Tamara’s First Quilt: Brick Path Quilt by Amy Butler

Another project from:

Had I known exactly how long it would take to sew my first quilt I probably would not have bothered in the first place, but now that it’s complete (mostly), I’m glad I mustered up the effort.   Before I started I envisioned scenes from “How To Make An American Quilt,” overly romanticizing the process and the ease with which the women in that film quilted.  The oversimplification was like watching “A River Runs Through It” and suddenly believing you can catch a trout on a fly rod in Montana.  Hardly. 

Unphased, I began this undertaking by taking a half-hookie day from work to visit the Michael Levine fabric store in the garment district of Downtown Los Angeles.  I walked through the seemingly endless rows of fabrics, and piled bolt after bolt into my arms, selecting over 16 patterns from among Amy Butler’s mod designs.  As the cutters snipped my yards from the bolts, I saw them eyeing me with suspicion, acutely aware that I had no idea what I was doing.

Knowing my limitations, I searched around for a *very simple* pattern, and with glee downloaded Amy Butler’s Brick Path Quilt (it was free!).  After washing and ironing the loot, I laid out each yard of fabric on my sewing room floor and selected 11 for my quilt project, with a little help from Big N, who has a keen eye for design.

I then proceeded to painstakingly cut, using a rotary cutter, 198 (yes one hundred and ninety-eight) rectangular bricks.  I then arranged them in a pleasing pattern on the floor and began to sew the bricks together in rows.  Several days later, I had 18 rows, enough to make a quilt for a full size bed.  I then sewed the rows together off center so the brick pattern could emerge.  Next I sewed the simple cotton underside, and cut the cotton batting to fit.  The batting adds weight and warmth.  I arranged all of the layers carefully and sewed them right sides together, then turned them inside out to form the blanket.  Finally, I was ready to “stitch in the ditch,”  which means that I sewed each of the rows again through all of the layers to get that nice shabby chic puffiness.  For a first time effort, I think my quilt came out quite nice, even though my rows weren’t exactly even from top to bottom. I’ll work on that for next time.

quilt-1-of-4

Here is where I stopped.  I am still debating about adding a border, or maybe some decorative pom poms to the corners as shown in the pattern.  Since the project took several weeks to complete, once I got this far all motivation left me and I haven’t yet decided how I want to embellish and finish my quilt, so it lays on the bed in the guest bedroom unadorned and 98% complete.  Some day soon I will finish the darn thing, pom poms and all.  Until then, here it is, Tamara’s first (and 98% complete) quilt.

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