Friday, October 31, 2014

Quilting Fever

I've been taking a breather from garment sewing (always my first love) to do a quick dive into the world of quilting. I decided I want to give my nephews and my son quilts for the holidays. It's been a tough year in the family, and I figure they could all use a big, warm, cotton-y hug. That means I plan to finish four (count 'em, four) quilts by December 24.

I'm using designs from Cozy Modern Quilts, which I bought at Sew Creative in Ashland. They had a quilt made from one of these designs hanging on the shop wall and I was so fascinated by the construction that I had to get the book, even though I had no concrete quilting plans at the time.

The boys who will be receiving said quilts are all 20-somethings, or, in the case of my son, early 30-somethings. It's an outside chance that they'll be excited to open a quilt on Christmas Eve, even if it is from their loving Aunt Nancy (a.k.a. Mom). I figure I might increase the happiness quotient if I stick to designs that are more angular and modern. Plus (bonus!) bigger pieces that are all rectangles will probably make my life a lot easier.

I'm reasonably certain that none of these young men follow my sewing blog, so here are photos of my first two quilt tops:


I have to say that I'm having more fun with this than I thought I would. Playing with the fabrics and colors is a blast, and, as my friend Martha pointed out, I don't have to worry about whether it's going to fit when it's done.

One thing I've learned so far is that in quilting, accuracy counts. I'm getting pretty snappy with the old rotary cutter and I can eyeball a 1/4 inch seam way better now that I could 3 weeks ago. I'm hoping this new-found respect for precision will migrate to my garment sewing, where I'm sure it would do wonders.

I've only made one quilt in the last 40 years, and that one took me 3 years to complete. It was for The Man's birthday. He got quilt-in-progress photos for two years running. I'm clearly going to need to step up my game if I'm going to meet my deadline.

So, I am a total quilting newbie. Can any of you give me advice about how to handle what I understand is called the "quilt sandwich?" I have to say I'm really liking the idea of taking my completed tops to the Quilt Pixie and asking her to take care of all that pesky batting and backing. Would that be a cop out? If I invest in a walking foot could I manage to quilt something this size at home without driving The Man to drink with my cussing and crying?


  1. Taking it to the Quilt Pixie would not be a cop out. I would do that rather than pressure myself to quilt 4 before Christmas. Love the quilts you have shown.

    1. Thanks for absolving me from quilt guilt! I'll give ever a call this week.

  2. I've been out-of-town and am just now catching up. Your quilts are beautiful! I just completed a quilt, that is new to me too, and did all the machine quilting myself. I used the Warm & Natural 100% cotton batting, which not only is a premium product for the batting, but I now understand it 'clings' to the fabrics better and makes machine quilting a little easier with less fabric shifting. I sandwiched using basting safety pins..... used a LOT and even then it wasn't enough. Just had to keep re-pinning them as the quilting progressed. Loved the entire process of quilt-making, so different than garment sewing, but a nice complement as it seems to use a different thought-process and skill set at times. Quilting does take a long time, but you are pretty speedy over there and you can probably churn those out fine. But taking it to the Quilt Pixie, as Nana said, would not be a cop out either. Good Luck! Look forward to seeing them complete!

    1. I think I saw that quilt on your blog! Gorgeous, and I'm totally amazed at how you got all those corners to line up. Now that I've tried a bit of this myself I can appreciate what it takes!