Emily’s Uni Quilt
Here’s a throwback Thursday post. To go along with our Back to school theme we’re sharing a post about one of Emily’s early quilts. Emily is now an AWESOME quilter. We thought it would be fun to get a glimpse of how she got started.
We made this quilt for Emily to take to University, her very first year at King’s College London. We bought the fabric at the 2011 Festival of Quilts. We were inspired by one of Trudi Wood’s many quilts. This was a simple rail fence in gorgeous saturated colours, easy to piece so we could finish it quick. I did the piecing and Emily did the quilting with a design that she made up. I’ll let Emily tell you in her own words.
“Hi, I’m Emily. I’m just about to go off to University on Saturday. I haven’t quilted a quilt in about 6 years – Even so, I have been practising quilting for a good couple of years – since I started going to shows with my mom. At the shows, you’re demo-ing all day, four days in a row, so by the end you get to be pretty good. I’ve also been doodling for ages! So although I have never considered myself a quilter, I have done enough doodling practise to make myself good at quilting certain designs.
In April, we had a machine quilter’s retreat, and there’s always a lot of doodling time. I got Trudi to show me how she did a certain design, and when I tried to copy her, I made a mistake, which both of us thought actually looked quite nice, so it became a new quilting doodle! Trudi has gone on to use the design in lots of her quilts, but the fascinating thing is how different her version of the same design is to mine!
So I’ve been practising this design on paper and fabric at shows, everywhere, for months. So it was really about time that I got it down onto a quilt! Mom and I decided to make a quilt as an ‘Emily-Goes-to-Uni’ kind of present, which gave us a deadline to work toward. (this Saturday!)
We decided to sew this extra black strip on one side of the top of the quilt as a place to practice my design and work out my tension before moving on to the quilt top. It was really useful to have the ‘side stage’ strip – so I could get my jerky beginning out of the way. Once I’d started quilting, it flowed very easily. The repetitive motion was, well, repetitive, but it required a certain amount of concentration – look out for that line, which way am I turning next? Right, that’s as far up as I can go, moving on, pause and swing, oh and breathe– if you forget to breathe you get to the end of a row and are gasping for air!
I also kept my design maximum one hand’s width tall, because I knew that as I got to the end of the quilt, I would only have about that much space to quilt with, so to keep everything looking even, I took care to watch out for the size of the design. Here I am at the very end. Even with the big roll of fabric under the arm of the machine. I still have plenty of room to execute my design. It helps that the arm of my Juki straight stitch sewing machine has the extra height I need for machine quilting on a frame.