But before I jump into that, be sure to check out Michèle-Renée's blog, Quilt Matters. Also, mucho thanks to Beth, who organized this shindig. Finally, thank you for stopping by!
I am Mama to two amazing little boys (2 years and 4 months) and the wife of a Ph.D. student. In the sixth grade, my mom taught me how to sew a dress, but no sewing machine and no additional instruction pretty much killed further sewing dreams. Until! My husband's grandmother gifted me her 1953 Singer sewing machine (Agatha), and my pal Karen taught me how to quilt. (Hi Karen!) When I'm not quilting or being a mommy or wife, I'm working on writing a five book YA series.
Now, here are copious pictures (or nine) of things I've made!
How long have you been quilting?
I started quilting in October....maybe November...of 2011. So not quite a year.
Favorite fabric (or wish list fabric):
I seriously heart Tula Pink. I have spent (and will spend) many many hours putting large quantities of her fabric into online shopping carts, only to face reality and my fabric budget.
Favorite craft book:
I apparently have joined the Elizabeth Hartman Practical Guide to Patchwork cult. It was the first modern quilting book I picked up, and I drooled over each and every quilt included in its luscious covers.
Favorite book (or book you are currently reading):
Right now? I adore Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta, and Savvy by Ingrid Law. There are about a kajillion others, but since this is supposed to be about quilting, I'll control myself. I'm currently reading Elantris by Brian Sanderson and Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard.
Favorite children's book:
Madeleine L'Engle was my favorite author when I was a kid, so I spent a lot of time immersed in her work. I was (and still am!) a huge Nancy Drew fan.
Favorite quilting tool:
My trusty sewing machine, Agatha. But since that's kind of cheating, I guess my rotary cutter with a fresh blade.
Okay, now that we've waded through all sorts of amazing and thrilling information and photos, how 'bout we get to the project? A good friend of mine is having a baby come late September, and of course, I had to make a quilt for her. After deciding on a design, then changing my mind and picking another one and repeating that cycle 3 or 4 times, I finally landed on this:
Baby K's Quilt
(36) 5" charms
3/4 yard fabric (2 different kinds) for border A & B fabrics
1 1/4 yard fabric for backing
1/3 yard fabric for binding
The quilt measures 42" square, and the fabric I used is Reunion by Sweetwater for Moda plus a lovely crimson batik. I have no idea what the backing or binding fabrics are, sorry! [Edit 12/8/12: The binding fabric is Sassy by Sandy Gervais. Thanks, Kelie!]
charm squares: cut all 36 into (4) 2.5" squares for 144 total squares
border fabrics A & B: (12) 3.5" x 12.5"; (18) 4" squares
1. Assemble the 2.5" charm pieces into four individual patchwork grids of 6x6. They should measure 12.5" square when complete. Of course, you're welcome to do as you'd like, but when I cut my charms, I made four separate piles so that each patchwork piece would have 1 of each type of fabric.
2. Using the 4" border fabric squares, create (36) 3.5" HSTs. If you're unfamiliar with HSTs, In Color Order has a great tutorial.
3. Create pinwheel blocks with your HSTs. (They'll measure 6.5" square.) I made five of my pinwheel blocks "spin" in one direction and four "spin" in the other direction. (See the picture below.)
4. Place 1 Border A and 1 Border B fabric pieces right sides together. Sew along one 12.5" end. Repeat this with the other 11 sets.
5. Assemble by row, then sew the rows together. (See the picture below.)
6. Baste, quilt, bind, and then you'll have your finished quilt! I quilted mine with straight diagonal lines through the corners of each patchwork square and 1/4" echoing the inside of the pinwheels and stripes. If you're into FMQ, I like the idea of feathers in the border stripes or Elizabeth Hartman's dogwood quilting in the patchwork sections.
In the past, I've lockstitched my quilting lines or just run them off the quilt, and this was the first quilt that I actually buried my threads. I had thought it would be a complicated and tedious process, but it really wasn't. It did take some time, but I would finish quilting one patchwork section, bury the threads, and move on to the next. The time was worth the effort as the starts and ends of the quilting lines look a lot cleaner.
This is the first time I've attempted to write out a project, so if you have any questions, or if anything is unclear, let me know by email or in the comments area, and I'll do what I can to clear things up. (Thanks!)