Q is for Quilting
I’ve been making quilts since about 1997 when I decided I needed to make something for a blank wall in my home. That first quilt was a small wallhanging made from a pattern I found in a magazine. I hand quilted the quilt but not having any concept of proper hand quilting technique, I “stab stitched” it with a somewhat large needed. It wasn’t done “properly” but it was done and hung on my wall for many years.
After making that quilt, I decided to take a quilting class. I signed up for it not having any idea that I was going to be hand piecing the top and then was to hand quilt the whole thing. I decided to make a queen size quilt. I learned a lot about hand piecing and quilting techniques but, due to how bit that quilt is and the number of hours it would take to hand quilt the whole thing, I’ve never finished it.
I have, however, finished something like a hundred other quilts since that first wallhanging. Almost all of my quilts have been machine pieced on my home sewing machine and then I send them out to be quilted on a longarm quilt machine. A longarm machine is a giant quilting machine that handles large quilts much better than a home machine would do. My favorite longarm quilter also happens to be one of my friends, Anne Tuma of Down Under Quilting in New Prague (click HERE to read a story I wrote about Anne Tuma and Down Under Quilting)
Almost all of my quilts include bright colored fabrics – purple and turquoise are favorites. I have many quilts in my home but I’ve given away most of them to friends and family. I was just looking through pictures of quilts I’ve made and I had forgotten about many of them. I have kept some record of quilts I’ve made but it’s not comprehensive. I’m thinking I should put together a photo album of the quilts I’ve made so I can remember most of them. It won’t be 100% complete but that’s okay. An incomplete record of what I’ve made is better than no record at all.
I have been quite busy this past year or so piecing t-shirt quilts and memory quilts for Down Under Quilting. Though many of Anne’s customers piece their own memory quilts, many are non-quilters who simply drop off a bunch of t-shirts or fabrics for us to assemble into a fully finished quilt. It’s great fun to help Anne make wonderful memory quilts for her customers!
Though I don’t make as many quilts of my own as I used to (one year I made an average of one per month), I have made several in the past few years. My most recent is a Storm at Sea wallhanging. I’ve avoided making a Storm at Sea in the past because there is so much precise cutting and tiny pieces to sew together. I purchased a laser-cut kit so that I could eliminate the cutting process and found that the kit went together quite well. I then took the quilt top to Anne and had her help me pick an allover quilting pattern. She quilted it and another friend of hers bound it for me. It’s so lovely!
I also recently finished a quilt that now hangs in my office. This Flower Garden quilt is actually quite easy to make. It has a machine pieced background and the flowers are fused on. The thing that really makes this quilt shine is the machine quilting!
What’s next on my list of quilting projects? Well, I’m not 100% sure. I do have a Flower Quilt in process that I’d like to finish. To be completely honest, like many quilters, I have not just one unfinished project but a bunch of “UFOs” (Unfinished Objects) that I’d like to complete.