It has been a year since I last posted here, I didn’t forget about blogging but as I was doing the groundwork for this article I think a couple things hit home for me: 1) sewing is a really solitary activity and coupled with being in a new place, it can get lonely and 2) I had to start using sewing as a way to connect with people in my area.
I live in the Mid-west, and it is no surprise to anyone that Quilting thrives here. There’s a small group of clothing sewers but they’re small (and wonderful). I soon realized that if I wanted to meet more people I’d have to go with the flow a little bit and dabble in quilting. So I started quilting and I was unprepared for the level of joy it brought to me!
I dove right in and and started working on Anna Maria Horner’s Feather Bed quilt pattern. When I showed the folks at my LQS (Local Quilt Shop), they were amazed at my progress, and my willingness to jump headfirst into a more complicated pattern. They were so encouraging, so helpful, and happy to share tips and tricks on how to make it as beautiful as I possibly could.
Bit by bit, I plugged away at this quilt using a beautiful half-yard bundle of Liberty of London’s quilting/craft cottons “Stile” in the “spice” colorway (inspired by Charles Rennie Mackintosh). By May, I was finally able put it on a Long Arm and (with great help!) quilted it (using a computerized design, so not really much involved on my part). I finished (hand) binding it in September (watched a whole lotta Outlander!). Of everything I have made, this is the thing I am most proud of. I gifted it to my husband on our third wedding anniversary and it is happily used and loved.
The pattern is available here on Anna Maria Horner’s Make Page. I am so grateful to Meredith of Olivia Jane Handcrafted for her efficient cutting tutorial. If you are planning on making this quilt, I highly suggest you start here. After a while I got tired of making so many feathers and enlarged my quilt to a queen size with a scrappy border. I used Robert Kaufman’s Kona Snow Solid for the background because it is readily available everywhere (in case I ran out, which I did). For the binding I used a DS Quilts (Denyse Schmidt) print from one of her collections available at Jo-Ann’s. For the batting I used Quilter’s Dream “Dream Orient” and I’m very pleased with the drape and the warmth of it. I went with a plain white 108′ muslin for backing, there’s so much white in the background, I didn’t want any backing color or print showing through.
I pre-washed all my liberty, background and backing fabric, but not my batting. Many people warned me that reds bleed and the fabrics had quite a bit of red so I wanted to be on the safe side. I’m not sure where I stand on the pre-washing debate, I’ve serged fat eighths and pre-washed them and they shrank a little but it was a time commitment and I don’t know if I’ll do it again. I think I draw my limit at prewashing Jelly Rolls or Charm Packs.
Anyways, I think I can happily say that I’ve found some balance in terms of connecting with local area quilters through quilting and with the online sewing community through my love of apparel sewing. I’ve been sewing steadily through the year and I hope to share many more pictures of what I’ve been up to. On another note, I have a much nicer phone now and I joined Instagram, if you want to find me there I’m @BeautifullySewn.