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.
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.
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).
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.
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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