It's Friday, when I share my adventures. This week, a peek into my quilting adventures.
If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter or Sulia, you might have noticed I'm a leeetle obsessed with quilting.
I even set a tiny little goal to finish 6 quilts this year. Since I had only ever finished one quilt, in my whole life, until I did the two Christmas quilts this year (1 + 2), this is a big deal. I let it percolate without any really planning, until I stumbled on the quarterly finish-a-long. Just what I needed! A way to plot my 6 quilt goal by breaking it up into quarters (you know I love that). So, I'm jumping right in. My quarterly goal is to finish 2 quilts by the end of June.
Let's meet the contestants.
#1. Emerald Isle
(NC, not Ireland)
This is a collaboration with my mom. A few years ago, before we went on a family vacation to Emerald Isle, NC, we decided it'd be fun to work on a quilt while we were together. Before we left, we each bought 1/2 yard of 6 fabrics, without knowing what the other bought. We only stipulated that they be ocean-y colors. We know each other's style, so we ended up with 12 fabrics that matched beautifully (some even from the same line!)
Pattern: None at all.
I convinced my traditionally-quilting mom that as long as all of our pieces were the same width, we could cut them as thick or thin as we wanted, so we just chopped up a bunch and then strung them together into 6 panels. The plan was to make one quilt, but it was turning out to be a really big quilt, so we realized that with some borders and sashes we could each take 3 panels and make 2 quilts – one for each of us! We picked different sashing and backing fabric + basted them while we were together last fall (2 years after starting the piecing).
Status: pieced, backed and basted, only needs to be handquilted to be finished. I'm 1/4 of the way through the quilting, and it goes fast, so this should be an easy finish.
This is one I really want to finish by the time we go back to Emerald Isle at the end of June, so I can take pictures of it on the beach.
#2. Red Hot
This quilt came from my obsessions with the #scrappytripalong quilts I kept spotting on Instagram. I would have loved to use scraps…but as a brand-new quilter with no studio space, I didn't have more than a few inches of scraps. But I did have a pack of fabric that Mom had passed on to me.
Even though these were large-scale fabrics, I decided to be bold and chop 'em up into tiny pieces (spreading out and breaking up the prints I didn't love.) I also did a fabric swap with Kloth and got rid of some of my least favorites, and bought a few 1/4 yards to add a bit more of what I love. I also had just ONE strip worth of three fabrics from this quilt and they provided great contrast to the more saturated blocks.
Pattern: Scrappy Trip Around the World, 5 blocks across, 6 down.
Status: Just finished sewing the back together last night! I need to sandwich and baste and then handquilt (I *might* experiment with free-motion machine-quilting this, because Elise makes it sound easy.)
#3. The Tradition
This quilt was not made by me. My mom took me shopping for the fabrics when I was 16 or 17 (I was really into blue + yellow, thank goodness I was out of my sunflower-fabric stage by then) and made it for my high school graduation. But there was a problem with one block, and this pattern requires a level of precision that easily frustrates. So away it went…for a decade. When Mom pulled it out (maybe a year or two ago?) I convinced her that we should sandwich and baste it together, wonky square or not.
She let me take it home with the promise to keep my cats away from it and handquilt it by the end of this year.
Pattern: Star Log Cabin. This one, I think?
Status: Basted and ready to handquilt.
#4. Blooms and Dots
This quilt only exists in our imagination, but when Mom and I return to Emerald Isle this year, we plan to work on a new quilt together. We're doing the buy-fabrics-seprately thing again, with the stipulation that they be pinks or oranges, in florals or polka dots. There's no way I'll finish it this quarter, but hope to have it done in the next.
Quilts #5 + #6 could be anything! In the world! I'm so excited to see what happens!
That's a lot more quilting that I ever really thought myself capable of. But that's what makes it fun, isn't it? The challenge of doing something so much bigger than you imagined?
I feel like I should include some sort of dislcaimer here: I am not an Official Quilter. I don't really follow patterns, and I'm not concerned with perfection. I stayed away from quilting for a long time, because I don't really care about straight lines, but that seems to be kinda integral to quilting, ya know? But diving in, working only with materials I really love, without the pressure to do it “right” works for me, wonky seams and all. The most important thing is to have fun while making it, and snuggling under it when I'm finished.
As I wrote this post, I realized that a huge reason I started quilting is because it was something to do with my mom. We live miles apart and reconnect when we get together by DOING something crafty. As a kid, there was always sewing going on, and when I got married and learned to knit, I taught her right away. So quilting, especially when we each buy different fabrics and combine them, is an easy extension of this. I'm happy for the time we spend together (and lonnnnng discussions on what EXACTLY we mean by “pinkish raspberry”) and I'm thrilled to have physical representations of that time.
I really can't wait to finish and snuggle under these quilts!
Unrelated to quilting: Next week I'm announcing 5 open spots for flight planning. You can snatch one up before then, if you're snappy.
Kylie BellardApril 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm (10 years ago)
Oh wow! I love the pink one. Incredible. I also really love that you have your own imperfect approach to quilting. I didn’t know that quilting was usually so precise (that’s how far away I am from doing anything quilt- or sewing-related), but now that I do, I’m very appreciative that your approach to it is about having fun. I’m sure that if I ever became a quilter, I’d be just like that about it!
Tara SwigerApril 16, 2013 at 9:33 am (10 years ago)
Thanks Kylie! Traditional quilts can get kind of scary with their preciseness…and on the other end of the spectrum, mine can get a little scary on the wonky side 🙂