For The Love Of Quilting

quilting

For The Love Of Quilting

Take two talented people, one in retirement, a late life marriage and a large house . Mix well, add enthusiasm, and what do you get? Quilts. I got hooked on quilts when I acquired an unfinished quilt in the log cabin pattern made by my great grandmother. “I was intrigued,” and learned to add the batting and the backing. “Then I went into scrap quilts and took lessons.” Soon I was skilled enough to begin teaching others.
I led classes in in several states, all the time continuing to hone my skills by taking lessons as well. My husband got interested in quilting soon after. His specialty soon became operating the quilting machine. Now we own two of the 14 foot devices, each in its own room. “If you want to do something creative, you can make a quilt top and have someone else do the quilting.” That’s where the machine comes in. Quilts are made up of three layers: the decorative top fashioned from small pieces of fabrics in a geometric or free form design, the middle layer of cotton or synthetic batting to provide warmth and the backing, usually a plain fabric in a color that complements the top or in white. In making quilts entirely by hand, crafts people often tie the layers together with hundreds of bits of string or yarn.

They may, instead, sew them together by hand, often making the stitches into decorative patterns. The quilting machine duplicates that tedious handwork, sewing the layers with decorative stitching in any design desired, smoothly and evenly with no bunching or lumping of the inner batting. Learning to run the new, improved second machine has become my husband’s latest fun thing to do. The demand for his work is strong and growing. Quilting is big,
particularly with the proliferation of quilt stores. “People find out quilting is really relaxing.” “And people are becoming more productive”. “They can see an end to their project” when the final, difficult step is taken over by the machine.”

It may surprise some to learn that quilting is growing in popularity with men, who sometimes comprise half the classes. “We recently went to a quilting conference. “There were five thousand quilters there. Quilting is huge.” I like to work with beginners. Many want to follow a standard design, down to fabrics and colors. “As you progress, you tend to choose your own colors.” Quilting is not just for making bedcovers. Our living room has quilted wall hangings and table runners. A quilted back pack lies on a coffee table; all the materials to make it are available as a kit. “Every quilter has his or her UFO’s”. “That stands for UnFinished Objects.” I have a few of my own stashed in closets and drawers. Our next venture is to offer “Quilting Camps.” It will be a chance for a small group of women to get together” and spend all weekend in our pajamas just quilting.” It’s a girl thing.

Take two talented people, one in retirement, a late life marriage and a large house . Mix well, add enthusiasm, and what do you get? Quilts. I got hooked on quilts when I acquired an unfinished quilt in the log cabin pattern made by my great grandmother. “I was intrigued,” and learned to add the batting and the backing. “Then I went into scrap quilts and took lessons.” Soon I was skilled enough to begin teaching others.

patchwork quilt
Close up of woman’s hand sewing patchwork

I led classes in several states, all the time continuing to hone my skills by taking lessons as well. My husband got interested in quilting soon after. His specialty soon became operating the quilting machine. Now we own two of the 14 foot devices, each in its own room. “If you want to do something creative, you can make a quilt top and have someone else do the quilting.” That’s where the machine comes in. Quilts are made up of three layers: the decorative top fashioned from small pieces of fabrics in a geometric or free form design, the middle layer of cotton or synthetic batting to provide warmth and the backing, usually a plain fabric in a color that complements the top or in white. In making quilts entirely by hand, crafts people often tie the layers together with hundreds of bits of string or yarn. They may, instead, sew them
together by hand, often making the stitches into decorative patterns. The quilting machine duplicates that tedious handwork, sewing the layers with decorative stitching in any design desired, smoothly and evenly with no bunching or lumping of the inner batting. Learning to run the new, improved second machine has become my husband’s latest fun thing to do. The demand for his work is strong and growing. Quilting is big,

particularly with the proliferation of quilt stores. “People find out quilting is really relaxing.” “And people are becoming more productive”. “They can see an end to their project” when the final, difficult step is taken over by the machine.”

It may surprise some to learn that quilting is growing in popularity with men, who sometimes comprise half the classes. “We recently went to a quilting conference. “There were five thousand quilters there. Quilting is huge.” I like to work with beginners. Many want to follow a standard design, down to fabrics and colors. “As you progress, you tend to choose your own colors.” Quilting is not just for making bedcovers. Our living room has quilted wall hangings and table runners. A quilted back pack lies on a coffee table; all the materials to make it are available as a kit. “Every quilter has his or her UFO’s”. “That stands for UnFinished Objects.” I have a few of my own stashed in closets and drawers. Our next venture is to offer “Quilting Camps.” It will be a chance for a small group of women to get together” and spend all weekend in our pajamas just quilting.” It’s a girl thing.If you want some information about quilting with a Singer featherweight click here

Borders for Quilts

Borders for Quilts

The perfect border can often make the difference between an ordinary quilt and an extraordinary quilt. A border can surround the interior blocks of a quilt bringing them to an abrupt halt or it can gently encourage those blocks to fill out the quilt and finish it. quilting borders

An exciting border can bring life to a plain quilt top, making the border the focal point of the quilt. Likewise, a very busy or heavily pieced quilt top can be calmed with a plain border. The choice you make will influence the final effect of the quilt.

Decide on the type of border you want to accent the central design. Remember that you can mix and match borders to create a design, emphasize a theme, or to increase the size of a quilt. Quilts with multiple borders look best if the smallest border is on the inside, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule. If you are adding applique to the border, consider doing it after the borders are sewn together as a dimensional element.

A straight border can be easily calculated and added to a quilt top to make it larger. A straight border is usually one piece of fabric which may be seamed to make it long enough to fit the quilt. If you have more than one straight border, make sure they are visually different in color or scale. Quilts with clipped or angled corners often have straight borders.

A floating border is a straight border made of the same fabric as the interior blocks, thus “floating” the interior quilt top away from the outer border.

A sashed border is a border which is made in the same style as the sashing. The dark squares at the intersections of the sashing strips are called cornerstones.

A scalloped border is applied the same way as a straight border but adds more interest to the edge of the quilt. Quilts with rounded corners often have scalloped borders.

A pieced border is made of blocks which compliment the interior design. This border will look best if the size of these blocks is the same size or slightly smaller than the blocks of the interior quilt. The size of the pieced border blocks should be calculated to fit the size of the interior quilt top if possible. A coping strip of one of the other border styles can be added to make everything come out even or to separate the interior quilt top from the pieced border.

A mitered border can frame the center of a quilt top, much like a painting in a frame. Using a border print for a mitered border emphasizes the framing effect.

A dimensional border such as piping or a flange is usually inserted between two other borders and adds no additional size to the quilt.

There is no requirement that a quilt have a border! Your quilt may look best without one.

Here is more information on creating various border styles.

http://quiltbug.com/articles/border.htm