Monday, February 22, 2010

Playing with quilting

I have been thinking about having a go at quilting for a while, living in the US now I kind of have to. I did a bit of patchwork when I was little but always by hand, not on the machine. When I saw a log cabin quilt-along come up on a sewing forum I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to get started. Log cabin quilts seem to be universally described as perfect for beginners, each block is made up of strips around a central square. The strips represent the logs in a log cabin and traditionally they have a red centre to represent the hearth. They are usually made with a contrast between light and dark, this means you can make bigger patterns when the blocks are sewn up into a quilt.

I'm not sure I'm ready to tackle a whole quilt just yet so my plan is to try and make some cushion covers for our living room. The quilt-along isn't due to start until 1st March so for now I'm just planning what to do and making sure I have the supplies I need. I have bought a jelly roll (pre-cut 2.5" strips) of the gorgeous Momo Wonderland fabrics, which should hopefully brighten up the very beige room.

This black and white cushion was made from a cheap bundle of fat 1/8ths from Jo-Ann's, just to test out how it all works. I quilted the top by 'stitching in the ditch' (along the seam lines) because I don't think I'm quite ready for free-form quilting just yet. The edges are finished by folding over the backing fabric and stitching it down. I didn't put a zip in this one because I was being lazy, but I will probably try and do that for the next ones I make.


  1. Hi Gail, that really does look impressive. Did it take long?
    I have never quilted before. Putting a few patches of things randomly isn't quite quilting. Besides, never really had the patience, or the heart to cut pretty fabrics into squares or shapes. Hmm. Jo-Ann's bargain bin is definitely a way to start a quilt practice!
    (Pity there isn't a JoAnn's or Michael's here. Sigh!)

  2. Thanks Juanita, it didn't actually take too long, I think if you make sure your strips are cut accurately and work out how to sew an even 1/4" seam then it's pretty straightforward. You just start with the square in the middle and keep sewing strips on, rotating the square for each new strip. You don't even have to cut the strips to length first, just trim them as you go.

  3. Lovely - great choice of fabrics too. I am petrified of quilting my patchwork... I'm nearly done with all the blocks now and keep procrastinating about the next stage..!

  4. Thanks Ali, can't wait to see what you do with all your blocks.