When I was making my oldest daughter’s T-Shirt Quilt, I visited a quilt shop in a town about an hour away to purchase the binding because I could not find any in the right color in our town (our fabric supplies are limited to Wal-Mart and a couple very small stores).
It was while I was at the store I saw Layer Cakes fabric packages for the very first time. I am not a quilter, and I definitely don’t have the patience to be any sort of quilter beyond the basics, which is why I immediately loved the idea of the Layer Cakes. They are coordinating fabrics pre-cut in 10″ squares. Perfect for me to make simple patchwork quilts out of! The store was having a 50% off sale, so I bought two Layer Cakes called “Aloha Girl” by Fig Tree & Co. , batting, and binding. I already had a super-lightweight denim I knew I could use for the backing.
The very first quilt I made included blank fabric blocks that I used to iron on pictures of my sister-in-law and her husband throughout their childhood and relationship. I gave them the quilt as a wedding gift, and I loved making it but swore I would never make another! Since then, I have, of course, made blankets for my girls, but they were small and relatively simple. I hand-tied all of them, as well, as I didn’t know how to machine quilt.
This was seriously the easiest quilt I have ever made! My girls and I laid out all the squares on the floor to figure out a pattern we liked, and all I had to do was stitch the squares together. If I had not taken breaks to do other things, I have not doubt I could have finished this quilt in less than a day, but as it was, it only took me a weekend. I know the binding doesn’t fit quite right on the back, but as I just wanted to have a quilt for us to snuggle under, I don’t really mind especially since it was my first attempt in years.
We had several leftover blocks after we laid out the quilt, so I cut the binding fabric in two pieces and put an off-set column of the blocks down the back of the quilt. I really like how it turned out – I wasn’t sure at first that I was going to like it.
The other thing I did with this quilt was machine quilt it. I just did a simple “stitch in the ditch” from the front side of the quilt, and I only stitched the vertical seams. If this quilt were going to get rough use, I would have quilted the horizontal seams, as well.
So, not only did I try something new (Layer Cakes), I realized how much fun making quilts can be, especially when I am not putting pressure on myself for them to be “perfect”