I know lots of inspiring people and perhaps one of the most inspiring is my friend Alex; who is a conservator by day and a demon quilter by night. I was lucky enough to receive one of Alex’s beautiful quilts as a wedding gift and since then I have always wanted to try and make one myself. I never quite managed it until the start of this year when post “lace-wedding-cover-up” I decided to clear out my stash and basically use it or lose it.
I challenged my friend, and no stranger to this blog, Kate to join me in a weekend quilting challenge figuring that the when you try something new two people are better than one. I also thought for some reason that she had made a quilt before, this turned out to be completely wrong.
We set out some rules for the challenge: a strict start and end time so that we wouldn’t be tempted to keep working when we were tired; we planned out our meals so that we wouldn’t be working hungry; and finally we also made sure we had lots of great music to listen too. Oh and we also agreed on a hashtag which is essential to the success of any project.
Saturday was mostly spent cutting out the pieces, I was amazed at how long this took. I think I was basically cutting, measuring and ironing fabric for 5 hours. Then we worked on how we were going to lay out the pieces. Kate came prepared with sketches whilst I decided to just cut out what fabric I had and then see where the inspiration took me.
On Saturday evening we toyed with the idea of watching 90s romantic comedy How to Make an American Quilt but when we found out it was £7.99 on iTunes(!) the idea was quickly rejected. We did watch the trailer though and all I can say is that I am really glad that this cringe-inducing pastiche representation of women’s relationships bears no comparison to my life or the thrilling reality that was #quiltathon. At the end of the trailer I want to shout at Winona Ryder, “It’s ok you don’t need to marry either of them. Maybe you shouldn’t rush into marriage but instead set up an avant-guarde art collective/quilting co-op with your mum and her friends. You are more than who you sleep with, you too can find empowerment through craft!” but hey what do I know?
Anyway back to the quilting – it was only on day two that I began sewing and even with the whole day ahead of me I only managed to finish the central panel.
We have already planned our next edition of #quiltathon where we will hopefully finish our quilts. Alex I am in awe of you, I don’t know how you managed to make that quilt by hand – incredible!
Kate has written her own post about #quiltathon, which you can read on her blog Getting Where?.