This quilt started as a stack of challenge blocks from the Thimble Pleasures 9 Patch Challenge that ran from September-December last year. While I enthusiastically made my 90 blocks (a block a day) and then some, actually quite a few more, I didn't ever put them together. After learning about Gail's diagnosis, I thought about using some to create a quilt from Gus's fourth grade class. This grew to first include the entire fourth grade, and then the entire school as I brainstormed ways to create a design that could accommodate about 400 signatures (students, faculty and staff). After figuring out that it was indeed possible to create a design for the second side of the quilt that could be appealing, I sent my designs to a few folks at school for their feedback and garnered their enthusiastic support.
New skills attempted (and mastered) and other skills practiced (I've blogged about much of this previously):
- Bringing the thread to the top, and burying in the batting
- Invisible Thread
- Free Motion Quilting
- Echo Quilting
- Following Quilting Designs
- Pieced borders
- Creating & Attaching Bindings
- Measure Thrice, Cut Once
- Sometimes it is better to stop and draw the design carefully and other times freehand is great
- Anchoring the quilting in both directions really is a good idea
- A comfortable seam ripper and good lighting is imperative
The biggest thing this quilt taught me was not to be afraid to try something new. And also that You-Tube is a WONDERFUL resource for learning quilting skills. I definitely learn by seeing someone demonstrate over reading the instructions.