When I interviewed Lizzy House for the podcast, she talked about her Meadow Quilt. Being infatuated with modern quilts, I had seen the quilt before on Instagram but never realized there was a story behind it. (You can check the hashtag #meadowquilt.) Luckily, the San Diego Modern Quilt Guild hired her to teach two days of the Meadow Quilt. Since she will not produce a pattern for the quilt, the only chance to learn how to make it is in a class. I was excited to take another class from Lizzy and learn more about her process.
Since the class was going to challenge me in new ways, I did not want to make my Meadow as a present. I would rather perfect my skills and then make my second one for someone else. I am okay living with imperfect blocks but I don’t like to share them with others!
Instead of following the more traditional quilt version, my initial fabric pull included purple. Not a huge surprise for anyone who knows me.
I envisioned my flowers to be purple with low volume prints for the centers. The centers would be solid and the petals would be the prints. My background would be a lovely sage green. The class was held in a fabric store so “worst case scenario”, I could buy more fabric.
At the beginning of class, Lizzy explained the basic overview of the quilt and the flower shaped block we would be making. She encouraged us to take notes/pictures and let us know she would be available for questions throughout the day.
I am not sure how exactly I thought the blocks were constructed. It never entered my mind that I would be sewing curves. (Yes, this is a “duh” moment!) Aside from wonky curve blocks, sleeves for a shirt or curves on a bag, I had never worked with precision curves. It took me a bit to understand how I needed to construct the block. Lizzy was patient with me and helped me pin all of my pieces. Her templates were perfect (although my precision cutting skills need a bit of refinement.)
Here is my sample block:
This is why you make a sample block. The blue lines are where I thought I could trace the block and cut them out. It was a waste of time (and not what Lizzy recommends). But you try it in class and learn from your mistakes so your blocks at home are better.
After we completed our sample blocks, Lizzy reviewed our color choices. Even though I envisioned my purple prints as the petals, she recommended using solids as she knew the print mismatches would drive me crazy. I had never considered that (this is why you take a class from someone who knows the pattern) so I adjusted my plan.
The day went by quickly and I brought the quilt back home. I discovered that past class participants were frustrated at the lack of a pattern and thought there would be something to take home with them. I can see why that would be frustrating. I took copious notes and photographed different steps along the way. For me, that is not enough. This is the same struggle I have with some patterns. I am visual and a hands – on learner. I need to make. So I immediately started working on the quilt. My sample block would not work for the quilt. After a Skype “lifeline” with my friend Laura of Waffle Kisses Studio and an Instagram message with fellow class mate Megan, I started on a weeklong adventure to finish my Meadow Quilt.
The curves were tough and out of the nine blocks, I think three might be close to right. Ha! I worked hard to trim them well and then sew them appropriately. I made the borders larger so it would be a lap quilt. Hopefully my daughter will not notice the imperfections!
Here is the quilt top in all of its glory (and a bit wrinkly!):
So what did I learn?
- Curves can be challenging but not impossible.
- Try something new. It expands your skillset.
- Find ways to “make it work”.