot to my quilting foot. I won’t forget to do that again! Otherwise it was so easy and I really have to give Leah Day credit for her wonderful videos. After watching her for ages waiting to get my own sewing machine it was really easy to pick up and do it myself.

I was really happy with how this quilt turned out. It will be for my daughter when she gets her own room (in our current tiny home there is too much clutter and cats and messy little brother in the kids’ room and I don’t want this quilt to get stained and ruined).

My second project is a quilt I’m making for my mother as a Christmas present. It uses a selection of lovely batik fabrics in a Jelly Roll. It is proving more difficult but only because I keep changing my mind about how it is going to look!

But I took a break from that quilt to work on a special project for charity. A local family, who are not known to me but are known to a few families in our homelearning community, are going through a difficult time. Their 9 year old daughter has leukaemia and must go to the mainland for therapy. The family needs to raise funds so they can be there with her for the few months it will take. I made a table runner out of a charm square pack of lovely Christmas fabrics, and am donating it for their silent auction. I decided to quilt with a simple stippling pattern since I didn’t want to make any mistakes. I was really pleased with how it turned out and am looking forward to building up a collection of seasonal table runners for my future dining room.

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2 thoughts on “First Quilting Projects

  1. these quilts are beautiful, M. it’s truly inspiring to see how you’ve turned a love of this into a gesture of support for community members going through a really tough time. one never knows when these sorts of things will turn direction in the wind and find their way back to us … it’s great to see your new space too. 🙂

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