When I’m taking a break from crochet and knitting, I love to get my sewing machine out and have a play. With encouragement from my mum, a stash of ‘fat quarters’ and the ‘Welcome Quilt’ pattern from Mandy Shaw’s “Quilt Yourself Gorgeous” book I have given my first patchwork quilt project a try.
I was inspired by the quilts central picture which is created using a variety of techniques. Even though my finished quilt is full of flaws, I’m proud that I took on the challenge as a beginner. To encourage you to do the same and ‘have a go’ I have written this post to embrace and celebrate my quirky quilts wonky nature!
I first started work on the 4 applique heart squares, which were pretty simple and great fun to do. They are made by sticking a heart onto a square with fusible webbing and using blanket stitch for embellishment around the edge.
The rays of the sun are small ‘prairie points’ made by folding up a small rectangle. The points are tucked under a lightly padded quarter circle of fabric for the sun.
The next section I worked on were the stars and triangles – I think the triangles are referred to as “flying geese” in the world of quilting. Although the principle of making them is well explained, my points aren’t perfectly aligned as my cutting and measuring is out.
My favorite part of the quilt is the house in the middle of the main panel, along with its birdhouse and trees. The birdhouse is applique and the trees and house are made by ‘foundation piercing’. This is when you join your fabric pieces by sewing them, wrong sides together, to a paper template. It’s a bit of a sew and flip technique!
Underneath the house is a pin wheel block made by joining together 4 squares (each square consists of 2 triangles). This is less complicated than it looks and was really a question of working through the instructions and keeping faith that what I was doing was right.
However, by the time I was ready to attempt the ‘bow ties’ which are supposed to go along the bottom of the main panel, my patience had come to an end! I couldn’t align my blocks properly as all my little inaccuracies had added up to make a big one. With the scary bow ties, and their instruction of “it may take a few attempts to get it right” still to go, a pattern deviation was needed!
By losing one of my vertical ‘flying geese’ and the narrow horizontal strip under the pin wheels, I managed to get all my pieces joined together to form a rectangular panel. In my relief that I had managed to do this, I forgot I need a row of ‘bow ties’ and started to sew on my sashing (4 strips of red fabric) to frame the main picture / panel. Luckily I don’t think this is too noticeable.
For the main border, I used the same idea as in the original pattern, ie, random lengths of fabric joined together, but added an extra round to make my quilt a little bigger.
So here’s my finished first quilt with its wadding, binding and hand quilting. Although it is far from perfect it’s the first thing my family reach for when they want to get all snuggly!