WIP–My First (Endless and Ongoing) Quilt

When I refer to the abbreviation WIP, I mean Work In Perpetuity. Sure, there’s progress, but it’s so slow. Who knew sewing a quilt would involve so much sewing? Maybe I should have guessed as much after dutifully cutting 278 4″ squares of fabric. Here are the squares “chain-pieced” into piles of pairs:


For newbies like me, chain-piecing means sewing two patches right side together and then just lifting the presser foot and feeding in the next pair to make a continuous chain. You cut the pairs apart later. Two other rookie things I’ve learned: there’s no backstitching in quilting, and quilters really dig a 1/4″ seam allowance (so if a pattern doesn’t give an allowance, bank on that one).


Now I’m sewing my pairs into strips. According to Alicia Paulson’s Ollalieberry Ice Cream quilt pattern, the squares should be random. Tell that to my brain! I can’t stop myself from trying to create patterns from the chaos!  Order out of entropy! Here Captain Wonderpaws overlooks my work:




First Quilt: Step 4

Brigit, I’m so glad you’re metaphorically holding my hand through this quilt project. Of course, I wish you were actually here because I’d find a way to get you to make the quilt for me. Ask any of my family members: I’m good at getting people to do stuff for me.

But I did the work myself and have crippling carpal tunnel to prove it. I cut out 728 4×4″ squares over the weekend. Before I began, I was beguiled by the the term “self-healing cutting mat” that’s mentioned in all of my quilting books. It sounds so New Age, right? But 728 squares later, my cutting mat is anything but healed. It is rather gouged, in fact. Apparently I don’t have a light touch with the rotary cutter.

Next purchase: Three hundred safety pins! My god.

Quilt Colors! (Step 2)

A month or so ago I resolved to make my first quilt–something that still seems like a sin of hubris. The Audacity of Quilting! So here I am, taking my second, wobbly step. I have a pattern (the Ollalieberry Ice Cream Quilt by Alicia Paulson of Posie Gets Cozy). To avoid the real next step (fabric selection), I sneaked in a half-step: palette!

For a long time, I’ve loved the colors of Ray Eames‘s Crosspatch fabric design (this is a sketch of it, from 1947). The fabric lends itself to quilt inspiration: all those little squares.

Inspired by Brigit’s origami paper sketches, I cut out squares of Benjamin Moore paint chips and played around. Very satisfying–I highly recommend paint chip collage. If only quilting were that easy . . .

The quilt calls for a mix of patterns and one solid, so this is a generalized color scheme not an actual one. I think I’d like the solid to be pale gray and the patterns to be pink/red/orange. Brigit, what do you think? Should I stick with white as the solid? I like all the pretty flower prints that Alicia uses in her quilt but know they wouldn’t fit into my house–so I’m guessing I’ll end up with brighter, geometric patterns.

Next step: fabric store.