I am neither bold nor brave but that was the title of Kim Lapacek’s Project Quilting challenge. This is a challenge set every couple of weeks for the first couple of months of the year to make a quilt on a given theme in a week. In fairness it doesn’t have to be a quilt, just a quilted item. Nevertheless the challenge of doing it in a week rarely fits in with my life but I always check the theme as to whether it sparks anything.
An example from last year was the theme best dressed man and I chose to make this mini quilt out of my late husband’s ties. It is hanging above me as I type.
Three things sparked me this time. I’d seen an IG post from @mrsterritee of 3 beautiful quilts using Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts Big Nines design she had made, with the help of her Bee, for the charity Siblings Together (see tab above) . It was a bold and graphic design perfect for an older teen/young adult. Almost immediately after, I saw a post from Jo Avery @mybearpaw of Thread House fame about Social Bite, a project for homeless people in Edinburgh. Her husband, Jonathon Avery, coming off the back of his experience of designing ‘tiny houses’ has developed a two person dwelling and a number of them are being built on donated land to help transition people without homes into eventually permanent housing. If you a key player in this initiative and you are married to one of the country’s best known quilters then you can bet your bottom dollar that quilts will be found in these houses. To that end Jo was asking for quilt donations. So my bold and brave quilt was born, bold because I chose bright, bold colours (quite the change for me) and brave doing a quilt in a week with a fairly full schedule.
Well I think both paid off. I grabbed my teens before they headed off to school to advise me on colours from my solids. This was going to be my first ever solids only quilt. So I was left with these….. a quick trip to The Cotton Patch my local quilting shop to gather more quantities of the colours we had chosen and I was away….
It is a quick and easy design. Lots of chain piecing and so perfect for giving Winnie, our new addition to my sewing family, a workout.
In fact aside from the quilting, which given its size and the tiny throat of the Featherweight wasn’t practical, everything was sewn on Winnie. It was a good learning experience. The spool doesn’t hold masses so that had to be redone a number of times. The tension went wonky and I then realised I hadn’t threaded the bobbin correctly and so on. The seam guide above was excellent for accuracy as I’d found without it the very silky surface of the machine allowed a lot of movement as you sewed. The honeymoon isn’t over yet….
While the blocks were done in a day, as we all know, deciding on the layout of the top, sewing the top, then basting, quilting and binding can take up at least as long. I sewed into the nights as you can see in this picture…
And I won’t say how long I sewed into the early hours to get the bulk of the binding done. Of course the house is a mess and I’m not sure my children will have enough clean clothes for the weekend but it’s done. Sigh. Not sure I will be racing to do this again!
But I’m pleased with it and its big enough at 80″ long for a tall person. I found working with solids in some ways quite straightforward but they are unforgiving, no pattern to disguise a less than perfect wonky seam. Having had a fling with AGF’s Pure Elements as a solid I have rather gone back to more conventional, less fine woven Kona and Makower solids. They have more give and don’t crinkle as much.
The pictures were taken in my parents London garden. They have this lovely brick wall but no way of securing it but its a wonderful backdrop. If the wall lived with me I’d rig something up but on a cold windy February afternoon the quilt being draped over the wall had to do, just prior to falling to the floor!
The quilt was too big even for my 6’ Dad to hold unaided so we roped in the neighbour’s fence as well. Typically just as we put up the quilt the wind picked up and you can see the over sized peg flying off.
I hope it fits the bill and provides someone with warmth as they start on the next phase of a more settled and happier chapter of their lives. I’m looking forward to more updates as this project progresses.