Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Fabric First

Last week I opened my ETSY store and sold my first item, a Bali Pop quilt on Thursday! I knew it would be the first item to sell; it's a pattern I love and really like it best with batiks. I add diamonds to focus in on the individual blocks instead of having it just look like patches of color. I keep the quilting stitches simple to enhance the blocks and not cover up any of the pretty fabrics. After all they are hand dyed in layers using wax to make the prints, it is a long process you shouldn't cover up, that is my opinion anyway.

When I decide on my next project it always starts with the fabric first. I subscribe to only 2 quilt magazines but love pattern books, YouTube and that special one that I just have to buy so I have plenty of patterns in my head. When I see a fabric instantly I know what pattern I would use. Some materials you want to be able to make out the print once it's cut up and some are just color.

Quilts are beautiful pieces of usable art that should last a lifetime with proper care and be passed down to your children. Since there were no other quilters in my family tree that I knew of I will be the one to pass them on. I do have a beautiful niece who works with Disney in the costume department, she has done some gorgeous work and her fiancĂ© made an amazing quilt- I wish they lived closer. (Kisses* Krystle and Jeremy)

For my next quilt again it was a Bali pop because when I chose the first one I also picked up 2 others. This time it is Rum Raisin- I don’t know where Hoffman gets the names from but I loved the purples, greens and black. When you select a quilt you only see the finished product so I photographed the steps while making this one- forgive me, several steps I didn’t photograph including ironing because it is done after EVERY SEAM SEWN and I am not exaggerating. To get the best results you have to set each seam and press it to one side every time! There are several hours where I move the iron right next to me at the sewing machine with my "Steady Betty"

Bali pops come pre-cut in 2 1/2" strips in an assortment of 40 pieces selected by the designer that coordinate with each other.

I group them into 3's this one I did dark, medium and light. I don’t start a quilt until I purchase the backing because I always add a strip of the backing fabric to the blocks to tie them together. Once I do this I pick out the batik I want to use for the diamonds and binding.

I need 20 blocks of 4 for each quilt top leaving a few remaining I put on the back, when the quilt is complete I only have 3" strips of each piece leftover which will become a future project.

The hardest part and a step I wouldn’t omit is in-setting the diamonds, I love them. After doing several quilts this way I have my own tricks to make them line up but it’s a secret, shhhhhh

Once each 12 1/2" block is complete I trim them down to 12" to square them up. I then move to the large table top to arrange them the way I want to put them together. Once complete its time to make a sandwich with the backing, batting and top, add the quilting and bind.

I always wash the quilt once it’s done on warm/cold gentle and dry low. This gives it that much desired pucker, softens the fabric and removes the starch. Cotton quilts get softer with every wash so don’t be afraid to use them.

All done, ta-da! 

The back with the added blocks

Close up

At this publishing I have already started my next quilt, a Batik Rainbow that will be a fence rail with double diamonds in two sizes of different colors.  I could not wait to get started and am working out the quilting in my head as I put it together. Stay tuned


  1. Love this color combo! Fun seeing the whole process too :)

    1. Thanks,
      I think I found my favorite material- Batiks!

  2. I can see that you are an expert at your field! I am launching a website soon, and your information will be very useful for me.. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success in your business. fabric trims


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