Sunday, September 4, 2016

Learning to Quilt a Quilt ...

I've been making quilt tops for a few years. It wasn't my go-to craft, that would be cross-stitch. But my mom owns a quilt company and when I was in college, I would help her make samples. Soon I was demonstrating the techniques for shows, festivals and such. Eventually, I gave in and started quilting and sewing for myself, though I mostly design home decor. 

I started making quilt but once the tops were done, I usually gave my mom the finished top, batting and backing fabric, even the binding fabric. I really never did anything past the top. In fact, I have about 7 or 8 quilt tops hanging in my studio closet because my mom got to busy and her longarm machine is no longer at the house. I even send some smaller quilts to be quilted by friends or longarm quilters that I'd worked with as the Quilting and Creative Arts Editor at Texas Tea & Travel Magazine.

So for the 2016 Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival, I decided to make a quilt for the Tumbler Challenge. I'd made the top and tried to give it to my mom about a month or so before the event and she said ... "No, you quilt it." Wait, what!?!

I had absolutely, positively, no idea what I was doing whatsoever, so I procrastinated for sure! The week before my mom came over to show me what to do. At one point, she looks at me and says, "Have you honestly never done this before?" I asked, "Do you remember teaching me?" She shook her head "no" and said, "I guess you haven't." Ha! Ha! I guess she never realized it.

So after laying it out, pinning it, and learning to quilt on her Elna sewing machine, the easiest part, for me, was the binding. I actually and truly enjoyed it. But then again, I love cross-stitching. So here's a visual story of my first quilting ...

We didn't have some of the traditional tools, and I used blue painter's tape for a guide for my lines. All in all, I may do this again ... well, more than that, I will probably do it again, because now my mom knows I can do it!

Turns out binding was my favorite part. I had to stay up late the night before it was set to travel to the show (I didn't go this year). But it was oddly calming to just sit and stitch while everyone else was asleep.

 I didn't win the Tumbler Challenge, which I had expected, but my quilt hung next t the winner, so that's good enough for me!! This was my second time entering a quilt to a challenge at a show or festival and I am excited to see what the next one I find will help me learn!

Until our next cup of tea ...

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