I just couldn’t resist. Missouri Star Quilt Company’s Daily Deal had a gorgeous batik “jelly roll” as the Daily Deal a few weeks back, so I of course I bought it. And if you want to or do quilt, but don’t know about jelly rolls, honey buns, turnovers and layer cakes, just buzz on over to MSQ and dive in!
I thought about it for a few weeks, and then my sister sent me some great fabric and a jelly roll quilt pattern book for my birthday. There it was, the perfect pattern for my batiks. Not only is this really easy, quick and rewarding to create, the result is just beautiful! Can’t wait to finish the top and send it back to Jenny Doan and company at MSQ to quilt for me.
The book pattern is called “Decadent Victorian” (they used lovely Victorian patterns for the book photos), so I guess this one is a Decadent Batik. Fine by me.
When finished, this quilt will eventually show up in our online store—or maybe some lucky soul will contribute a zillion dollars to our capital campaign and this will be their thank you gift! Woohoo!
Here is April. This month we are working on hexagons and applique. Hmm. Not sure I’m going to do the second block … I enjoyed making this one, but I’m getting the feeling that these blocks are going to make a rather strange quilt when all done—what a variety of designs! Of course, the idea is to learn a lot of new quilting stuff, and that’s happening for sure.
The table runner, which was made using the we-built-the-airplane-as-we-flew-it method, is ready to send off to the quilter. In this photo the finished top is sitting on the backing. We have a large table, so this works for us (52″ x 16″). But I think it’s going to end up in the for-sale department when we get our little online store set up.
I was also fascinated by a faux pleated pillow project, and I just got a “jelly roll” (a series of coordinated fabrics cut to fabric width x 2.5″), which is exactly what’s needed to make this project. Here’s how that turned out (18″ x 18″):
I was taught to quilt by an expert (a professional, actually) years ago. She trained me in quilting the “right” way, which meant cutting every single piece by hand, then hand-sewing each piece together with another, and finally quilting the whole thing—by hand, of course. I still have a few unfinished quilts from those days. That kind of sewing is soothing to do, and produces heirloom-quality quilts. It also takes just a few days less than forever to complete.
These days there are all kinds of classes and fabrics designed to enable one to make a quilt much more quickly, using a sewing machine and often sending your completed quilt top off for a couple of weeks while someone else does the quilting for you. Also by machine.
Of course there would be all these faster ways—this is 2012, after all, and most of us either seek out or fall into new ways to save time and get more done. I’m not so sure this is a good thing, especially for a chronic workaholic looking to slow down and simplify. (I’m just saying.)
On the other hand, the satisfaction one feels as amazing quilt blocks appear under your needle is hard to argue with. I love it, anyway. I realize these won’t be “valuable” pieces years from now, but in the meantime someone will have been a bit warmer and will know they were well loved by the effort that was put into this work—designing, choosing fabrics and patterns, working with a sewing machine as almost an extension of one’s arms and hands and feet (or knee) …
I am thoroughly enjoying this kind of quilting, and love that a little time and care spent produces a beautiful counterpane, bed quilt, tote bag, pillow, table runner, Christmas tree skirt, or whatever else one can dream up. Mostly I use a 70+ year old sewing machine to do it, because it sews so well and so quietly. I’m not ready to give up all my old ways.