I love teaching quilts for beginner quilters. My favourite one at the moment is a little one made from two Moda Charm packs, a metre of backing fabric, a metre of wadding and 30cm of binding. The maker arranges 81 squares so they simply look nice, then they learn how to sew them together using the washing line method. They baste the quilt, machine quilt it in a simple grid, trim it, cut and join the binding and finally bind the quilt. It works really well in my little shop, with only really room for one or two students. This is my last student, Shaye, who's making her first quilt for her first child, and believe it or not, she's seven months pregnant in the photos!
Here she is adding the final touch to her binding.
behind her, hanging on the wall, is another beginner quilt I've taught. This time it's a sampler and it was popular too - not too big, a nice variety in the blocks, set on point to add interest, and striking fabrics. It's getting a bit old now, but people still like it...
So I decided to make a new beginner sampler quilt.
It's called The French Sampler Quilt.
This one is predominantly Moda French General fabrics from two different collections, Rouenneries and Rural Jardin. I love the French General designs and their "olde worlde" charm. I also added some old shirting fabrics from my Dad's shirts. Dad passed away 10 years ago today and I still use little bits and pieces of his shirts to add that special something to a lot of quilts.
The other key fabric in the quilt is the ticking, which I've had in my stash for almost as long as I've been quilting and everyone still wants to know where to get it - including me!
I made the second quilt a bit bigger, by simply repeating three of the original blocks. They look different just because I've used different value placement and quilting.
For a quilt like this, nothing looks as good as hand quilting, so I did that as well, using Ecru Cebelia No. 40 cotton thread, made in France. I love this thread for hand quilting as it's not as thick and attention drawing as Perle 8 (which I also love) and seems to suit more traditional work.
I really agonised over the borders for this quilt, and finally chose the beige over a blue and also a red in the same design. It's a little bit washed out, but I like the antique feel of the whole quilt and am very happy with it.Finally I added the pinkish red rick rack. I finished the binding and put it out on my bed, I wished I'd added another five blocks and it could have been a queen size for me. The red was exactly right in my room and I love shabby chic.
My new quilt was inspired by the Tsunami and I'm using a stunning Japanese Kona Bay fabric as a big central panel, with French Braids from watery, murky Bali Batiks. Here it is in the planning stages. I'm using Jane Hardy Miller's French Braid Obsession as a source book, but making the quilt up as I go. Hopefuly it will become a new workshop.
The world is really having its share of suffering to date this year, but I hope you're all safe and looking to the future,