Today, was a day for preparing to make a quilt. I know that we all enjoy the part where we actually sew something together. But, at some point, we have to prepare for the sewing. Whether it's reading the pattern, pre-washing fabric, cutting, or winding a bobbin, the actual stitching cannot begin without some preparation.
I received a package in the mail today from Primitive Gatherings with a pattern that I had ordered. It is called Songs of Spring by Lori Smith. It is the next project for the Applique Club at my local guild. I reviewed the pattern and now need to go through my stash to see which fabrics I already have to use in the project. I will need to purchase a cream background fabric and something for the border.
I cut bias strips and stitched them together. Then, using my Simplicity bias tape maker, I created a 3/8" green bias vine for the applique borders on our guild's raffle quilt.
I pre-washed the backing fabric for a quilt. I know many of you do not pre-wash your fabrics, but I do. I find that it softens the fabric, removes the manufacturer finishes, shrinks the fabric, and removes excess dyes. The fabric has a brown background with multiple colors sprinkled across it that look like confetti pieces. The two color catchers that I placed in with the fabric turned a dark brown/black color. This fabric is now ready to be pieced for the backing on a WIP quilt. What's a WIP? This is the modern term for a UFO. WIP = Work in Progress. I like this modern term much better.
I also cut a bolt of bleached muslin into one yard sections. Then, I pre-washed these fabrics in warm water. After trimming the frayed threads on the edges, I folded the pieces and placed them into a box marked "fabric for dyeing", along with a project page from Quilting Arts TV that explains how to dye fabrics. I also made a list of supplies that I need to pick up at Wal-mart. Earlier this week, I purchased Rit liquid dyes on sale at JoAnn's.
I watched a great video from Craftsy of a lecture from the Modern Quilt Guild QuiltCon show. Lesson #7 features Jacquie Gering of Tallgrass Prairie Studio. Her quilts are beautiful. Her blog is inspirational. And, I am signed up to hear her speak at AQS in Grand Rapids. Check out the free lectures at Craftsy.
So, now I am prepared to work on a couple of projects. Preparation may not be as much fun as the actual stitching of a project, but it is necessary. Items are marked off my "quilting to do" list and I am one step closer to be a finished project.