I made my very first “quilt” in 1987. I made it for my wonderful husband on our first wedding anniversary. It was a nine patch quilt with a mauve-ish calico sashings, backing, and borders. It has no binding because I sewed almost all the way around the turned it inside out. As with so many things I have done, experience and lots of reading, taking classes, and asking questions of those with more experience (or different perspectives) has helped me to do a much better job on future projects. My sad little tied comforter is in tatters, but I do love it.
After many years and quilts later, one of the books that I currently refer to often is Crazy Shortcut Quilts by Marguerita McManus and Sarah Raffuse. This book kind of turned my idea of quilting upside down! I had never considered using a technique called “quilt as you go” and I certainly never considered wonky lines and decorative stitches.
But, I found the whole idea rather exciting and liberating and decided to give it a try. I used some gorgeous blue and yellow fat quarters that I had purchased as a quilt kit, but later lost the instructions to it. I liked the blocks so much as they were being completed that (never being one to leave well enough alone, I decided to use the same techniques to add some borders and make the quilt bed sized. I could have gotten more fat quarters and made more blocks, but couldn’t find fabrics that would work really well with my older, soft and romantic fat quarters. Of course, this could have been done if I had realized that I wanted a bed sized quilt out of the fabrics as I could have mixed in the
new pieces throughout the blocks and not have some of the blocks look like they didn’t quite belong. But, forethought and planning are not really my strengths (although I am a glutton for wanting everything to be bed sized).
Best of all, I simply LOVE this quilt! I love everything from the romantic color scheme, the bright yellow stitching, the little rosebuds in the pattern and the fun craziness of it all (and hubby does, too). Of all of the quilts I have made, I get the most comments on this one because it is so different. This is a quilt that I look forward to putting on my bed as temperatures warm in Springtime.
My quilt is far from perfect, but one of the best parts of the book is that the authors stress in their commentary and instructions that the process and final product should be fun and make the maker happy, not bog them down in rules and perfection.
I found the photos and instructions clear and easy to understand. The process of joining the quilt squares together was different than anything I had seen before, so I had to keep referring back to them and re-reading them to make sure that I understood them completely. I didn’t find that to be problematic at all, actually being glad that the instructions were detailed enough to ensure that I could eventually wrap my head around the process and succeed.
Those new to quilting could find this a very easy way to get started on their journey. If you follow the instructions carefully, the process is foolproof. More experienced quilters might enjoy the authors’ color combinations and the different techniques that are used that may be very different from what they are used to. Either way, these quilts are beautiful, unique, and completed so quickly compared to hand quilted heirloom style quilts.
Have you made a Crazy Shortcut Quilt? Please share photos and tell us how you liked the process.
Till next time,