For some time now, there have been two quilts in my WIP-list: one a scrap quilt, and one a Japanese quilt. The scrap quilt took its sweet time because it is genuinely a scrap quilt, i.e. I had to make enough things to have suitable scraps for the quilt. The Japanese quilt was a social project which stagnated when the friend I was making it with decided to keep hers small and finishing it. However, over the past few weeks I made some good progress on both! Not enough that they’re actually finished, of course, but good enough that I wanted to show off the work in progress.
Now, I should say that prior to this, I had NO experience with quilting. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing – and in many ways still don’t. I just approached it from a ‘let’s piece together some bits of fabric to create a pretty thing’ angle and worked from there.
So, first up: the scrap quilt. After more than a year of collecting scraps and sewing up squares, this is where it is at today:
I sewed up 15x15 cm squares into larger squares of 3x3, with a coloured square on each corner, a pink one in the middle and white for the other four squares. Then, I cut through the middle of the white squares, rotated 3 of the ensuing patches and voilà, this quilt is the result.
Once I had all the squares, things suddenly moved really quickly. Determined to keep the momentum going, every morning before I went to work I would lay all the squares out on my bed, as above. That way, when I came home, I had a lot of incentive to sew up as many of them as possible: if I had to remove all the squares before going to bed, I might never find the correct order of colours again! Yes, I could have just taken a picture, but remember this was a trick designed to get me to keep working on it. As it happened, the first two times I had to replace the squares the next morning I could not remember the order in which I had placed them before. Those times I just made something up and came up with a new, probably equally reasonable design. By the third night enough squares had been attached that it was clear where the remaining ones should go. Which brings me to my next point…
Remember how I said I know nothing about quilting? Yeah, I really know nothing about quilting. When you google ‘quilting how to’ you mostly get info on the bit I already did: piecing fabric together in interesting patterns. But what happens afterwards is mostly kept a mystery, especially when you only have a regular sewing machine. I even found several tutorials (including a Craftsy class) that say that after you’ve made the top, you should just send the whole thing to a professional to quilt with a long-arm quilting machine. Uh, no. For starters, I’m pretty sure those don’t exist here, and second, that’s not how homemade works in this household. So I’m going to attempt the actual quilting on my regular sewing machine with very little guidance. To prevent me from mucking up my lovely scrap quilt, I made a little table runner with the scraps of the scrap quilt (i.e. leftover squares that I had cut when I was being a bit too enthusiastic):
Apart from that, there is also the Japanese quilt! A friend of mine who is also into arts and crafts suggested this. We would do a 3x3 quilt of different Japanese-themed quilted motives. We got together several times to work on this, doing practically all sewing by hand. Later on, she decided to make hers into a 2x2 cushion cover rather than a 3x3 wall hanging, which of course meant she was finished more quickly than I was. After that, I didn’t really work on it anymore – until now!
So, that’s an update on how my quilts are progressing. It is starting to seem like maybe there will be an end to some of these long-term projects! I hope that now that a very hectic time in my professional life is behind me, I have more energy to tackle my craft projects.