I learned to use a sewing machine in my high school Home Economics class. I was a Junior, and it was one of the first courses I signed up for, once I was eligible to participate in electives. Beginning Sewing is where I learned how to thread a bobbin, sew a pair of pajama pants (mine were made out of a cow print fabric), and use a seam ripper. It was 2006, and I was hooked. Fun fact, that spring I sewed my Junior Prom dress! It was shiny and emerald colored and I loved it. It was also not the best sewing quality, and I was hemming it the day of, but it was a learning experience none the less! I enjoyed everything about sewing, especially the thrill of completing a project that I made with my own two hands.
And now, I can add quilting to the list of techniques I've fallen in love with. It's been years since I used a machine, but thankfully, sewing is a lot like riding a bike. After following a bunch of inspiring fiber artists on Instagram, I became preoccupied with the idea of possibly making a quilt of my own. Quilting is what inspired me to pick up my sewing machine again and in the first half of 2017, I worked on FIVE different quilting projects that I highlight below!
Quilt No. 1: The quilt that started it all. The Inside Out Star quilt by Then Came June will always be known as my original quilt inspiration. I think it was a combination of the modern graphic design paired with the dreamy color scheme. I used the designer's pre-selected fabric bundle found on FabricBubb.
The long arm quilting was done at Not Just Quiltz in Fremont, CA. They took a bit of time to get it back to me, but the finished product is gorgeous. My intermediate sewing skills show through in some spots, but it was an absolute labor of love (as all quilts are).
Quilt No. 2: A woodland animal themed baby quilt. My next adventure was a gift for baby Rory who was born in September 2017. I also helped throw a baby shower with the same theme for Rory's mama, Lydia, this summer.
I picked up the fabric at the sweetest fabric shop in St. Louis, janie lou. I didn't follow any specific pattern and ended up hand quilting the finished product. Selecting the backing was tricky but I couldn't resist that grey on grey polka dot once I found it.
Quilt No. 3: Vintage "yo-yo" placemats. This quilt adventure was truly one-of-kind. After my first couple quilting projects, my Mom remembered she had a quilt top she was given as a wedding gift 30 years ago! (It's been stored in the linen closet all this time in the original box.) The card outlines that it is a yo-yo quilt pattern. It was HUGE, at least a queen, maybe a king, sized topper. My Mom handed it over to me and I came up with the idea to recycle it into placemats and table runners to be used for years to come.
I purchased a navy cotton for the backing and a microwave safe cotton for the batting. I followed this tutorial and after all the semi intricate hand sewing, I love how they turned out. P.s. How incredible is the rainbow assortment of fabrics she used?
Quilt No. 4: A quilt fit for a pup. After ordering my very own walking foot, (the attachment used when sewing several layers of fabric: it is a must-have when quilting) I wanted to test it out on something small. Joann's had a pack of doggie print fabrics, and one of my best friends was dog sitting for her sister. The stars aligned for little Hank, and he became the lucky recipient of a one of a kind puppy quilt!
I didn't follow a pattern, but instead borrowed from many "easy triangle quilt patterns" I found online. I did order this triangle ruler that makes cutting much quicker. For the backing, I used scraps to make a neat linear design. Then, I machine quilted it all together! The quilting isn't perfect, but the smaller size made it great for practicing using the walking foot.
Quilt No. 5: My fruity picnic dream. After reading lots of quilting blogs, I quickly fell in love with Suzy Quilts. As soon and I saw a specific one of her patterns, I knew it was going to be my next quilt. Those who know me, know I love watermelon everything. So, what does the girl who love watermelons make herself, besides a watermelon quilted picnic blanket! Here is the fantastic Mod Melon Quilt pattern.
For this quilt I got to practice another skill: sewing curves. Since I am a beginner still, the curves didn't scare me. Everything is new to me, so I said, "bring on the curves!" After many failed attempts at the sewing machine with my walking foot I gave up (for now) machine quilting it myself. Because I wanted to get it done, I decided to hand quilt it together, and now I can't imagine it being finished any other way. I went with a lightly textured dark red for the binding which adds just the right amount of dimension.