July 22, 2013

Beginnings of a Quilt: Fabric and Tools

I have always wanted to sew amazing things. I had a very simple sewing kit when I was younger that allowed me to hand stitch felt stuffed animals. Over the years I have gotten to be a little bit more adventurous in the sense that I started sewing seams and then graduated to completing a very easy dog pillow. Nothing complicated. I didn't even worry if I was sewing very straight seams.
Since getting older I feel that I should now be at the point where I am able to sew and create beautiful things, especially things to pass down to my kids.

I had the very large and challenging ambition of learning how to quilt after I found many free patterns online of Harry Potter quilting blocks (I am a huge HP fan! I am also gaga for the Lord of the Rings, and would love to try this LOTRs project as well. Also Jennifer Ofenstein's Sew Hooked and Fandom in Stitches are great stitch along sites!)

I really wanted to be able to make each of my children a quilt, and I wanted to start with a Harry Potter quilt. I couldn't just jump right into it without knowing what I'm doing or the basics, so I finally looked for an affordable class in my area. It didn't take long until I ran into a local shop that offered a Quilting 101 class that taught quilting basics such as how to choose fabrics, the proper tools etc. Sign me up! It was the perfect time too with summer just starting, so I had a lot of free time on my hands, since I teach for a living.

From there I started learning the basic blocks and started to piece together a sampler quilt made of different kinds of quilting blocks. Through a series of posts, I'll share the different blocks I learned and other tips along the way. Seeeew, on with the sewing!

My first Quilting 101 class session covered the tools and fabrics needed to make a sampler quilt (a quilt constructed of a collection of different patterned blocks).
I was limited to the fabric selection that was available in the shop where my classes were held, even though I could have gone else where to purchase fabrics. Since I was new to all of that, I decided to get help and purchase at the store where I was taking my class. The shop specializes in vintage 19th century reproduction fabrics, so that is what my sampler quilt fabrics are comprised of. 

I picked out 8 different colors for my sampler quilt: (L to R) 
-2 darks
= 1/2 yard (one dark can be the focus fabric, aka the outer border of a quilt. This will need an extra yard of fabric equaling a total of 1 1/2 yd. for focus fabric and only 1/2 yard for other dark option.)
-2 mediums= 1/2 yard
-2 medium lights= 1/2 yard
-2 lights
= 1/2 yard

-inner border= 1/4 yard (for a finished 1 in. border)
-binding= 3/8 yard
-backing= 1 1/4 yard

*They are all complimentary colors of my focus fabric (far left fabric).
*Measurements are for a small-ish sampler quilt (I will put up measurements after quilt is made).

-working sewing machine (I have a Singer 7258 Stylist)

-1/4" quilting presser foot (optional if you have a marked 1/4" line on your machine) 

-100% cotton thread 

-18 x 24 cutting mat (I like the Olfa mat

-6 x 24 ruler

-6 x 12 ruler

*These can also be found at a Jo-Ann Fabrics, Michael's etc.*

-45 mm blade rotary cutter

-sewing pins (glass heads are best so they don't melt!)

-sharp scissors

-sharp seam ripper 

-iron and table for pressing the blocks

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