This little baby nugget of adorableness is my nephew Jack. He happens to be lying on my very first quilt (a rudimentary and simple one, but quilted with actual batting nonetheless). My sister called me a few months ago asking if I could make her a crib quilt, in that sweet, naive way that people who don't sew ask for handmade things. I love my sister and I was thrilled to make the blanket that her son would be lying on for his first year, but I also had to suppress a sob since quilting is on par with paragliding, lace knitting and souffles with me; that is, things that look interesting and challenging, but mock me with their precision and upper body strength.
It was appropriate that the good folks over at Interweave just happened to send me a lovely quilting book to review around the same time. Normally a quilting book would have been delegated to the coffee table pile of "pretty things to look at while drinking tea" but I thought maybe it would help me figure out what to do.
While I love me an old fashioned quilt as much as the next lady, I am totally drawn to the more modern interpretations of the craft (like the gorgeousness produced by Folk Fibers). The Quilter's Applique Workshop: Timeless Techniques for Modern Designs by Kevin Koshab, definitely falls into that category. These are modern, graphic quilts which feature a variety of beautiful applique techniques, including raw edge, prepared edge and needle-turn applique.
The book assumes you have a basic understanding of the craft, and focuses more on teaching new ways to add texture and dimension to your quilts. There are some truly beautiful designs, and I love the way they styled them in mid-century modern settings.
Since I'm a quilting novice and was facing some serious deadlines in other areas of my life, I decided to make a really simple striped quilt inspired by the China Cupboard quilt in the book.
When the Fabricville in downtown Montreal was closing down, I hit up their quilting section. It was pretty bleak in there. I was hoping to score some cottons in soft greys and yellows, but the selection was pretty horrible (I was kicking myself for not having gone to the glorious Effliloche, which is the best quilting store in Montreal). I settled for blue and yellow, a little traditional for my taste, but rationalized that babies can't even distinguish colour till the 4th month (silly babies).
I basically just sewed strips together in varying widths and then topstitched in straight lines like (the much more accomplished) China Cupboard Quilt. I was hoping to add applique but Jack would have probably been 72 by the time I actually found the time to do it, so a simple bound hem sufficed.
Nothing fancy, just something soft and cozy he can drool on for the next year or so. I'm secretly hoping it will be his security blanket, and becomes that bedraggled, filthy and much loved piece of comfort that stays with him until his friends start making fun of him for bringing it to sleepovers.
I won't be entering it into any quilt fairs, but this book and this project definitely awakened a latent love for the soothing, methodical and creative pursuit of quilting. I bought extra bamboo batting and am hoping to make something for my sofa over the winter. I might become part of the sewing cult that saves every single scrap, just in case.
If you're interested in this book, it's available for a good price on Amazon here. If you've never quilted before and don't know where to start, Craftsy offers a few free mini-courses that will help with the basics such as Basic Quiltmaking Skills, Creative Quilt Backs and A New Look at Long-Arm Quilting. Can't beat free!
*I was provided with a complimentary book for this review, but was not compensated by Interweave in any other way. This post includes affiliate links. All opinions are totally my own.