I'm hiding out over here (away from my knitting blog) in order to make a secret project for my first niece who is due in November. My main craft is knitting but I have done sewing in the past and was really looking for an opportunity to do some again. I wanted whatever I did to be a practical project - I have too many finished cross-stitch projects which are just rolled up in bags because I never got around to framing them - and dress-making seemed a bit scary. I also have a long term aim of being able to make a king size quilt (of the sort that I could never afford to buy) for my bedroom. But first things first.
My First Project
It all started at the Festival of Quilts at the N.E.C. last Saturday. I went with the best of intentions. I would buy only some buttons and beads to jazz up a pair or socks or garnish a sweater.
Initially I did very well, indeed I made it to lunch without spending a bean. I resisted the lovely flowery fabrics and the great 3-D cross-stitched cards (I have a dark and murky cross-stitching past). Alas I finally fell over at the Quilt Room and when I got up again I'd somehow acquired a bundle of 6 fat quarters and a metre of snail and pea pod print fabric by Anna Griffin (who does some truly lovely stuff). To be fair I was in good company as Katie also got a metre of the snail fabric and everyone agreed it was just too cute to pass up.
It wasn't actually all the amazing quilts that inspired me to have a go myself, rather one or two simple quilts that made me think "I can probably do this". In particular I saw one quilt which would be perfect for a baby and I started to think about quilting, rather than knitting, a baby blanket for my first niece. I wanted to find fabrics which were cute and suitable for a girl but not overly so and the bundle I picked up at the Quilt Room is just perfect I think.
I'm planning to use the 6 fat quarters to create a top piece measuring about 80 x 100 cm using 24 rectangles (something nice and straightforward to start with). The backing will be the incredibly sweet snail and pea fabric. I may then add some appliqued detail on top of that but I don't need to start planning that until I see how the initial quilting goes.
Rather than cut out my pieces and then try to arrange them I decided (being a newbie quilter) to take digital photos of my fabric and then use Paint to cut and paste scale rectangles into patterns.
Pattern idea 1:
Pattern idea 2:
Pattern idea 3:
I'm so pleased I did this as I felt so nervous about cutting into my fabric. I know I'll feel a lot more confident if I have a clear plan for my quilt before I start.