The making of a quilt – starting is easy

Pink quilting fabric ready to be cut up for my next experiment. Photo copyright Hanna Andersson

You start with a pile of fabric and you envision that beautiful quilt laying on your bed or sofa, all glorious, handmade and original. You have an idea of what you want to create and you start picking your colors. Picking the colors is the best part for me. I think I have an eye for what goes together and I never pick a pattern or color that I’m not 100 % liking.

I usually end up with a pile of pink, like the one above.

I am not sure if I am a quilter, I’m too impatient. Making a quilt is a lot of work and it takes time to finish it. I know this fact but I forget it every time I start a new project. The brown quilt I started to make January 2007 is still not finished. I can’t decide on a fabric for the backside…

I like to spread fabrics around,
match them together, play with them. I don’t like to cut a lot of fabric and I’m not good at doing all the steps to finish my sewing projects. Though I’m great at Starting Things Up, as I said. I should be a project manager really.

Cutting for mom's blue quilt
I tend to let my mom do the cutting, even though I know how to do it myself now. It’s just so much faster when she does it, and then I can start to sew instead! Sewing patches together is fun fun fun!

To my mom is the Patchwork Quilt Queen. Isn’t that a great mom to have? She provides inspiration, fabric, helpful tips if I nudge a bit – and she is the best company when we create together! Though sometimes we fight over the chair in front of the sewing machine, but don’t tell anyone.

This is a page from a children’s book I thrifted once:

Mom is quilting
I tore it out and framed it for my mother. It makes me think of her of course. It’s a Richard Scarry illustration – I think his art is great, worthy of framing don’t you think?

Mom's Blue fabrics
Blue is mom’s color as you can see.

This time we are making similar quilts and starting at the same time! Mine will be all pink, hers will be all blue! I’ll show you both when we finish! I don’t have any clothes of fabrics in blue (except my jeans), so when I see blue I think of my mother even though in later years she’s not as into it as she used to be. Now she likes pink and roses too – I have noooo idea where she got the inspiration from!

I thought I’d share some things about my quilt (and links) with you today. Read on if you’re interested in learning more about making a quilt of your own. I’m not an expert but I’ve learned a thing or two. I’ll post more about quilting soon and show you how to “finish” a quilt too, I promise I know how to do it. I only need to get there…

The inspiration for my quilt comes from artist Mimi Kirchner that posted a quilt she made 30 years ago! I printed that and when I showed it to my mom she wanted to make one too, so now we’re making our own version of Mimi’s old quilt. I hope mine will still be around in 30 years!

It’s a simple quilt with no precise matching, no pattern and not a lot of measuring. My kind of quilt!

My material for this quilt:

For a pink quilt

The stripes are 25 cm (10″) long and different widths. I have a lot of these left after sewing the whole thing together, but I’ve already started making pillows so I’m determined to go thorough the pile and use every single bit before spring surrenders for summer!

My favorite part is sewing the fabrics together. I want to do it all at once because I love when the pieces come together and the fabric grows under my fingers. It makes me high, hehe. Yes, it’s true.

This is a great way to save on thread:

Sewing strips together
Don’t cut of the thread each time you’ve sewn to stripes together. Keep feeding the sewing machine with more stripes and then cut them apart when you’ve put a couple of these together. Then you can add them together again until they stretch over your whole quilt, the size is up to you!

Quilting fun links

Crazy Mom Quilts (great blog)
30 Ways To Improve Your Quilting (article)

Quilts I like:

Heart String Quilt (with pattern) – oh, how cool it is. I want one!
Pinwheels & Posies – a baby quilt pattern
Free Spirit Quilts (patterns)
Cat Quilt List – yay for cats!
Purrfect Pals – isn’t that so cute?

Listening is fun too:

Annie’s Quilting Stash – podcast for quilters!
Quilt connection – another podcast

Added Gunnels’s blog to my massive link list this week. She does both art quilts and “ordinary quilts” for everyday use. Lots of inspiration from another Swedish chica (who writes both in Swedish and English)!

15 Responses

  1. Perfect timing! I’m starting my first quilt, for my best friend’s wedding – this afternoon!

  2. You have made my day! I can’t think of anything more wonderful then knowing I have inspired creative work in another part of the world. I can’t wait to see the finished quilts!

  3. Like you, I enjoy picking out fabrics and piecing (sewing) the pieces together. I am very bad about finishing a quilt … it takes so much time and I am impatient!

    Happy quilting!

  4. January 2007? I think I started my wall quilt back in 1999… my husband thought it would be less expensive for me to make something for the wall than the oil painting we were looking at… he really has no idea how much this giant stash of fabric has cost me & the time alone! oh my.

  5. I started a quilt, too – I’m using fabrics my husband bought for me when he went to Gabon. It’s a lot of work.

  6. you are so lucky to do that with you mother. precious. hope you finish it! :) ..cause i want to see it!

  7. I discovered that we have two things in common:
    1)I also have a quilterqueen mom.
    2)I like to quilt, but prefer the first part when I can choose colours, put them together and mix and match. When the pieces are sewn together, the workprogress is normally slowing down…
    Good luck with your quilt!

  8. Good luck with this quilt Hanna! and thanks for the link!

    Vilken h?rlig beskrivning av din mamma! Jag och min mamma har alltid haft v?rt syintresse tillsammmns. Det var hon som l?rde mig att sy kl?der n?r jag var ungefa?r 9-10 ?r. Och vi har sytt ihop, f?rst min akl?der och sedan k??der till barnbarnen. Quiltingin har jag l?rt fr?n annat h?ll, och sedan ?r det jag som l?rt mamma. Min ?ldsta dotter syr, n?r hon hinner ………hon har tre sm?barn, men min yngsta dotter syr inte (?nnu i alla fall)

  9. I love the idea of creating something together, mother and daughter! I tried making quilts some time ago and it’s not my favourite craft but I always admire somebody else’s work. *^v^*

  10. That looks so easy. Daughter is asleep so I’m off to my stash to see what I can find!