Friday, February 20, 2009

Some "sewing friend" I am.

Sorry Bek about not getting back with you about fabric and patterns for quilts. Here's what you need to do:

1) CHOOSE PATTERN. For first-time quilters or time-stressed mothers, I would do as many straight strips as possible. An uncomplicated pattern still looks great with cute fabric. So you don't have to figure out amounts, buy a pattern or a book, then all you have to do is plug in your fabric choices. Check out free patterns here. Heather Bailey also has a cute quilt pattern and info on binding.

2) CHOOSE FABRIC. Go to a local quilting store. Go on a weekday afternoon without any children (tough, I know) so you can take your time. The easiest thing to do is look for fabric that you love (or the person the gift is for will love). Most fabrics are built in a collection, so pick three or four (or more) fabrics for the project. Get ALL the supplies now-don't forget fabric for backing, binding, thread, and batting!!!!! (Cotton batting is flatter, warm or polyester for more bounce/loft). Getting it all then will enable you to keep going once you're on a roll. (I get thread and batting at large fabric stores-Joann's or Hancock's because it's usually cheaper.)

Here are a few collections I love:
Anna's Drawing Room Collection
Amy Butler Midwest Modern
Sis Boom Mod Girls

(Sorry, I'm not good at posting photos that aren't mine-they always disappear!)

3) PREPARE FABRIC. I wash (with detergent) and dry all my fabric. Sometimes I wet and dry the cotton batting. This is to prevent shrinking and color bleeding. If you have dark colors (red, purple, brown, black) you must prewash so the colors don't bleed. If you want your quilt to pucker up either don't wash the lighter fabrics or don't wash the batting. I've had some neat results just not washing/drying the batting. I like to prewash everything and wash it again when it's all done if I'm making a baby gift because then it's ready for immediate use!

4) SEW. No shortcuts, you just have to sit down and do it.

5) FINISH. You do have to finish it. Check out this video from Simply Quilts Alex Anderson. Or, instructions here about mitering the binding.

Good luck!