Wednesday 16 January 2013

Whipstitch Essential Quilt e-course part 1

Deborah Moebes over at Whip Stitch Fabrics offers  e-courses in sewing skills including a Quilting course.  I had signed up for the Craftsy block of the month 2012 (brilliant by the way - check it out at and see further post upcoming ) and only having made one charm quilt I really wanted to learn about quilting basics and some new blocks.  So last year I signed up for Essential Quilting. 

The e-course was  run as a 6 week course over the summer with limited places.  Unlike the Craftsy BOM this was not free but a paid course covering cutting techniques, choosing fabric, quilt construction and basic blocks to curve and Y seams.  I really enjoyed it and Deborah's videos were succinct and super instructional.  Here's how I got on:

I chose to buy a fabric collection and use this to create the sampler quilt we would be working on.  Just getting started in quilting and not having a stash it seemed the most economical way to approach the projects.  I chose a 30 Fat Quarter Bundle of Karavan by Valori Wells that I got from Etsy.  I love, love, love her elephant design and just couldn't wait to buy the collection - so having a project that in my head allowed me to justify the purchase was great.  Guilt free spending!

So material on hand, inspiration and instructions coming at me from the course web page I had to be brave and cut into this lovely fabric.  Karavan has three different colour-ways, a peacock blue, a pink and curry line.  

I  just love the blues and pinks not so much the mustard colours of the curry so material choices from time to time I found a bit challenging.  For example I had no idea what to do with the fabric on the bottom right until I placed in next to the pink.  Against this pink it co-ordinates beautifully.  

So first block: Log cabin
I learned about the significance of the red and yellow hearth at the centre of the cabin and construction of light to dark.  Choosing colours was tricky and I didn't have enough colours in just the pink and curry colour-ways so I added the blue and made a mistake on my first block.  I added the strips in the wrong order and had to start again.  Oops!

Eventually got there with a bit of fudging!

The next blocks came easier.  Still obsessing with colour I played around with the swatch images from the free spirit website to see what I wanted for the rail fence and double 9 patch.  I couldn't believe it - I actually cut up the elephants (not all though - I kept one whole one for a matching cushion!).

Rail fence uses a light, a medium and a dark strip cut into rectangles.  I tried one from each colour and found this too garish

so went with all pink! 

Next came a block I did not get on so well with : Modern herringbone.  Similar to the log cabin this involved using strips built up to create a v instead of a square.  Oh how torturous this was.  I made a ton of mistakes and even ripped one seam out.  After all the pink of the rail fence I decided to use the blue and curry colour-ways with a tiny dash of pink and the material choice was great.  I just found trying to determine the lengths to use for each strip a pain.  I persevered and managed this:

Double 9 Patch gave me a chance to actually show more of the print.  I tested it out with swatches before - still not trusting myself with colour or cutting.

And I love it!

So that's the first four blocks - more tomorrow!

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