Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Stayed up till 3.30 getting the top of the retro quilt finished and basted - I changed my mind about the backing and went for the back of a quilt cover I bought to chop up the front of, so the back (and borders, since I'm feeling lazy) are a bright white, at least compared to the front which is ivory, and really bought out as such by the bamboo batting.

This quilt is a departure for me in a few ways. It's the first time I've used a neutral - over half of the top is one colour - and not even a colour, just an old-looking white. And also, so many of the prints are from the one range. The more solid coloured green and the yellow with the little spots are the only ones not from the range.

Usually, I'm very opposed to just making a quilt with fabrics from one range. It's too easy. It's only one step away from a pattern, and that's one step away from a kit. Kits are for people who really should just buy a readymade blanket, because kits get you out of the most important (and to my mind, hardest) part of making a quilt.

Quilt Maths.

I'm fairly sure there are other quilts similar to mine out there. The 4 pointed star design is both simple and obvious. But, because I worked it out myself, with a calculator, a piece of paper and a paint document (actually, 4 paint documents - this one took a while to sort the colours), I'm fairly sure that the similarities wont get closer than that they share coloured and white star blocks. I picked my size, my layout, my angles. If I had used a pattern, there would be others with the same shapes, and even though the layout would be in different colours, if I ever saw one, it would be the same in my mind as showing up at a party in the same outfit as someone else. Worse. It would be like I had told everyone I was making my own dress, but someone showed up in the same thing. Making a quilt from a kit, and saying it's all you're own work, it's like being caught in a lie.

Quilting a top, to my mind, takes very little skill. Patience, yes. accurate cutting is important, and so is the ability to consistently sew a straight line a certain width from the edge of your fabric. Finally, there is ironing. So very much ironing in fact, that I'm getting a little callus under my pinkie finger.

But once the fabric and the design are sorted, you're just churning though it - it's no different to fixing a hem and ironing your clothes. Sure, more hard stuff comes when it gets to the quilting point, but it seems the thing to do is send it off to someone with a machine that takes up half a room, and pay them to do it for you.

The most difficult part of a quilt is working out the pattern, and choosing the fabrics. And I'm not gunna hand that task over to someone else, when it's also the part that has the most to do with my pride in the final result.

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