The Fabric Maverick says... You can strip at any age!
Yes, you can strip and still not be rejected by your church group! How? Let me tell you. I am always intrigued by books that promise a quilt in day or a weekend. I, usually, cannot even cut all the pieces required in a weekend! I picked a project at ramdon from "Jelly Roll Quilts" by Pam and Nicky Lintott. They are a mother and daughter team from England. They do not actually promise a quilt top in a weekend, but as I discovered you could complete a top in a weekend. Of course, I cannot give you instructions for this pattern because of copyright issues. I selected the project named Spiral Strips. This project is great for a beginner. It uses one jelly roll (40 strips) and two uards of fabric for the border and binding. No special tools were required other than a rotary cutter, mat, square ruler and 6" x 24" ruler. Nancy gave me a jelly roll at Christmas called "S-S-S-S Silly Safari". It was always my intent to make a baby quilt for Victoria's grandchild. For once, the child will not be graduating from college before I get it done.
First the authors recommend that you do not wash the jelly roll strips. I did test for color fastness by rubbing a wet white paperttowel across the very bright colors. When I wash this quilt, I will use a carbona dye catcher just to make sure there is no dye transfer to the other fabric. I did wash the border fabric.
- Most of the projects call for separating the jelly roll into light and dark strips. Some of these may fall into the medium color range. I just picked one color to be a light or dark strip. In the end, you will see that it will not make a difference to the design. Here is where you begin to strip! You will sew a strip set of alternating light and dark strips. The key for this project to be successful is an accurate seam allowance. The strip set must be 8 1/2". If it is not, review your seam allowance until you get it right. It took me 15 hours to complete the quilt top. I was stunned! Due to an old sewing injury, I can only sew 2 hours straight. I worked over 2 weekends. A very motivated person could finish in a weekend. I would expect a beginner to take a little longer.
Beginners can practice these skills:
- Sewing an accurate 1/4" seam allowance
- Accurate measuring (Measure twice, cut once)
- Chain Piecing
- Properly measuring and attaching a border
Reviewing the book from a beginner's perspective, there are a couple of criticisms. The book does not tell you how much backing each project will require. My finished project was a 60" square. If I used 108" fabric, I would need 1 7/8 yards of fabric. If I used 45" fabric, I would need about 3 2/3 yards of fabric. There is always some leftover fabric that may be used for a future project. The General Techniques section is very good except it assumes the quilter knows all about backing. My complaint about all quilting books I have seen is that they always end withe the phrase "Quilt as desired". I believe that there is an assumption that you will be having someone else do the quilting.
My tips for beginning quilters are:
1. Pick a jelly roll with a lot of pattern. If you make a mistake, it is less likely that the quilt police will arrest you.
2. Read all instructions thoroughly.
3. Quit when you become tired or you will be using Mr. Seam Ripper.
I do agree with the authors that jelly rolls can become addictive. I have just purchased 2 more. In all, I give this book an A-.