I always get a burst of crafting enthusiasm after the Craft and Quilt Fair, so when inspiration hits, I need to start projects straight away or it will fizzle away. My friends C and D bought these fat quarters from Lancaster County in Pennsylvania in 2010, and it was presented to me when I visited them in Singapore in December that year. It was a very special gift because I was touched that C and D thought of me during their trip, and I've always wanted to be adopted by the Amish community so this is the closest I'll get!
It was always my intention to make something for C and D, but I wasn't inspired until I searched for images of patchwork quilts using 10 fat quarters (isn't it great that you can search for anything these days?!). Since the fabrics are quite different, I needed a pattern that would showcase its individuality but not clash, so Diary of a Quilter's Easy Bricks Quilt is the perfect design for the fabrics.
For me, the most odious part of the patchwork quilting process is
cutting out the fabric. I'm rather envious of people who can use rotary
cutters, I have one but can never manage to cut straight despite my best
efforts. So I spent a couple of quiet, rainy Saturdays in August 2013 using
templates to trace and cut rectangles (18 cm x 9 cm) from the printed
fabrics, and squares (9 cm x 9 cm) from IKEA's Ditte cream fabric. I
could cut 15 rectangles from one fat quarter, except for one piece which
was a little smaller from the rest so I added another fat quarter that
my friend Bernie gave me, so this is truly a friendship quilt. The
quilt consists of 160 rectangles and 160 squares.
Don't you love chain piecing? I certainly do, as sewing (always with 100% cotton thread) the rectangle and square pieces together was completed relatively quickly. I finished the quilt top in November and it was washed, iron and ready to be quilted...which didn't happen until late December.
My least favourite part of the quilting process is sandwiching the quilt together. Although I like the idea of using spray adhesive, I don't like the idea of using chemicals so I basted the quilt by hand (using 100% cotton batting and backing fabric). I was afflicted by a First World Problem which saw me get a couple of neck and
shoulder massages to relieve the tension caused by sitting on my marble
floor sandwiching the quilt together. Appalling isn't it? I'm too pampered and it made me realise how lucky I am to sew for pleasure compared to the
factory workers who sew ridiculous number of hours in horrid conditions for pittance.
This quilt comprises 8 rows of 20 bricks, and measures approximately 150 cm x 190 cm. I machine quilted "in the ditch" for four days wearing a pair of yellow knitted gloves with little rubber dots which I bought from Daiso. The quilt was bound with store bought wine coloured bias binding. As I said to C, the quilt is riddled with imperfections, but made with love and good thoughts
An early birthday present for C (ahh, seven months early) which I personally delivered in early January. I'm afraid the quilt is only big enough for Christine so profuse apologies to D (sorry sweetie!). Dis convinced that the quilt is big enough for the both of them, but I heard from C yesterday that De used her quilt last night, so I guess it must be used on a rotation basis!