I have always been a enormous fan of homemade items everything from jam through to curtains and dresses, not made of the same fabric, so I have always been desperate to give quilting a go. Naturally the prospect was pretty daunting there is not only the sewing to contend with you also have to ensure that the fabrics you pick compliment each other whether you are matching or clashing them. Clashing pieces takes just as much skill as matching it can end up looking shabby chic and cool or a total mess and cause headaches. So I went on the web to find my fabric and patterns, although home crafts are certainly becoming in vogue I’m not sure whether this exciting revival has made its way through to patchwork quilting yet.
So I decided to go underground and pick my items without the whole world watching, I opted for classic floral fabrics that would clash in a country cottage kind of way. The website that I used even suggested other fabrics that would work well with the one that I had picked. Then I decided that the best way to approach my first quilt would be to use a patchwork quilt pattern, that’s when I realised I should have looked at a pattern first so that I would know how much of each contrasting colour I would need!! Luckily I had not picked too far off what I needed so only a slight adjustment was needed. Then I needed wadding and backing fabric and I was good to go. Getting StartedWhen the items arrived it was time to get cracking, I decided it was best to wash the material so that any shrinking that could occur would happen before I cut out the pattern. So with it Mat Spendex Satin washed dried and ironed I was ready to begin, the patchwork pattern I chose provided templates and told me how many of each colour and shape I would need to cut out, so scissors at the ready I began.
This turned out to be a fairly laborious task and I can’t honestly say that every piece was exactly the same size and there were more than a little bit of fabric pen on each one. Machine HeadFor the sewing part make sure you have plenty of pins because you will need to pin lots of squares and triangles of material in order to make each block and this needs a lot of pins. You also need to be careful about where each seem goes because you want them to lie flat when the block is finished and it is quite easy to sew over a bit and realise you have created a lump in your square. I should have made it clear that the seams have to be ironed to one side or another, never flattened out down the middle because it will weaken the seam and could cause holes which will not look great. So after a lot of sewing, ironing and pinning I have the blocks that are going to make up the top of my quilt, now they just have to be sewn together cue more pinning, sewing and ironing! Phew!Finishing TouchesThen it was time to make the quilt sandwich, all 3 layers, top, wadding and batting had to be sewn together in the quilting part of the exercise. It is advised that when it is your first quilt you don’t try to be too over confident with the quilting pattern and sew in blocks so as not to confuse matters. I duly sewed in a simple blocks pattern that comfortably sewed all the layers together and created a good quilt look and I managed to stay relatively calm about the whole experience.
Once this bit is done all it takes is to sew a band of fabric around the edge to neaten the whole thing up, something I must admit I had forgotten about! So I had to rush off to to the shops and get the fabric then rush back to finish my masterpiece. After sewing my piece of material on as the border I was finished and could not have been more proud! Although the experience takes time it just makes the end productall the sweeter, I have a brilliant quilt that I can keep on my bed and the skills to make more for friends and family which could be passed down to future generations and I can sit on my porch on a rocking chair ……