Monday, 27 August 2012

Quilters I need your help!

I have decided that I need to make a very special quilt for my parents who will be celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary in June next year.


My mum taught me how to sew and has made several lovely quilts for both of my children so I thought a handmade quilt representing their 50 years of marriage would be a lovely Golden Wedding Anniversary gift. I know that both of them will appreciate the thought and work involved in making it. My only problem is that I know absolutely nothing about quilting! So quilters I need your help.


I need your advice, I need your tips, I need your suggestions of helpful blogs and websites to look at, I especially need your encouragement that I am not completely mad in attempting this as my first quilt. There are positives. I have lots of ideas on how I want it to look.

  • I want it to consist of 50 different squares (blocks?) - one to represent each year of their married life
  • I want to embroider important dates on some of the squares eg wedding date, births of children etc
  • I want to include references to the traditional anniversary gifts eg paper, cotton etc 
  • I want to print photos of grandchildren onto fabric and include them in my squares on the years of their birth
  • I want to have this love heart border which I feel in love with on Pinterest



Problems

  • I have no idea what I am doing! I don't even know how big a double quilt should be let alone how big my squares need to be and how much fabric is needed. Is there an app that can help me with measurements and fabric requirements?
  • I have until June 2012 to make the quilt. Is this feasible?
  • I have no idea what goes in the middle of a quilt (wadding?) and what weight it should be?
  • I have no clue re quilting the finished article or binding it.
  • I'm not even sure re colour schemes/fabrics at the moment. 




So does anyone want to save my life help me out by leaving ideas, suggestions, encouragement, links to good websites or blogs, things I need to know, recommended fabrics, info re wadding, quilting techniques etc?? I would be eternally grateful. I have started a Pinterest board of ideas which you can find here if you want to have a look at the sort of things I am thinking of. I would love people to pin more photos of lovely quilts on to it. Please let me know if you would like to do this and I can add you as a contributor.



I will be blogging about my progress on the quilt as I attempt to make it! So if you would like to make these two people very happy please leave any suggestions you may have!




42 comments:

  1. Hi Louise,
    That sounds like a labour of love but what a wonderful thing to make. I'm no real help to you sorry but I did notice that you planned to finish it by June 2012?? I think not. Good luck with getting lots of help and advise.
    Hugs,
    A x

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    1. Ha ha. I did mean 2013. Oh dear there is no hope for me if I can't even remember which year it is!!

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  2. If you look up missouri quilt company on youtube hey have lots of tutorials on there. I used them when I made my first patchwork quilt.

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    1. Brilliant! Thank you. On my list to look at. x

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  3. I don't have much quilting experience but these things have come to mind whilst reading your post.
    If you want 50 blocks you will not be able to use squares as it would have to measure 10 squares by 5 which would be an odd shapes - so you have to use a shape that is elongated.
    With regard to colour scheme, it sounds to me as though a random scheme would work well because of all the elements you want to include. Do you have some old clothes that you could use for the fabric so that it brings back memories just by looking at it?
    Good luck with the quilt and don't forget to enjoy making it!

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    1. Thank you! Love the idea of using old clothes that bring back memories. Brilliant idea. Agree re shape. Have to think about that. xx

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  4. I'm no expert, only started about 18 months ago. I picked up a lot of info from Oh Fransson and Crazy mom quilts. Film in the fridge is another great blog. Are you planning on hand quilting? Machine quilting a double would need a sewing machine with a very large throat. There are companies that will do the quilting for you. Does it have to be for a double bed though? Maybe a lap quilt, throw or even a wall hanging? Anyway I hope the blogs can answer a lot of your questions. I'm always on twitter if I can help. @emmavtate

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    1. Thanks Emma. Will have a look at the websites you suggested. Agree that a lap quilt might be a better idea. Will investigate! Lots to think about! x

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  5. Hiya, I can't help really but do have a blogging friend who's just been to a quilting exhibition - that means she could be in the know. Very friendly girlie - this is her blog :
    http://hettiecraftcz.blogspot.co.uk/

    Good luck - fab piccies of your parents there :)

    Di xx

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    1. Thanks Di. Will check out her blog. xx

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  6. Hi Louise, Try joining BQL - British Quilt list
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BQL/?yguid=253136558 - you will need to join Yahoo first if you aren't already a member. It's a great group with loads of friendly people to give you hints and tips and masses of photos of members' work to look at. I have told them all about Dress a Girl so I'm sure you will get a warm welcome. Or if you email me via Facebook I can give you some points as starters. A quilt for a 4'6" double bed should be about 80-90" square. Goodluck! Marian Keall (who brought dresses & shorts on June 1st!)

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    1. Thanks Marian. Thats brilliant. Will check it out. Will be in touch I'm sure. Lots to think about!

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  7. I am a quilter! I blog at http://missbeaujangles.blogspot.com Farmer's wife blocks might work well for this because of their size plus there r 111 blocks to choose from, there's a book if you search on google.

    You can do 50 blocks if you turn the squares 'en pointe' like this: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_9F6wfnzEfJw/THnAq_O-XNI/AAAAAAAABV0/hnLFWi6lplE/s1600/img_0855.jpg

    Hope this helps as a starting point, would love to help you plan it, drop me an email :)

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    1. Thank you! Am now following you. Love the photo of the blocks 'en pointe'. Hadn't thought of that!! Will have a proper look at your blog over next few days. So much to think about!!

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  8. ps here's the book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Farmers-Wife-Sampler-Quilt/dp/0896898288/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=1NCD5T8DTT1Y6&coliid=I1PA0JNDXJ8DJU

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  9. Hi Louise,
    I think it's very ambitious and sweet of you to want to design and make this quilt with limited quilting experience. I think you should keep it as simple as possible to reduce your frustration, keeping it fun. Maybe you should take a quilting class first. It may be tricky working with the photos. You have to edit the pics, transfer them onto fabric which you may have to experiment with first a few times. So research the techniques well as the transfer sheets can be quite costly. If I were you I would go to my local quilt shop and get some tips and advice from them. They can be extremely helpful. I can say try to buy the best quality transfer sheets you can afford. The results will be worth it. Best wishes and have fun!

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    1. Thank you! I think you are right to try and keep it simple. I want to enjoy the process if I can!! There is a quilting shop not far from me so I'll pop in for a chat I think and maybe book a short course if they run one. They usually start around Sept time so I might be in luck!

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  10. I'm happy to help answer questions for you, if you are stuck.(if I can..)
    You could make it 7 blocks by 7 (that's 49 blocks) and then put a final block on the back, perhaps just a plain one that everyone in the family signs, to make the fiftieth.If each block was 12" finished - that 12 1/2" before sewing together, your quilt would be 84" square, a bit bigger if you put your heart border on it. A pretty good size for a double bed, I think. I agree missouri star quilt co.is a great place to see some good video tutorials - there's a heart block one here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkvQ0egLjrk&feature=relmfu
    Good luck! It's a great idea!

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    1. Thank you! Thats really helpful and I love the idea of having the final block on the back signed by all the family. What a great idea! I'll have a look at the video over the next few days too. Thanks so much. xx

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  11. I made my husband a postcard quilt for his 50th birthday! Each post rad represented something in his life I.e. children's names, interests etc.

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    1. Thanks Karen. What a great idea. I'm going to add that to my list! x

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  12. I'm no help at all -- although I love fabric and have started a stash...... haaaa. You've had some great comments and suggestions above. What wonderful wedding photos! The heart border is lovely.

    I know where I live there are some people that do the quilting for a price. Maybe you might find someone to do that bit for you? Can't wait to watch your progress (oh, but then it wouldn't be a surprise for your parents...._).

    Peace,
    Kay

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    1. Thanks Kay. Will be blogging about my progress. Hope to get started soon! x

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  13. It would be easier to have 50 smallish squares of varying sizes, harder to put together though. What I would suggest is measure a bed, work out how many inches you want the finished product to be. Then do a list of 1 to 50 of what each square could be, then draw a scale version. Printing kids drawing grid paper is great for this.

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    1. Thanks Sarah. The kids grid paper is a great idea. Have to get some of that. x

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  14. Jane Brocket's book The Gentle Art of Quiltng Is fab and will tell you all you need to know. What a great idea for a special present!

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    1. Thank you! Thanks for the book suggestion too. Will go and have a look! x

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  15. You definitely want to look at Missouri Star quilt company, I have just made a single quilt never quilted before but thanks to there tutorials I have produced a reasonable quilt and yes I think you can make yours by 2013.

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    1. Thanks Pamela. Will check out Missouri Quilt Co. x

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  16. Hi Louise - this is a great resource - everything you need to know about quilting from this talented quilter - wadding, binding and quilting the top:
    http://www.ohfransson.com/oh_fransson/quilting-basics.html
    That is how I learnt to quilt. What you are trying to do will be quite an undertaking but definitely do-able. I would do a practice quilt to start with - I did the nine patch baby quilt from the same website - that was mine:
    http://ethangiraffe.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/more-quilts.html

    I have got lots of quilting books too if you want to borrow, which are good to have on hand:
    http://www.amazon.com/Seams-Me-Reasons-Love-Sewing/dp/0470259264
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0811844420/?tag=hydra0b-21&hvadid=9550951629&ref=asc_df_0811844420

    Cathx
    P.S. Kathryn via Nick came round yesterday to buy 2 of my peg bags -thank you!x



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    1. Hi Cath, Thanks for the links. Thats brilliant! Will be popping round to your for some lessons I think!! Would be great to borrow a book or two once I get started for the technical stuff. Have to catch up soon. xx

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  17. Wow, such an endeavor...I personally did a crazy quilt for my parents 45th anniversary...It took 5 years, so I am in awe of your goal for less than a year!
    I really liked the heart pattern for the border!!!
    The crazy quilt I did had pictures from every relative that I could get my hands on at the time...I included beaded frogs with long beaded tongues, fish, and flowers, silk ribbon work, and on the back, I did a sprayed "tie dyed" tree where I used a "hot glue" resist of the names of my brothers and sisters in the branches, and ancestors in the roots with a heart shaped knot in the tree with my parents initials. I have an artist friend that went in afterwards and had a giraffe hidden behind the tree and birds singing from its branches...there are so many possibilities, that it was hard to stop. The frames on the front where I added the pictures were different shapes and I did one in the shape of a cross and did bead work to make it look like a rosary. I was glad for the crazy quilt format as anything could be added...

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    1. Wow! Your quilt sounds fantastic!! You'll have to share a photo. Would love to see it. x

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  18. Sounds a fab idea - I am not a quilter but it's only little fabric collages joined together isn't it - you will do it - just don't make it too complicated, then you will have lots of fun doing it. x Jo

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    1. Thanks Jo. Its def a challenge but also quite exciting! x

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  19. I agree with everything already said - try youtube for tutorials - watching it being done in front of you as opposed to reading about it can be very helpful.
    My first quilt was a lap quilt and was quite big enough to get me started.
    If you go with the biggy 7x7 12" squares, how about giving the grandchildren a square each? Either plain squares and some fabric pens or simple patching (age dependant really...)
    Sounds like a really exciting project, good luck
    Laura

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    1. Think I might do a lap quilt now rather than a double. Love the idea of giving squares to the grandchildren. Great idea!

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  20. I don't really know much about patchwork but the lovely "Hen" from "Hen house blog" makes the most lovely ones and if you explain what you want to make she might have a tip or two for you. It sounds like a wonderful idea and I'm sure there'll be loads of love sewn into it however it turns out, Lucey x

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    1. Thanks Lucey. Will pop over and have a look. x

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  21. Great idea. Try taking one step at a time, I could probably answer most of your questions but where to start!


    Here's a lovely idea for the back of the quilt.
    http://judith-justjude.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/war-is-won.html

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    1. Thanks Mary. I love the back of that quilt! Great idea. Have added it to my list. I may be back with more questions for you!! x

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  22. What a lovely idea! Was looking at your photos and thought the styles very similr to my parents' wedding pics - then realised they will be celebrating the same anniversary next year. Doh! Maths never my strong point ;) They will be over the moon with their preesnt. Can't wait to see how you get on xx

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