I think was the point where I bought my first ruler (6x24"). I already had a rotary cutter, as I'd been introduced to those joys by a friend much earlier, and used it almost exclusively for cutting the fabric for children's clothing.
I found a block pattern I liked, and designed the colour layout - because even then I really didn't like the look of scrappy quilts. Back then, I did all my designing on paper, in hardcover notebooks. So I grabbed some coloured pencils and went to work. And wanting to make this somewhat useful but easy to put away, I decided to make a quillow. For those not familiar with the term, a quillow is quilt that folds up and tucks into a pocket to make a pillow.
I merrily started cutting the fabric for the squares. After a few cuts, I decided to assemble a couple of blocks to make sure it was going to work - and to confirm the colour placement. After the first block was assembled I made a frightening discovery. Corduroy is directional! OK, you probably knew that already, and so did I. But I hadn't considered what that actually meant for assembling a quilt top out of it. Some will tell you I never do anything the easy way, and this quilt was no exception.
I lucked out, and my first block had all the lines going in the same direction. I had fortuitously picked a quilt block which, when cut, provided sets of pieces that all paired up perfectly to account for directionality. I did muck up a couple of the early blocks, and the nap runs the wrong way - the cords are correct, but upside down. You can see this in the picture. But I was happy enough to get it mostly straight, so I decided not to stress over that. The quilt is backed and bound with the baseball bears fabric.
The quilt is 5x8 blocks - about 60x94". On the back is the pillow pocket. I created a large square for that, with a slightly different colour placement. It took several attempts to figure out how to attach the pocket and what size to make it so that the quilt would fold up neatly inside. Binding/finishing the edges of the pocket was the biggest challenge, along with sizing (the green border was not in the original plan).
As my first completed quilt, this one is special to me. I learned a lot making this - more about what not to do than anything else. Rule #1 - don't quilt with corduroy :)
For all its challenges, this quilt simply reinforced the idea that I wanted to quilt. And next time, I would do it with the right type of fabrics.
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