This and That

Random bits of my life

First Quilt Project

Posted by Avital Pinnick on July 1, 2011

Finished Mini Quilt

Can I call this my “first” quilt project? I completed a large pieced quilt when I was a student (started it as a teenager) and I made a couple small machine-quilted pieces about ten years ago. So maybe I can call it the first project of the third quilting cycle of my life. :-)

It’s a cover for keeping pots warm on an electric warming platter over Shabbat. The “batting” is an old towel. The fabric is mostly cotton pieces that I bought at Bad Ratz.

I started with a bunch of blocks made from strips of random widths. I didn’t do a lot of planning. Mostly, I was looking for an excuse to play with my new rotary cutter. Maybe that’s why people become quilters — because the toys are so much fun….

Strip-Pieced Blocks

Here’s my first attempt at assembling the squares. It didn’t work. The stripes formed strange pinwheels. So much for spontaneity!

Patchwork, first attempt

So I ripped it apart and started over.

Sometimes things don't work out

I re-assembled the blocks to emphasize the random, length-wise strips. Machine quilting without a walker foot was quite a challenge. Originally I had thought a nice meandering pattern would be appropriate, but my first attempt created so many wrinkles that I gave up that idea. I ripped out the first line of stitching and stitched in the ditch along the vertical seams. Besides, it’s not as though I need to keep the batting from shifting, since it’s just an old towel. The backing is a heat-proof fabric (white) that I bought at Bad Ratz. I chose the green striped cotton for a binding and hand-stitched the edge to the back during my husband’s siyyum mishnah a couple nights ago (photo below).

Siyyum Mishnah

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5 Responses to “First Quilt Project”

  1. Debbie said

    Good job, Avital. It came out very good. But, I like the original layout better!:):)

    • Avital Pinnick said

      No problem. I can just cut it apart, sew it back together, and send it to you to quilt and bind it!

  2. pam said

    Funny thing, Avital, I was just going to tell you i liked the random pin wheel very much and that you might have been too quick to tear it apart! And then I see Debbie’s comment!

    To me the finished quilt design has a quiet, structured oriental feel to it and the “rejected” design is just plain fun and playful!

    Actually – both versions are beautiful. Just two different languages using the same alphabet! Don’t rip! But since you love your new toy so much (told you you would) gather more fabric and make one in your new “pinwheel” pattern! Really – it is cool!

    • Avital Pinnick said

      Thanks, Pam. I hadn’t thought about the playful quality, it’s true. I had been looking at photos of amazing art quilts, the kind that begin with a stash of 500 Rowan fabrics all carefully matched, so I was probably overlooking the playful aspect of the design. I am sometimes a little too quick to rip things apart, just as I was a little too quick to sew them together. I need to learn how to let things percolate for a while!

      • Debbie said

        So, that’s what you need a design wall for! You put the pieces up, rearrange, pass by it for a day or two to see if you like it, etc. A simple piece of flannel is good, in case you need to take it down, you just roll it up with the pieces in it. If you have a place to keep one more permanently, even better.

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