Friday, 6 December 2013

Pillow talk

I didn't piece this quilt. The blocks were done for Andrea from a bee she was in and she decided she was going to give them away as she knew she'd never get around to making them. So I stuck my hand up and said I'd take them and make them up into a quilt to raise money for charity.

Andrea's blog was one of the very first quilt blogs I started following, back when she was called Millions Of Thoughts Trapped In My Head. Then she took possession of her very first longarm quilting machine earlier this year and is now called Urban Quilt Works. If you've ever wanted to follow the journey of a longarm machine from being unpacked to learning how to quilt on it, Andrea's blog is worth a look.

Photo nicked from Andrea's blog

I believe all these blocks are made from Denyse Schmidt fabrics and my original idea was just to sew them together, add batting and backing, quilt it and be done with it.

But then something happened.

Ann Petersen came into my life.

I've been aware of Craftsy for a while and although tempted by the various classes, I wasn't tempted by the approx £25 per class. Then a few months ago, I think they had a sale and I bit the bullet and bought the Learn How To Machine Quilt Big Projects On A Small Machine by Ann Petersen.

And suddenly Ann had me hooked. We've spent quite a bit of time together these past few months, although admittedly she's done all the talking. I've cooked, watched TV, done  helped the kids with their homework and quilted with Ann. We've also been to bed together a few times but to be honest Ann, one night I was really tired and you wouldn't stop talking, you just went on and on and I wasn't really listening to what you were saying and I'm afraid I fell asleep.

Sorry Ann.

What Ann doesn't know about quilting, I would imagine isn't worth knowing and suddenly I started thinking I would complete these blocks using Ann's QAYG (Quilt As You Go) instructions. I thought it would be a brilliant way to treat each block as a mini quilt and practice my rather limited repertoire of free-motion quilting skills.

I just kind of went random and did my own thing.

And I found the (imo) perfect fabric to segment each block together.

Which I then echoed in the three extra blocks I needed to make, to bring it up to a reasonable size.

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process from start to finish. I felt I was more in control of my quilting, that I was really able to focus on one portable piece of stitching at a time.

I loved the way you could use up left over scraps for the backing pieces and random bits of batting for each block. And I used up leftover binding from other projects and the whole quilt just felt like it was pieced from scraps and leftovers and that felt good.

You kind of end up with a secondary quilt on the back with lots of little different quilted squares.

And so when I'd finished it I kind of felt Ann and I were done and I should look for someone new.
Cue another Craftsy sale last week and I purchased another class. Unfortunately things didn't work out: I just couldn't click with the teacher, I didn't feel that what they had to say was worth my money and I didn't really want to spend time with them. I'm sure it was all me but the feelings just weren't there. Very graciously, Craftsy took on board my feedback and I got a full refund.

I've licked my wounds, picked myself up and I'm heading back to Ann if she'll have me. I've realised the grass isn't always greener on the other side and that Ann is a very hard act to follow. I'm looking forward to snuggling up in bed with her as she talks  Beyond Basic Machine Quilting.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday

I don't know about you Ann but I can't wait.


  1. that's fantastic! What a great way to use those blocks :-)

  2. Wow! This beautiful, and you are a very funny writer! Take care, Byrd

  3. It looks brilliant. I might have to steal Ann off you for a while!

  4. Hahahaha! I love it! The fabrics, the quilt, the quilting, your post, and most of all, your funnyness, because today I really need a good laugh!

  5. I love the quilt, Katie Jump Rope is one of my favourite fabric lines. I will check out her class. I have watched a few craftsy classes now.

  6. You have me laughing. I hope your husband isn't too jealous.
    Great FMQing!
    Good to know who the good teachers are.
    The tape measure fabric is Perfect! Did piecing it all together go well? That part of qayg has always made me nervous - like the back strips would look like total rubbish.

  7. Your quilt is wonderful! I love the idea of learning to machine quilt one little block at a time and then putting it all together into one quilt. Thanks for the great story.:)

  8. Hilarious and inspiring at the same time. I tried a craftsy class about machine quilting, but like Bilbo's birthday in LOTR it seemed to take an eternity to get past the intro and on to any (quilting) action. Maybe Ann and I could get together sometime. Your finished quilt looks fabulous.

  9. Your quilt is so fantastic. Wonderful quilting.
    Grit from germany

  10. it looks wonderful .. well done (you and Ann xx)

  11. I've done some QAYG before, but not one where you add sashing ... I'll have to take a look now :)

  12. This is a real stunner! Great use of scraps. Congrats on your finish.

  13. I absolutely love the way you have made this quilt. It makes quilting at home doable and not so scary!!

  14. I found my way to your blog from crazy mom quilts. As soon as I saw the pictures of your blocks I scrolled down really really fast to see if you had put them together for a top. Yep you had!!
    I have some blocks I want to do this with but can't seem to find a method I like for putting them together. I checked your page for tutorials in hopes, but nothing there. Could you please explain what method you used or point me in the right direction? Also I pinned a picture because I really like the quilt! Thanks

  15. Love your blog and your quilt projects. I have just one request, would it be possible to use a larger font for your posts. The current size is difficult to read and when I increase the size it is larger than the screen so I have to keep adjusting it to read the entire piece. Thanks

  16. Love these, they turned out fantastic. Thanks so much for taking them on! By the way, I've had a few craftsy classes, and two of them I was not impressed with - and craftsy was just great at refunding me. The other class was amazing however!

  17. Wow, your quilt is just gorgeous! I love the idea of QAYG because of how much easier it is to handle a small piece while FMQ-ing. I just don't find the effect of all the blocks put together with sashing very aesthetically pleasing (with an exception for your quilt, of course). I forsee a lot of mini quilts and cushions in my future... How great that Craftsy refunded your purchase and you were able to get Ann's other class instead. Can I be really cheeky and ask what the class you didn't like much was?

  18. How lucky to inherit these beautiful blocks! I love the QAYG method that you used; I've never tried it on a big quilt I have signed up for a couple of Craftsy classes and have watched a few of the lessons but I confess I've never finished watching one. I really need to get back to watching them.

  19. Such a great way to start my day, reading about your little affair. I will have to check into this class. Your quilt is beautiful.

  20. Lol! I hope your husband didn't mind having Ann in the bed.
    Very nicely done.

  21. Absolutely hilarious! Good students are what make teaching so wonderful, Thanks so much!

    Ann Petersen

  22. Hilarious! Thank you so much - its great students that make teaching worthwhile!


01 09 10