Jackleberries II

I’ve completed all the blocks that make up the original Jackleberries quilt now. It’s been awhile since I started this project because I’ve put it to one side in favour of other stuff so often.

Since I only want to make a tablecloth for my dining room, and the Jackleberries pattern is for  a double bed quilt size, I don’t need all the blocks I’ve done, so I auditioned them to see which ones I wanted to keep by laying them out on the table top. I’ll use the leftovers for something else, maybe a cover for my sewing desk. I haven’t decided yet.

I’ve always known that I wouldn’t be able to get even a tablecloth-sized quilt under the arm of my sewing machine. It’s just not large enough, so I’ve been doing some research on the net about ‘quilt-as-you-go’. But there are so many different techniques that come under the umbrella of that name it’s really quite bewildering.

After a lot of thought I decided to use a method where I sew together my blocks into manageable ‘panel’ sizes, so I can quilt each of them individually and then join them into a whole afterwards. For me it’s a bit of an experiment, but at least I’ll be able to manipulate the panels under my machine. I’m not doing free motion quilting, just lines and patterns using my walking foot, and each panel won’t be quilted to the edges where they have to join to the next. I’m hoping I can manage to merge the quilting lines so these joins won’t be noticeable once sewn together.

So that’s where I’m at for now. I’ve added lightweight bamboo batting and a busy patterned backing fabric to each panel, and I’m working my way through quilting them -although I’ve got a feeling that Christmas makes might mean I put my Jackleberries quilt to one side again soon.

 

Link to previous Jackleberries post…

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A Quilting Weekend

No sooner home than off again, with Angie this time, for a glorious weekend of nothing but sewing from morning to night amongst like-minded people.  Jackie Taylor from White Cottage Country Crafts organises regular weekend quilting workshops at the Mount Hotel in Wolverhampton. They’re very popular, and from the moment we arrived we could see why.

We dumped our suitcases into our smart single hotel rooms and headed straight for the conference centre. As we set up our sewing machines in the spacious room, we were greeted with afternoon tea and coffee with biscuits – just the ticket – and that set the tone for the whole weekend. The sewing room was open to us for as long as we wanted to sew, and our only interruptions were for meals and tea breaks – breakfast, lunch and three course evening meals – a feast of good food every time.

Jackie had already emailed us with some suggestions as to what we might like to make, although there were plenty of people just doing their own thing. Everyone there was pursuing their passion for sewing, which made for good company all round, and we soon realised that some people had travelled long distances to be there.

I decided to make ‘President’s Pride’ a medallion quilt from Mary Etherington and Connie Tesene’s book ‘Civil War Remembered’. I was told it was a good choice but that I’d have to get my skates on if I wanted to finish it over the weekend. By Saturday evening I realised I wasn’t going to get it done, so I just relaxed and carried on carefully sewing my blocks to see how many I could do without rushing. I decided to put it away until after Christmas when I got home. I’ll pull it out again when I’ve got my Jackleberries quilt finished.

Angie chose to do the bed sized ‘Sophie’s Quilt,’ a White Cottage Country Crafts original pattern, using ‘The Cookie Exchange’ fabrics by Moda. They’re a lovely bright and breezy Christmas collection, and she soon got down to business. She’d almost finished the quilt top by the time we were ready for home.

As the weekend progressed we saw some lovely quilts coming together. A large area in the centre of the room had been left open so people could lay out their work on the carpet to get an idea of how things were coming together and to rearrange blocks before sewing. On Sunday we took the opportunity to meander around other people’s desks to see what they’d been up to. Though many had been coming to these workshops for a number of years, and we were complete newcomers, still we knew we were among friends. Angie says quilters tend to be gentle folk and I tend to agree.

Throughout the days we were there Jackie was on hand to give advice, encouragement and suggestions so help was always at hand – she’s a great teacher. I know we’ll be back for more of the same when the next quilting weekend comes along (because we’ve already booked!!)

Angie has finished her beautiful quilt now. As a bonus she bought extra fabric and magicked up another complete quilt top, based on the disappearing nine patch pattern, for use as her backing. It’s double quilted too for extra warmth.