Monday, 16 January 2012

First past the post

My first quilt of 2012 is complete. That's not start-to-finish in 2012 - I'm not superwoman - but quilting and binding finished in the last few days.

I started this quilt a little while ago, having bought the fabric a while before that. The fabric is A Little Romance from Moda - one of the first jelly rolls I ever bought. The colours are well outside of my comfort zone; much girlier than I would usually choose, but I had my reasons. Firstly, everyone at my quilt group always recognised my quilts as those with bright saturated colours, and I wanted to show them that I could do something different. Secondly, I liked the idea of coming up with a jelly roll pattern that might appeal to people other than just me. Give me a few days, and I may even write it up as a tutorial.

I have found working with a single fabric line motivationally challenging. My two favourite parts of making a quilt are choosing fabrics and quilting. If you use a single range of fabrics, fabric choices are minimal to non-existent and I found that pretty tough. The only real choice I had was picking the backing - a bargain from Abakhan Fabrics.

The cats have been pretty involved in the making of this quilt. George helped with the block layout...

and the quilting...

Mmmm - a hammock
Bonnie has got to grips with the long arm quilting machine too...

It's like a tent under here - cool
The quilting has definitely been the most fun part. I spent a few dull meetings at work doodling on the agenda and minutes and deciding on a quilting design. I finally settled on free motion leafy swirls along all the sashing. A few too many starts and stops to be called efficient, but a whole lotta fun. A comment on twitter the other day made me realise that I don't have many close-up pictures of my quilting, so I'm determined to take more from now on.

Now that it is finished, I realise that this quilt has been growing on me. It's still a bit too pink for my taste, but who can argue with a single bed quilt from a single jelly roll and some sashing fabric? My cute, girly cat seems to like it too.

Surely it must be almost nap-time

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Sew Happy Geek

Fresh Poppy Design


Kathy Niklewicz said...

What a lovely quilt! I'm new to the term 'jelly roll'. Strips of fabric already sewn together that come in a roll?

I can't decide which side I prefer. Both are so attractive - one side geometric and the other 'free and breezy'! I'm amazed you found that very unusual one piece fabric for the back!

And do I understand you have a free-arm quilting machine in your home? Very cool!

Quiltification said...

Kathy - thank you for your kind comment. A jelly roll consists of 2.5 inch strips of 40 fabrics from a single fabric line all rolled up together. The idea is that you get a large number of different prints that all go together without having to buy yardage of each. It also saves you having to cut strips of fabric. They look very, very tempting in a quilt shop!

I was lucky with the backing - I had to sew one seam but was able to match up the design across it. The store I went to sells fabric by the kilo - many ends of rolls and slight seconds. I can nearly always find a bargain which is perfect for a back.

And yes, I am the very lucky owner of a longarm quilting machine. After my father died suddenly a few years ago I decided not to put off dreams until sometime in the future if I could realise them now. Around the same time I was selling my home and decided to use part of the profit to buy the machine rather than plowing it all into the next property. One day I hope to quilt for others, but at the moment I work in academia full time, and quilting (and other crafts) are my time-consuming hobbies!

Kathy Niklewicz said...

Me again! Even though I checked the internet before commenting, I still wasn't grasping the jelly-roll concept. Now I understand it! Somehow this 'new' innovation has escaped me when visiting quilt shows and vendors! There's a Youtube that shows a group 'racing' to finish a quilt top by sewing the fabric strips in a single roll together! Took one gal 35 minutes! Amazing results and color combos!

It seems like 'fun' to use a long-arm, and I am impressed you'd like to start a business! That would be intimidating for me, though!

I didn't mean to ignore your cute kittys! They really look alike!

Ruth said...

It's lovely! What a great feeling too, to tick something off the list so early in the year. I love the backing. Pity I don't live nearer Abakhan any longer....

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this quilt!!! Can you give me sizes to cut for the blocks please? Sandy fullmer