Thursday, 10 May 2012

A Wonderful Introduction to Quilting

Last Sunday I discovered a very enjoyable way to pass the hours, especially on a grey and wet day, and learnt a new skill that I can't wait to practice some more. I treated my mum and myself to a day's Introduction to Quilting at Sew Over It in Clapham, London. It was something that we had both wanted to try and we'd get to spend some quality mother-daughter time together too. It's just I kept it secret from Mum until we got outside: she had no idea what we were going to be up to.Surprise!

The day started at 10am in the lovely downstairs space of the shop. There were 5 of us altogether so the class was very relaxed and we all got lots of time and attention from our teacher Kate Sherman. She taught us the Log Cabin style of Quilting, which involves building the pattern from squares and strips of fabric. They provide everything you will need and there is a big box of fabrics to choose from but I had been planning my first quilt for some time so I took along my own selection.
I am making a quilt for Wiss as my first project and when I discovered the Moda Robotics Range I knew it would be perfect. The grey and white with rockets and planets, and the red stars are from that range, and then I mixed in some co-ordinating grey and red cottons. Everyone in the class chose really different colour schemes and patterns but I was amazed by how good the fabrics all looked together, even ones I wouldn't have put alongside each other initially. (If you are in any doubt that clashing patterns can work together then look at this amazing blog I'm a Ginger Monkey. This blog was my main inspiration for wanting to learn to quilt!)

Kate explained how we should get started by cutting squares and strips of our fabrics: I used a rotary cutter for the first time and now wonder how I have got this far without one! Then after some tea and delicious cake (banana loaf for me) we started to lay out the strips and get an idea of what arrangements would look best. You can literally do this for hours so I decided to just plunge straight in. I am terribly impatient at the best of times! The sewing machines are all digital Janomes, and with a cute touch are all named. Mine was called Frank!
There is something very rhythmic and soothing about sewing, pressing, cutting, sewing, pressing, cutting. And then seeing the patterns evolving from all your strips is very satisfying. The main thing seemed to be to be as neat and precise as possible. This is not a million miles away from my day job as a modelmaker so I really got into it. My mum, however, kept declaring "I've gone skew-wiff, Angie!"
We all worked at different speeds but all of us produced finished quilt blocks that could then either form a cushion cover, or a quilt if we wanted a new Work In Progress to tackle! There was more tea and cake in the afternoon (I went for carrot and courgette cake this time) before we were taught the techniques in how to assemble our blocks, make up the quilt sandwich, to actually quilt them together and finally how to bind your finished article. I'm a long way off yet but I'm really looking forward to getting to that stage.

You can see from just these two images how the arrangements of your blocks can create wildly different effects. I'm not decided yet but I know that I'd like to use more of the Robotics Space fabrics, so may introduce a border to each block before they get sewn together. I'll be sure to keep posting with any progress made!

Both my mum and I had a great day and I would thoroughly recommend the class at Sew Over It. Check their Lessons page for all the classes they run. It was a lovely, sociable (and delicious) way to learn a new skill and get inspiration.
I'll be posting again soon with news of New Locations for my This is Wiss stall! New Limited Edition Product Ranges! And some New Improvements to old favourites! Now if I could only discover that elusive 25th hour in each day.... See you again soon!


  1. What a fun event! I'd love to do something like this. I've only ever made one patchwork "quilt" (it's not I true quilt, I think, since I didn't actually quilt it once I sewed it all together) and I'd absolutely love to try more. the Log Cabin style looks both fancy and managable - might give it a go! I also want to try some hexagons.

    You can see my first patchwork in this blog post.

    1. Your quilt is beautiful! Well done on finishing it. I love that it is made from vintage fabrics too. It will be treasured for years and years I'm sure!

  2. What a lovely way to spend a day, I'm a bit jealous! Your quilt looks great already, I'm sure it will become another Ange masterpiece! xx

    1. It was a really great day so if you fancy taking a class, in anything, I'd say do it!

      Thank you for the compliment too!! There's a lot to do but it does seem to come together quickly at the moment. X


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