We've been having a lot of snow days here recently... kind of strange for Virginia, but I've secretly been loving the chance for a "bonus" day where I can just enjoy my time. The other day when I heard we had the possibility of getting enough snow that I might have two days off, I headed out to the store. Not to be cliche... but we really did need bread! I had forgotten it when I went grocery shopping the day before. I don't usually grocery shop at Wal-mart, but decided to stop in just to grab the loaf. This of course meant that I had to walk around the entire store looking for any type of project that might catch my eye. Surprisingly, they had a pack of fat quarters that I instantly fell in love with!.
I wasn't very familiar with batiks, but I LOVED the color and the cool patterns that had been created on the cloth. As I looked more at hte fat pack, I noticed it came with a pattern for a quilt on it. Not only did it come with a pattern, but an entire website of free patterns AND the side of the pack told me all materials I needed for the project. Hmmm.... this seemed like a great first project, a new, fun pattern with all the materials right in front of me.... okay.... SOLD.
I must confess, I've never made a quilt "the right way" before. I made a quilt back in high school, but I hand cut each piece with a pair of scissors, didn't line things up correctly, didn't iron as much as I should have, and was rather sloppy with most of the seems. BUT I taught myself how to do it and was pretty proud of what I accomplished. I decided with this project that I wanted to do everything "by the book" - seams, ironing, trimming... everything.
As I left the store, the snow had already began. I headed home, pulled out my cutting mat and tried to figure out how this whole concept was going to come together. Firsts, I laid out all the colors and just enjoyed the fun designs (see picture above). Then, I decided to start cutting the squares. I needed 4 sets of 7x7 squares in each of the 8 colors. As some of the colors were very similiar in color, and because I had to remember which one was A, B, C....H, I made a little "cheat" strip to help me. I also had to use freezer paper (I only had wax paper, but it still worked) to make 16 design templates.
Then I started layering the pieces together with the the wax paper and was ready to head up to the sewing room.
I was a bit leary of sewing through both layers of cloth and the wax paper, but decided the worst thing that could happen was having to cut out two more squares.... so I quickly got over my anxiety, and just tried it!
This was my first square. Before I attempted 15 more squares, I was curious to see what the design was going to look like, so I dug in... literally. First, I carefully removed the wax paper. I learned pretty quickly that I had to pull gently or I would rip of the threads. I ended up going back over this square again in some areas with the machine to make it sturdy. Then to get the "reverse appliqued" look, I carefully poked my scissors through the top layer of fabric and cut a tiny bit inside the seam, following the design.
As you can see, I also decided to use fun blue thread instead of white. That may seem like a little thing, but it was a big step for me (I've never used a "fun" thread while sewing!). I really liked how the colors contrasted and what this design had the potential to be, so I kept cutting and ended up with a square that looked like this:
It was at this point that I knew that I was going to love this design. After making the square above, I decided to assembly line the process: sew all 15 together, remove the wax paper on all 15, then cut out the pieces.
I ended up getting pretty engrossed in the project and before I knew it, it was 2 am. Thankfully, school had already been called off for the next day!
I ended the project that night with all the pieces being cut and ready for the next step. Check back soon to hear about part 2 and eventually part 3 and maybe 4 of this project!