Today I want to share my first quilts – the designs that drew me in along with the lessons learned from these early projects. Some of you may know the story of how I started quilting (because my mom opened a fabric store) but I really want to dive into the choices we have when we make a quilt.
Start with what you like
Lasagna is my all-time favorite meal, so when I saw a pattern with that name in a beginner pattern book, I knew I had to make it. (In fact, lasagna is cooking in the oven as I write this, LOL.) Since my first quilt was going to have everything I loved, I made sure to include a wonderful Alexander Henry print that features giraffes.
Some of the things that I learned from my lasagna quilt:
- Scrappy is good. Add lots of shades of one color and they will all play together beautifully.
- Every quilt needs a little bit of Kaffe (Fassett, who designs fabric with big designs and bold colors).
Follow your vision
One of my all-time favorite quilt blocks is the pinwheel. Another one of my first quilts was simply pinwheel blocks with a fun checkerboard border. I didn’t follow a pattern, I just made it up as I went along. And after all these years, the quilt is gone with no photographic evidence! So, I drafted a similar design with my EQ software.
Lessons from my pinwheel design:
- Quilts need contrast. The fabrics don’t need to have wild prints, just let the colors shine.
- Play with your machine. I found some fun decorative stitches to use as quilting motifs.
It’s okay to say no
Since my mom owned a quilt store, I volunteered to make samples. With Valentine’s Day approaching, a pattern with blue and red hearts caught my eye.
Although I finished the quilt, that quilt is one of a very few applique projects that I have done. While the effects can be amazing, the process just doesn’t appeal to me. And that’s okay. The quilting world is full of a wide variety of people and methods and we don’t have to like every one of them. Follow the one that make your heart sing.