Sunday, January 20, 2008

Traditional quilting

I'm sure we all have our idea of what it is. I asked a group of online friends what they considered traditional quilting and found it interesting what they had to say.

My idea of traditional quilting is using patterns that have been around for years and years and years and what I would consider old fashioned fabrics - no novelty fabrics, no neons, none of the abstracts I've seen lately. I suppose mainly either solids or calico fabrics.

I've done lots of work with novelty prints (finally got that out of my system lol) and I've done lots of patterns I find in magazines and online, etc. But I want to make some things that I would think would have been around years ago. My goal is to make one "traditional" quilt a year until I finish all the ones I want to make (which could take a while as the list continues to grow lol).

Right now I am hand quilting my rail fence which I started last year. I also have a Sunbonnet Sue on the "to be quilted" pile. I've got my Double Irish Chain all done but the borders (can't find just the right fabric).

I found some fabric I liked and decided to make a Bear's Paw with it. But I just kept looking at the fabric and not actually cutting it. It turns out the reason for that is that the fabric wasn't really meant for a Bear's Paw. It seems it was made for a Trip Around The World quilt.

The first block I ever made was a Trip block. I attempted to make a quilt a year or two ago. I strip pieced it and it just didn't lay right so I got frustrated and threw it in the trash.

But I was looking at pictures of the Trip quilts my friend Joyce has made (she's a bit of an expert at Trip quilts) and decided the fabric I bought for the Bear's Paw would be perfect for a trip quilt. Only problem - I had only gotten three fabrics and I would need more for a trip. So I went out the road to my favorite local quilt shop. It's a small place and they don't have a huge selection but I always seem to find something I can use. It's run by some Mennonite ladies and they are very friendly. I found more fabric, brought it home and laid it out. I took pictures, rearranged the fabric and took more pictures and started to consider them. I was really having a hard time so I started cutting squares. Then I started laying the squares out in the Trip pattern. Again I took pictures but this time I printed them out and hung them on the big mirror in my bedroom. I had seven pictures and eliminated three or four of them right off the bat.

The more I looked the more I realized that what I didn't like was the same in every picture - there was one fabric that just didn't work well with everything else. So I took that fabric out, added more rounds with my focus fabric and found something I really like.

This one I did by individual squares rather than strip piecing and I think it lays pretty flat.

And this is the finished top:

I finished it in about three or four days, neglecting all but the basic necessities of housework (mainly laundry and meals). It's terrible but I get that way. I can't wait to see the finished product.

I'm still not sure how I will finish the quilt. Joyce leaves her points points and miters all the corners when she puts on the binding. I love the way that looks but I'm afraid I would be overwhelmed and not finish it. She said that you can just level off those points to a straight edge and that may be what I'll do. It's sitting on my to be quilted pile so I don't have to make a decision until I'm ready to quilt it. And being that I have three or four others before I get to it I have plenty of time to decide. lol.

Until next time, hugs and stitches. Jody

1 comment:

lzyjo said...

I can totally relate to neglecting housework while finishing a quilt and I've only made one! Your top looks great! It looks perfectly smooth and even. I couldn't manage without strip piecing.