Wednesday, February 2, 2011

square one

I started quilting after taking a course in batik at RISD's apparel and textile design department.  My mom and I took the course together and spent an afternoon carving stamps, printing our fabric with wax, washing it in dye, and then marveling at the gorgeous patterns and colors.  We ended up with lots of fabric and nothing to do with it because at that time neither my mom nor I were that into sewing.  I had made one skirt and my mom hadn't sewn anything since I was little.  We didn't want to waste the fabric though, so I asked my sewing teacher for ideas and right away she suggested I make a quilt.  It seemed like a good idea because then I would be able to preserve the fabric in a keepsake.  Off I went, cutting, sewing, stitch ripping, pulling my hair out... you quilters know how it goes.
I ended up having to buy a yard of two of fabric in order to fill out the quilt.  Any of the prints that have a white design are the fabrics dyed by me and my mom.  The multicolored fabrics were purchased at Just Fabrics, one of my favorite local fabric stores.
The quilt is backed in a large scale batik that Lorraine, my teacher, had just laying around.  She pulled it out as soon as she saw my fabrics, knowing it would be the perfect addition to my first quilt.  
I didn't know anything about labels then so I recently wrote my name and the season in the corner on the back for posterity.  
Not only did I not know about labels, but it seems I didn't really know about quilting.  This "quilt" is essentially a patchwork blanket.  I didn't do a lick of quilting. 
When Lorraine asked me if I wanted to bind the quilt I'm pretty sure I looked at her with an expression of shock and horror.  I just spent hours sewing the squares together and she was telling me I wasn't done yet?!  I had no idea what binding entailed and after Lorraine described it to me I declined, knowing I would have been in for hours more.  Instead of binding I stitched all around the edge with this fancy option my machine offers.  Pretty, but never again.  It took ages and miles worth of thread, and now I know that binding is a cinch when compared to all the other aspects of quilting.  
I'm so glad that Lorraine suggested I make a quilt with my batik fabrics.  Not only did it provide me with a way to showcase them, but I was introduced to quilting and now I'm hooked.  Lorraine, if you're reading, thanks!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. If I knew then what I know now...
    JK! You did a beautiful job, and it's gorgeous, to boot! Plus, we had a fun Saturday batiking.

  3. this is so bright and is fun to read about your journey to quilting!!


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