Quilting -- Something New for Me
I’ve been intrigued by the idea of quilting ever since my tour of a neighbor’s house. She is a very accomplished quilter – quilts everywhere – on the beds, walls, tables, as cushion covers, etc. I saw quilting as a skill I could acquire and take along in the RV while escaping winter. I envision doing small projects such as placemats and tote bags. So, to that end, I have started on my quilting journey.
I started with a book on quilting for beginners. The first chapters point out what you need to get started and familiarize the reader with some quilter’s jargon – e.g. – “fat quarter” and “block”.
Then I set about acquiring the things I would need to get going. My neighbor gave me a spare rotary cutter, but I had to source spare blades and a small cutter, which I have now placed in my Katamavak store. As well, I have sourced a number of quilting tools, such as variously sized rulers, templates, fabric marking tools and even sewing machines designed for quilting.
( https://www.katamavak.com/collections/sewing/quilting#MainContent )
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I then went crazy buying “fat quarters”. A fat quarter is ¼ of a square meter or yard, depending on where you live, and its fat because the width of the piece depends on the overall width of the fabric from which it was cut. So….if you start with 44” fabric and live in Canada, your fat quarter is 22” by 20” (50 cm), but if you live in the USA your fat quarter will measure 22” by 18” (half a yard). I also picked up some low loft batting and some larger pieces of fabric to use as a backing to get me started.
My first project went well – a simple pot mat with a heart applique. I went to a meeting of the local quilt guild with my neighbor, where my project was greeted with nods of approval and some words of advice – since the mat didn’t have mitered corners, the ladies took it upon themselves to teach me how to miter the corners on the binding of my next project.
I have just completed my second project – a pair of placemats. I faced several challenges with this project. The first was an apparent shortage of fabric for binding the edges. I had to sew together several remnant strips – which gave me enough to bind 1 placemat if I followed the quilters’ method for binding quilts. However, if I followed my dressmakers’ method for binding seams, I had enough (just) to bind both placemats. I simply cut my 1 strip in half lengthwise.
My second challenge came when I was mitering the corners on the first placemat – I stitched fabric I shouldn’t have, then trimmed the corners – OOOPPPSSS! I now had small holes at the corners, and no batting to support the corners. I had to take out the stitching at the corners, rework the folding of the fabric, stuffed the removed bits back into the corners and tacked everything into place. I then refinished the initial row of stitching, folded the binding around the edge and finished the second row of stitching. I hid the tiny holes in the corners with some decorative stitching.
Before finishing the second placemat I took some remnants and practiced the corner miters. I was then able to finish the second placemat without major problems. I think the most valuable thing I take away from this project is that planning is the key – I really didn’t have enough fabric for this project – I might have if I had made different color choices – but before I start the next project I will do a better evaluation of the fabric I have on hand vs what I might need to add in order to complete it.