Quilting Basics: “Plus” Quilt

Both art and crafts are a big part of my life. Making “things” gives me a great sense of fulfillment, and quilting seemed like a great technique to learn for my next project. Plus, there’s a perfect space above the basement stairs where I’d love to hang a large quilt for the bed and breakfast.

Luckily, Visual Arts Center of Richmond offers tons of wonderful classes in areas like fiber, ceramics, glass, photography, or writing. I signed up for “Quilting Basics” taught by Julia Janeczek. This was a four-week class (one night a week) and was a fantastic experience – I’d recommend it to anyone. Go out and learn a new craft! So much fun.

Visual Arts Center of Richmond

Visual Arts Center of Richmond

I like some traditional styles of quilts but really like more contemporary designs that blend the old and new. Here’s what inspired me for my first quilting project: circles quilt by Lindsey Rhodes; gradient blue quilt by Bonjour!; chevron quilt by The Apartment. Since this project would be my first attempt at quilting and my first time using a sewing machine, the simpler the better. I went with a plus-sign design by Quilty but removed the rotated-plus blocks and chose light- to dark-blues and gray-green fabrics to create a gradient.

fabric choices

fabric choices

After I rounded up the necessary materials, I started cutting out all the squares I’d need. Because I had limited time in class, I cut down the finished size of the quilt to be only 4 x 4 blocks rather than the 7 x 8 blocks needed for a throw. This project would be a small sampler so I could learn all the steps (I was definitely the least experienced and slowest student in the class).

cutting quilt sqaures

cutting quilt squares

Once all the pieces were cut and ironed, I began sewing. On a sewing machine! I admit, I was totally intimidated, but thanks to my instructor it was actually pretty easy. There are a lot of steps to quilting, but it’s a meditative sort of process.

front of quilt: blocks assembled

blocks assembled for “plus” quilt top

By the end of my four weeks, I’d pieced all my blocks. I didn’t have a lot of time outside of class, so I still need to sew all the blocks together, quilt the front to the back, and complete the binding. There were demos during class, so I’m confident that I can work on it at home without too much trouble.

I’m so happy that I took the class and feel inspired to try new patterns and designs, and I haven’t even finished my current quilt yet. This experience has also got me thinking about sewing curtains, pillows, napkins, and all sorts of homemade projects for our future bed and breakfast.

I can’t wait to share the finished quilt with you all – stay tuned!

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2 thoughts on “Quilting Basics: “Plus” Quilt

  1. Darlington Delights

    Quilting is so addicting. I love your cross squares. I can’t wait to see your future posts as it all comes together!

    Reply

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