Sometimes, when I can't sleep or when I'm stuck in line somewhere, I check out #quilting on Instagram. Or #eraserstamps. Or any number of other DIY-related tags.
One of the most interesting things to me about traditional handcrafts is the social aspect -- the way we gather together to work with our hands and also the way we display what we have made.
Obviously it's rad to look at finished objects -- but also it's where I start thinking about new skills to learn and new things to try.
I almost always start from a place of I bet I could make that.
That's how I found the pattern for the quilt I am starting this weekend. I saw a picture of an AMAZING quilt, pieced out of solids, and totally had to find out more about it.
So I checked out her blog and her other patterns. There's a lot of totally great stuff there (including some animal block quilts that are killing me with how cute they are) but I just wasn't ready to commit to something on the scale of Aviatrix Medallion.
Instead, I opted for something simpler. It's a pattern called New Wave.
And I thought, hey, this might be a fun pattern for us to work on together.
That's in part because I like working on things with other people but also because there's a free lap quilt sized version of the pattern.
Things You Will Need:
Get the free version of the pattern here. (Just sort of scroll down in the entry to find the link to the free version and the multi-sized version you can buy. I bought the full version of the pattern so I am making my New Wave in a queen size.)
For this pattern, we'll practice cutting out so many pieces. And we'll match a fair number of seams.
But if you're a quilting beginner and you like modern quilt design, I think this is a really solid project for you to begin with.
If you aren't a beginner, it's still a great modern quilt -- I originally liked it because I've got some Tula Pink fabrics on hand and I figured this would be the perfect way to not cut them into tiny pieces.
Alas, I don't have enough of the Tula Pink and I haven't ordered any of those woodland stripes I'm basically obsessed with.
But last weekend I mentioned a trip to the craft store and a bunch of coupons -- I took advantage of a sale to buy a whole sack full of coordinating fabrics in red and turquoise.
Red and turquoise is the best color scheme right now and if anyone tells you different then they obviously have very different taste than I do, which I guess is OK, too.
Pro tip when it comes to choosing coordinating fabric: don't forget your regular glasses in the car and then try to tough it out with just your sunglasses because you don't think you're going to be in the store very long.
(First, your sunglasses will change all the colors a little bit. Second, your regular glasses will be, like, molten hot when you finally cave and go back to fetch them and put them back on your face. Maybe this is a Florida problem.)
Also keep in mind that you can arrange your stripes any way you like.
Because I'm doing the great big version, I thought 19 different prints would look kind of overwhelming, plus that number of coordinating prints would be really hard to find. So I decided to mirror my waves -- there will be one central wave across the center and then the other fabrics will sort of march out away from that.
Very organized sounding, right?
I never can leave well enough alone with patterns, so we'll see how this works out. Right now I have only envisioned it in my head.
There's this quilt top design software called EQ7 but, uh, I don't have that. So we'll see how the whole imagination thing works out for me.
Here's another pro tip for when you're picking out fabric: bolts of fabric are not only heavy, they're warm. Because they're made out of fabric! Grab a buggy.
You'll also be really glad you grabbed a buggy (or a cart or whatever you call it in your region) when the line at the cutting table is six people deep.
For something like this, I focused on two colors with a lot of contrast. The result should be very graphic.
With tiny prints, you'd wind up with something a lot more shabby chic looking. With large prints, you'd either have to match them all up super carefully to form the wave or be excited about the wild card nature of how they'll fit back together.
With solids, you'd get a really great crayon stripe effect. Or an ombre. Or a grey scale ombre!
So do you think you might make this quilt with me? Will you show me pictures of your fabric choices?
And even if quilting isn't your bag, I'd love to see the things you are making this weekend. If you post photos in the comments, I will totally admire them -- and maybe post a few of my own.