This is part II of Making a Quilt, read part I first starting is easy.

Pink quilt top sewn by iHanna

I’ve decided on the background fabric! It’s white cotton with green and pink checkers that I found at the thrift store. I have a huge piece of this fabric, 5 meters I think. When we come to this part you kind of see how the quilt will look eventually, though putting it together is a stretch, both for the cat to stretch on and for my patience with my little helper;

Is this for me?
What is it with cats and fabric on the floor?

Just for me... The second I spread this out she was in the middle of it rolling around, looking oh so innocent! Earlier when I was laying out the fabric stripes (to get a mental picture of the quilt) she dived right into everything, head first. The pieces was whirling through the room and I was laughing so hard while telling her what a obnoxious little cat she is. I lay them out again, and she jumped in. I don’t know anything else that gives her this instant happiness boost! We were playing like that for quite a while until I scoped her up and away from my newly ironed fabric pieces.

Time to work!

Quilt preps This is the part of quilting when you need some space to lay everything out and stretch it before pinning it together. I started with the backing fabric (print down) and taped it to the floor.
Helping cat

Then it’s time to add the batting on top of backside fabric. My batting is a thrifted bed blanket found in mom’s stash. Many of the fabrics I’ve used in the patchwork is also thrifted of course, that’s part of the game for us. To find beautiful fabric – that is cheap!

All layers thoroughly investigated by Smilla and she states: there is nothing wrong here, you can carry on with your business!

Isn’t she cute?

Quilt preps

And then finally, the third and last piece of the puzzle;

Pink quilt top
All those beautiful fabrics sewn together into a pink patchwork!

Isn’t it glorious in all its splendor – or something like that anyway. I had so much fun sewing all these stripes together one after the other!

Pink quilt top Now comes the part where you crawl around on the floor with your tin of needles and pin all the layers in place without wrinkling anything. You tack the three layers together with quilting needles (also called Betweens), and while you do it you can remove the tape too.

Pink quilt top

Most of the fabrics I picked out are flowery and romantic but there are also very modern fabrics and bold colors to make the composition interesting. I love this quilt, and now the only part left is to sew the layers together on the machine; that part is what they call Quilting. I usually call it “Time to Mess It Up” or “Destroying the Patchwork Part”. That’s because it is difficult to quilt, especially a big blanket like this one on a regular small sewing machine. It will get wrinkly! I know that I need to embrace the wabi-sabi in that, but it’s difficult at first when I sit down to make it beautiful. I sew, then rip the seam apart just to sew the fabric together again… I need to remember that with three layers its a thick quilt that will warm me many times – I’m not making it to hang in a gallery!

After a while thought,
when I come back to my quilted work, I will love it again and be proud. These things take time, as I said in my last post. Not only does it take time to cut, sew and design it – for me it takes time to process it and let it rest in between working with it.

Read the next part of Making a quilt too: Adding the edge and finishing.