It only took nearly a year, but I finally completed the last of my flannel charity quilts. I cut the fabric for two quilts ages ago, before I realized I hated flannel. So I made the first one, hated it, and put it aside. Then I made a rag quilt in a quilt class, which wasn’t as awful, but still bleh. And then I remembered I had this box under my quilting table with this last cut quilt ready to go.
It was a pretty quick project for me. Since the original pattern called for 1/2″ seams for a rag quilt, and I didn’t follow that last time and had some awful piecing, I decided to actually follow the instructions. So this one is another rag quilt.
This one is the “boy” version of the girly one (about halfway down) I made a few months ago.
I didn’t do any quilting, except an “X” here and there to anchor the front to the back. I haven’t yet found the charity I’m going to give it to, but it’s done. And now I’m done with flannel quilts. I still have a ton of flannel, but I might just go back to making diapers and prefolds, because sewing those didn’t irritate me.
Moving on, I took the plunge and signed up for a class on craftsy. I had a free voucher from the International Quilt Festival, and used it to sign up for Cindy Needham’s FMQ designing and quilting class. Let me just say – if most of the other classes are like this one, they are absolutely worth the $40 (but usually $25 because they are always on sale). I haven’t even finished the lessons, and my fmq has improved by a factor of about a thousand. I’m still such a noob, and what I’ve done is nothing to write home about, but my quilting confidence has gone way up, and for once I can quilt something that doesn’t scream “IM AN AWFUL BEGINNER AND PRACTICING” to “I’m not so good but this is presentable and someone who doesn’t know what they are looking at would think it was pretty”. Since I’m still firmly in the second group, I think what I’m quilting is pretty. And I’m only on background fillers!
I have a set of six placemats and a table runner I am practicing on. Here is what I’ve done so far.
Like I said, not amazing, but just by doing the exercises Cindy Needham recommends, I’ve learned an awful lot and am beginning to pay a lot more attention to the actual quilting, instead of it just being some hurdle or afterthought to a finished quilt. In fact, just doing these small exercises on these placemats has been really enjoyable, and I’m actually excited about more than just the fabric and piecing of a quilt. In fact, after watching these lessons and looking through her gallery, I’ve even entertained the idea of, maybe someday in the future, doing a small wholecloth quilt. I even have an occasion and the recipient in mind.
Here is the back of the same piece. Just so you know, this is the FIRST piece – my very first attempts, but I’m still proud. I’m also becoming a fan of the thread she recommended in class – Superior Thread’s Bottom Line 60wt polyester thread. She recommends stitching in the ditch for everything, before major quilting, and this stuff really does just blend into the background. I haven’t had any tension or breakage issues, and because it’s such a fine thread, even a small spool will last a little while for me. Unfortunately, I can only get it online, because none of my local sewing and quilt shops stock the finer weight threads, although they are all full of the pretty, colorful 40wt threads, but I haven’t made it to those yet. Feathers are the next lesson and I’m SO EXCITED.