Wednesday, July 23, 2014

In The Beginning

About 2 years ago I helped my friend, Alisa, finish a quilt her grandmother started.  Alisa enjoyed the process so much she has become hooked on quilting - a familiar story.  You can read about Alisa's quilt beginnings HERE, under "Life Stories With Quilts" just scroll down the page a bit.  Now that I have Alisa fully addicted - she refers to me as the neighborhood crack dealer, we decided to make a quilt together.  After searching for a few days we chose Enchantment, a Sue Cody pattern that we purchased from Material Obsession.

We were inspired by this pattern but wanted to make a few changes, specifically add a border to the left side and balance out the size of the borders.  This required some re-drawing and since I was busy getting ready for retreat and Alisa is a great artist anxious to start, she did all the hard work.  Hmmm, sounds like I planned it???  What we liked about the pattern was the full-size template included.  What we didn't like was that the directions were hand written.  Yes, hand written and we couldn't read all the writing.  After spending $40 for a pattern we expected more. This would have been a problem for Alisa as this is her first applique quilt (yes, I don't believe in leading anyone gently).  I just tossed the instructions and told her how to do each step.  Note to designers:  take the time to type your patterns - everyone will appreciate it and it is so much more professional.

Alisa chose a dark background of indigo prints which she pieced together.  I selected this amazing Yoko Saito fabric with birds and trees.  I had a small scrap of this fabric and became obsessed with finding a large piece. My husband was ready to commit me to a padded room watching me search the internet, call stores, try to bribe people out of their fabric, get depressed and then absolutely giddy when I found it in an Etsy shop.

I added pieces of more Japanese prints from my "very special hoarding place". Next, it was tracing and cutting freezer paper templates.

The entire piece needed to be laid out on the floor to make certain it all fit.  Believe me, I'm too old to pin on a hardwood floor but the pain, grunts and groans will be worth it.

Hills and tree appliqued in place.

Since we changed our background, the best way to figure out where all the applique pieces should be was to iron the templates in place.  After my experience of pinning on the floor, I decided to put the quilt onto my design wall and use the handy little Petite Press to iron them on.  Once I was satisfied with the design the little vines were pinned.  Since the templates had to be removed to be placed on the applique fabric, a photo taken with my phone is a handy reference of where to place all the pieces.

Keep watching here to see my progress.


  1. My goodness, what an undertaking, but it is absolutely gorgeous.Will anxiously watching your progress.

  2. Wow, what an amazing qulilt you and your friend are amking. And i absolutely agree, a pattern with ahndwritten instructions is NOT professional.


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