Today I wanted to share with you my first forays into the world of patchwork and quilting. I admit to being a little bit obsessed with it already though! I've done several projects so far, but today I wanted to talk about my very first foray into this marvellous world!
Since I've been going along to the Crafts & Laughs Morning at Sewing Daze (in Sutton, near Ely) I've been really wanting to try out some pretty patchwork and quilting. I spent some birthday money on a wonderful quilting book which has lots of patterns to try out and most importantly, some instructions on how to do patchwork and quilting. The book is the "Ultimate Quilting Bible" by Marie Clayton published by C&B Crafts and is well worth the money for beginner quilters. At the same time as buying the book, I went to a fabric shop and brought a selection of 4 nice fat quarters that I thought worked well together. Then I got some home and was desperate to get started, so I picked what looked like an easy block to get me started - the Log Cabin.
What I liked about this block from a beginners perspective, was that so long as I had pre-cut my fat quarters into strips of the same width, I could just cut them to length as I went along (I used approximately 2.5" width strips). I'm definitely not qualified to teach you how to make patchwork and quilting so I found this nice short video on YouTube which shows the basics of making a Log Cabin block! There are so many options for placing colours in different ways in this block and the possibilities seem pretty much endless!
I knew I wanted to make two Log Cabin blocks of a reasonably large size to make into cushion covers so I split my strips into two piles making sure that each pile had the same number of strips of each fat quarter. Then off I went, merrily making my log cabin block and once I'd run out of the strips in my first pile I paused and took stock. It ended up bigger than I intended, but no matter, it actually looked good! So I went ahead and made the second block but slightly altered the colour sequence because I didn't want them to properly match (nothing in my house matches, so to have properly matching things is a bit strange!).
Once I had my blocks completed I "squared them up" and went along to the local fabric shop to find some fabric for the back of the cushion, wading/batting (I think one is an American name but I get a bid confused), zips and a suitable colour for quilting. As they are cushion covers, I didn't actually need to quilt them, but I wanted to have a go! I chose a nice bright green for the back and a matching green thread because it seemed to complement all the colours in the block - despite being my first attempt at quilting anything I didn't want the thread to hide! When quilting you make a "sandwich which has a backing fabric (in this case it was whatever I had available as you weren't going to see this part - it'd be inside the cushion), wading/batting and my block on the top. Then you generally start quilting in the centre so I did and quilted a nice simple spiral in my bright green thread to complement the way I'd made the block.
I then made them up into cushions with the nice bright green back and an invisible zip, turned it right way out, put an old pillow in it and hey presto! I'd made two cushion covers! Needless to say I was very proud of myself and my first attempt at patchwork and quilting! I was definitely excited for my next project (which you'll have to wait to find out about!)