Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Workshop in Progress - Jan. 12

So, I've decided to take part in an online quilt circle, Workshop in Progress, hosted by Cheryl of Naptime Quilter. I'm so excited! And nervous.

I've been playing with lots of different ideas over the past year, and am overwhelmed by the distance between my vision and my resources (skills, time, available fabric, money to buy new fabric). I don't need to go into all that but will stick with what's in front of me.

Over the past two years I've accumulated a small stash of fat quarters, and then last spring I put together a bunch of them in an approximate Urban Amish pattern (since I made all the strips the same width). I'm glad now that I didn't do a true Urban Amish since I don't like the combinations and will spend the next couple of weeks of train time undoing them, but at least by having all the strips the same width I can easily reuse them for another pattern, I'm thinking a Nine Patch. Once I get the seams undone I can play around better with the design.

My batting is a size called "craft," 34x45". I had wanted the "baby" size but also knew that I wanted to work with this brand (I love the feel and color and have read such good reviews) and this is what they had in the store at the time I could go. At first I was disappointed but as I started laying out possible designs I realized this was the best choice for me for a first quilt. Small!

My next free day for machine sewing is in a couple of weeks (my toddler makes it hard for me to use it when awake and I don't dare run it during his increasingly spare naptime), so by then I need to have my seams undone, a design chosen, and fabric cut. I won't get another machine day until March. For this and other reasons I'm planning to just use a whole-cloth backing.

I have my seam ripper and my graph paper out --- time to get started!


  1. I like the colors! Very "girly." Amanda Jean from has a great nine patch tutorial. You can just make it smaller to fit your project. Also, there is the Irish chain that could use nine-patches. Google the keywords Irish chain and look at those images. There is also a quilting blog (cluck cluck sew) who uses jelly rolls in some of her designs, but unless you can figure her pattern out, you have to buy them from her, but her designs are pretty fun.

  2. It looks like a great group of fabrics. Good for you for taking the plunge on your first quilt. Try not to overthink it. It can be paralysing when we stop to think too much. If you want to tone down the combination of fabrics consider adding in a near solid or solid in white, pale green, or grey.

  3. If you don't like the urban amish design, you could make a coin quilt (or modified coin quilt) which is one of the best quilts for beginning quilters, in my opinion.

    Smaller quilts are definitely easier to quilt :) I buy my warm and white batting from the bolt at Joann's. With a coupon of course.

  4. This is your first quilt? Yeah! Just to warn you: you'll be addicted soon, and your available resources will start going toward quilting instead of more practical things! (Why fold laundry when I can sew :)

    Anyway, I agree with Cheryl's advice to not overthink this. Just sew some fabric together in a way that looks good to you. I bet it will be awesome!

  5. Nervous? heck, aren't we all at some point in any quilt! First glance shows a compatible selection of fabrics. Watch the dark as you determine whether you are high contrast(lots of dark) or low contrast(little dark accents or muted dark) But every quilt has at least one "I shoulda..." in it and the learning process is always ongoing and especially curvy for newbies who are defining what they like. So relax. You are off to a great start even if it does involve some ripping. Knowing what you don't like is as valuable as knowing what you do like.

  6. i'm excited for you to be making your first quilt! and small is the way to go for the first quilt. at least that was my experience. :) have FUN with it! :)

  7. Hi Annie,
    Very nice colors and prints! I was thinking about a design I once saw. It had small square pieces of fabric on a solid color background, completely regular, the solid color lines a bit thinner or as thin as the squares. The beautiful thing about it was the quilting: long horizontal and vertical lines of (hand?) quilting along the solid fabric in a contracting color, like a woven structure. Just another idea into the mix of nice suggestions!
    Looking forward to read about your next steps!