Anyone who has read Sparks of Genius knows that forming patterns is an essential cognitive tool for the creative mind. Well, I’ve been exercising the heck out of my mind (and patience) lately by teaching myself how to quilt. YouTube and bloggers have been my best friends through this process and when I’m really stuck, I call, text or skype with my sis who is quite an accomplished seamstress. There is a whole language I’m learning in reading patterns. More often than not the pattern will list a few measurements and then say “piece, quilt and bind” as if a novice stitcher knows what that means. Luckily, a quick search will lead me to extraordinarily helpful tutorials to help me figure out what all of these things mean.
My first few play projects involved quite a bit of cutting and sewing a 1/4 inch seam allowance. I quickly learned that I have difficulty sewing in a straight line. Thank goodness they make tools to help people like me and after purchasing a 1/4″ presser foot with guide, I was in the straight line business!
While doing my homework on quilting I was intrigued by something called a “jelly roll.” I found quite a few easy looking (on the surface) quilts that were made out of jelly roll strips. I settled on this “Pick Up Sticks” pattern and found a really cool jelly roll called “Comma” that has some fun typographic elements. I found a great fabric for in-between the strips that had straight lines that I could use as a guide when I got to the quilting part. Everything on the top came together fairly smoothly. I kept repeating to my self “right sides together” (I had problems with that early on) and things were good to go as I pieced together the front.
Binding intimidates me. I specifically have to tip my hat to Made-by-Rae for her “Easy Cheat Binding” tutorial. I will try “real” binding this next round, but, wanted to give this cheat a try as I could easily visualize how the quilt would come together. I need work keeping the batting and backing flat and smooth as I’m quilting, but I think this turned out quite well and I can see myself cheating again in the future. (I’m not sure if flat & smooth are the proper sewing terms?)