Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My Quilt

I love the look of quilts! Love, love, love. Here are a few quilt ideas that I'm stashing away for future home makeovers!

Bed with quilt headboard

Providence Patchwork Quilt, Twin
So fun and whimsical! I love those painted metal chairs and the industrial style hanging lights.

Designer Bedrooms - Beautiful Bedroom Decorations - House Beautiful
That pop of bright orange is gorgeous!

These are all beautiful...however, I don't love the thought of cutting (precisely and accurately) for weeks, piecing for weeks, and then quilting for weeks before enjoying a finished product. Not too long ago, Sew Mama Sew posted this tutorial for a "Shoo Fly Quilt" using oversized quilt blocks by Malka Dubrawsky

Here is Malka's supersize "Shoo Fly" alongside her original "Shoo Fly" which is featured on the cover of her book Color Your Cloth.

Sooo...It was such a great tutorial and the giant squares seemed so non-threatening that I decided to give it a try! There is also the possibility that I'm in a new city without friends yet and have a good deal of time on my hands, but I'll leave that conversation for another day.

Malka's tutorial shows a crib sized quilt, but I wanted a large version. I cut 6.5 inch squares, combined them to make 18 inch blocks. Six rows of five blocks came together to form my 90 x 108 inch queen sized quilt.

As you can see, I sewed my bias tape on in the "cheating" way so it's not exactly perfect on the backside, but I was going for an easy, comfy quilt on my first attempt, so I'm happy with the results.

I chose six colored patterns-3 yellow and 3 blue, ranging from light to medium to dark in each color. I also used a solid, bright white muslin and an off-white cotton printed with faint blue, floral design for the background. Two of the blue patterns were my own designs, which I had printed at spoonflower.com. Since we're living in New Orleans I wanted to incorporate fleur de lis (they are absolutely iconic here and we see them all over the place) in at least one of the prints and since many of my choices turned out to be floral, I wanted a bold, geometric for the sixth fabric (the big squares). All of the other fabrics came from Hancocks.

I am a novice quilter. After trying to quilt several rows and making a mess of things, I pulled out the handy stitch ripper and took a new approach. I made tacking stitches at the corners of every block (about ever six inches) using a wide, very dense zig zag stitch.  It didn't take very long at all and I am very happy with how it looks. There aren't weird wrinkles and it feels light and soft. It would also be easy enough to take them out and quilt it all together if I ever learn how to do it or decide to pay someone to quilt it for me.

I'm wild about my quilt and sleep with it every night! It feels wonderful and isn't too warm or too cool. It makes me want to sew up a whole bunch more-I especially love the thought of lap quilts. Maybe Christmas?

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