14 August 2010

Quilting for the Disnumeric Crafter

So I am working on my first ever queen-sized quilt. I’ve only ever completed a scrap quilt for my niece and a very basic cot quilt before starting this project so I was a bit apprehensive about getting on with it. 
I have the utmost respect for people who can quilt, particularly, like, geometrically. But I knew from the start that I was never going to be able to produce a quilt made from evenly squared quilting blocks. Because I am completely disnumeric and can’t even properly use a calculator, let alone add or multiply seam allowances or create something that resembles an even square. I just lack the vision for geometrically shaped things. So I figured out quite quickly I was going to have to do this a bit differently.

My main inspiration for the layout of the fabric on the quilt top came from the Gees Bend quilts – I love everything about them, including their history, but I particularly love the way they are bold and colourful and how they use bold strips of fabric. And I love their wonkiness. 

Then I decided on a piece of fabric for the middle of the quilt top that I could then add strips to. 
Before I cut into the fat quarter, I read this very helpful tutorial on how to cut fabric so it’s roughly even.
Because I figured if I went all Gees Bend I would end up with something that would not resemble a square whatsoever.

And then I started to cut strips, one at a time, in varying widths, and pieced them to the square. It was literally cut and sew, cut and sew. My new Bernina comes with a quarter inch foot and that has been unbelievably helpful. I can only recommend getting one if you don’t have one. I didn’t know they existed and I was overjoyed when I discovered it. Light bulb moments are awesome (clearly I did not read 'Quilting For Dummies' before I started this project).

I really do love the result so far. I am about 40% done. I guess I am really bad at following any kind of pattern not because I am against patterns in general or anything, just because I have such a hard time understanding instructions. So this one step at a time method really works for me. It takes long so this quilt will be a true labour of love!


Mary said...

beautiful colour choices and great centre panel and on a completely unrelated note, I'm so jealous that you have parquetry flooring.

Cindy said...

I love the quilt top so far.
My quilts are never embracing of the square, I excuse the wonk with hand quilting

the textured leaf said...

Im a huge fan of Gees Bend quilts too. My husband recently bought me a book of theirs.
I can add up quite well, but I would never want to make a perfect looking quilt like others seem to perform, either. I love the wonky attributes and handmadeness of putting things together at random. Nice start to a lovely coloured quilt!

Gina said...

I think I am in love with both types of quilting. There are ways of embracing geometry, even if you find the calculating boring... doing one-patch quilts (every patch the same shape and size) is actually quite fun. But I also adore the gee's bend style, and its freedom.

Oh and I have loved your quilts so far. Keep at them!