Quilt No. 3: The Halloween Quilt and Free Motion Quilting

I’m not sure how to number these quilts as I have several ongoing, but I guess I’ll just number them as I completely finish them. This quilt was one of the last ones I started, but it sewed up very quickly and then I got a bit obsessed with free motion quilting it on my home machine.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before that we are massive Halloween fans, but I’m sure I have. I was in the local quilting shop to pick up a small order and I saw some cute Moda jelly rolls on sale in this fabulous Halloween fabric, which I promptly snapped up. This whole quilt was made with one jelly roll and two little extra strips from another fabric (the same as the binding).

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Quilt No. 2: Alison Glass Tres quilt and my first time long-arming

The Tres quilt was the second quilt kit I bought in a sale a couple of years ago in order to get my quilt journey going. The first was the Patchwork Quilt, which I finished as my first ever quilt and I wrote lots about how I found basting and quilting it myself at home. For this second, I thought it would be fun to try out a longarm machine. I want to make a large quilt for my parents and I know that it will be very difficult for me to quilt that one on my tiny domestic machine, so I wanted to know if it was even worth trying to do it myself on a longarm, or whether I should just send it to a professional for quilting. I know now that lots of people do send out their quilt tops, but there’s something about the fact that it’s a special gift that makes me feel like I want to do it myself. I’m sure I’m not alone.

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My first quilt – a patchwork Alison Glass observatory throw quilt

Well, I never! If you’d told me 10 years ago I’d be making a quilt in 2020, I’d have split my sides on the floor laughing. Not because I’m a horrible person, but I would never have imagined myself to have the patience, interest and wherewithall to actually make such a thing. Even after I started making clothes, I regarded quilt-making as anOTHER craft. We don’t have a big quilt-making tradition in Scotland and so I saw it mostly as a charming, but quaint, American custom. I could see the appeal in theory but in practice found a lot of the quilts I saw pretty chintzy and not to my taste. Slowly, however, I became aware of modern quilting and started to see wonderful fresh (to my eyes) designs on Instagram here and there. I knew some of my favourite fabric designers, such as Carolyn Friedlander, Cotton + Steel and Ruby Star Society really dealt primarily with quilt fabrics and when I saw what quilters were producing with their fabric I started to be drawn in.

What really led me to actually making one, though, was that I planned to make a quilt to commemorate my parent’s golden wedding anniversary. I picked out a pattern and fabrics – and then realised I neither had a clue where to start, nor the necessary skills to sew such an important gift to a half-decent standard. Covid-19 arrived and during the US Presidential election week, I found myself casting around for something interesting, but not too technical, that I could do sitting in the living room, watching the news, rather than behind the sewing machine. So I came to the idea of a bright, colourful and very simple quilt. I could learn some skills and cheer myself up with the rainbow hues of Alison Glass’ Observatory Collection prints at the same time. Bingo!

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