This is a post hoc post… so this is me trying to remember what I’ve done! Thank goodness for my bullet journal and writing stuff down… I have some idea of the project timeline…
In July, I investigated and found that a local patchwork shop had classes on weekly. Rather than being regimented classes demanding certain projects to be conducted, these classes are “bring your own project”, and receive help and guidance on your project. Their are a variety of projects happening at any time in the class, at a variety of stages. Its so interesting to see everyone’s projects and watch their progress! The shop is based in McGraths Hill, NSW: http://thepatchworkshop.com.au/ I highly recommend the shop for fabrics and the classes!
Anyway, the project that I decided upon was a “Fletcher quilt“. The pattern is free and comes with a great explanation of how to conduct the quilt top construction. Under the watchful guidance of my class instructor Shane, I worked on this at least once a week on my mum’s Bernina 830. Actually, its really my nana’s Bernina, that she gave my mum, that I’m borrowing. It’s vintage, but its a great little machine.
Anyway, by August, I had cut and pieced together each coloured section to a black section. The hardest part was next – deciding the placement of all the pieces! I basically sat in my large tiled area and moved parts around until I was happy, sending photos/snapchats to friends to get their opinions.
Once I had the layout, I connected the “strips” together. I ended up with 11 strips. Now, in order to quilt this myself, I (under the advice of Shane) decided to “quilt as you go”. I connected 4, 4 and 3 strips to create 3 large pieces. I quilted these individually with a serpentine quilting stitch down in the “ditch”, and also in the middle of the piece.
Now, I wasn’t super happy with the quilting on my machine. Due to the age of the machine, I had to buy a generic walking foot which I had a lot of trouble with. I also used flannel backing which also probably made it a little more difficult to get a nice stitch. In hindsight (always hindsight, right?) I probably was sewing too fast as well, and not letting my machine keep up with me. I played around with the tension and stitch length, but ended up just giving up on perfection and settling with just getting it done! As someone told me, if you sit on a horse at 3 metres, you cant tell!
Once I completed the three sections, I sewed the top pieces together, top to bottom. Then, I ironed the back to create a “seam” and hand stitched the two long seams together. Once this was completed, I added on my binding. I also printed a “label” onto some calico fabric, using a piece of freezer paper and an ink printer. It was actually surprisingly easy to do this, and it came out great!
Now with my binding on, label on and quilting complete, all I had left was to handstitch the binding onto the back. That is, until I decided to create a matching pillow. I decided this about 2 days before his birthday, and after i had purchased myself a brand spanking new sewing machine, a Janome Memorycraft 7700… which I am currently in love with.
To create my quilted pillow, I bought a set of super cheap pillowcases from Target. I ripped out the side seam, and placed my left over squares just on the top part of the pillow, until I was happy they would match (but not 100% match) the quilt. See the pic below – I decided on diagonal stripes of colour rather than the chevron pattern again. I decided to place batting in-between as well, to ensure that the pillow case looked the part. Once I had finished quilting, i then folds the edges of the quilt top over to neatly ‘finish off’ the quilted piece onto the pillowcase. I sewed together the inside seam of the pillow case, and lastly ended up adding black binding to the side of the pillow case where the pillow is inserted. this gave it a really nice finished look, and I thought was more practical as it would get a lot of use. Below is a pic of the finished project – I was really happy with it, even though it wasn’t 100% perfect! I learnt a lot, and couldn’t wait to start my next project. The best part was giving it to Lincoln, that is, until his first reaction was “is that it?”. LOL. But after showing him all the animals and bits and pieces, apparently he insisted on sleeping under it that night (in 30 degree Sydney heat!). #winner