A Quilt Appetizer

Leftover quilt blocks can be useful.  A few years ago, I began working on quilts for the boys.  I bought lots of fabric, cut it ALL up.  I think this is kind of unusual in the quilting world.  Most people cut just what they need, with maybe a few extra pieces and sort of save the rest.  However, for this project and with the fabric I was using, I felt it was necessary for me to just use it all.  I can’t show you the finished quilts because, well, they’re not finished.  As usual, I stalled at the part that takes the most time.

Quilting.

I wanted to quilt these by hand because it just looks better.  I even bought the thread, but never got started.  Partly because I didn’t have the time or space to spread it out and partly because I wasn’t sure how I wanted to quilt it.  Making the top of a quilt is only half the battle.  The way you quilt it has a huge impact on the look of the final product.

A couple of months ago, I found the Stitched in Color Blog and also picked up the book Material Obsession.  Both sources recommended a different way of hand quilting with Pearl Cotton.  I liked the way it looked and thought it might look good on the boys’ quilts.  So, I decided to give it a try some of the extra blocks.

Each quilt top took 77 blocks.  That’s 154 blocks.  I made 23 extra for a total of 177 blocks.

I chose 8 blocks and sewed them together in blocks of 4.  Then, I made the quilt sandwich with some little bits of batting and some random fabric I had lying around.  I bought some Pearl Cotton.

And I stitched it up.  It’s a little puckered because it was too small for my quilting frame.   I have never quilted without a frame and probably never will again.  It was difficult to maintain an even tension on the thread and I had a hard time holding it without a frame.  Usually, I prop the frame up on something to leave my hands free to quilt.  It was definitely awkward.  But, I managed and as it was an experiment, I tried not to be too bothered by it.  I used a different colored thread for each star.

Then, I discovered that the pillow forms I had already were a little big for it. So, I added a border and sewed a simple envelope back onto it.

Here they are.

The boys seem happy with them.  The youngest has made it his pillow of choice, which certainly made my heart glad.

I’m pretty happy with the way the quilting looks, though it could be more even.  That just takes practice.

The Pearl Cotton certainly stands out and gives the background a little more interest.

The lesson here:  Pillows are a great way to try out new techniques.  It’s also a great way to give you a taste of what your larger project will look like without the pressure of doing it right the first time.  It is also a great way to get your kids excited about what is to come.

Now, if only I could get motivated to get out those quilts and start quilting already!

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Posted on September 2, 2011, in Quilting and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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