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The Delightful Quest to Construct a Quilt, Part 1

My extremely caring music colleagues from Lincoln Public Schools gave me a very generous gift certificate to the Cosmic Cow in Lincoln in recognition of my retirement from teaching last spring. While my head was immediately swimming with fabric and patterns on which to spend my gift, I knew that I wanted to take my time and wait until I had just the right project. Finally, after almost a year, I am ready to begin! Here is the story of my journey so far:

While the bedspread in our master bedroom has served us well for several years, it is definitely on its last leg. After using one of my quilts on our bed during Christmas, I realized that I should make a quilt rather than search the stores for a replacement. I also decided that I wanted to make a quilt in which both the pattern and the quilting could shine.

Since I began quilting in 1993 I have found the majority of the patterns that I have made in quilting magazines. At this time I have three that I receive every other month: American Patchwork and Quilting, American Quilter (the publication from American Quilter's Society), and Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting. Last fall I finally found a couple of patterns that I liked and thought would work for a bed-size quilt. I ultimately chose one called Autumn Star Shine in the September/October 2016 edition of the Love of Quilting magazine. The other pattern would have looked best with an all-over quilting design and I wanted a quilt in which I could go crazy with a custom design.

On a cool Wednesday morning in March, I headed to the Cosmic Cow to spend my gift certificate. I was looking for seven different fabrics in a blue/brown color combination. I searched for the outside border fabric first as it would use most of the quilt's colors and the other fabrics would need to coordinate. Unfortunately, finding that fabric was not as easy as I had hoped. There was only one choice that really worked and it was a stripe. That meant that I would need to miter the corners of the outside border and one of the inside borders. Mitering is not an impossible task, but does require a bit more thought than normal. Once I convinced myself that I could manage that technique, I realized that the stripe fabric was really the perfect choice!

With the border fabric chosen, the other fabrics came together quite easily. I needed two browns, a blue, a gold, a cream, and a small print blue/brown. Most of the fabric were cotton prints or mottled fabric that blended nicely with the striped border print. The small print blue/brown fabric, however, that I chose is a batik. On the majority of quilts that you see, batiks are not usually mixed with cottons. But rules are meant to be broken and I can't wait to see how this particular piece looks in the quilt. I had the greatest sales lady helping me choose these fabrics and the owner of the store even gave his thumbs up on my final choices. The next best thing -- I came within $1.37 of spending my entire gift certificate!!

I'll aim to chronicle my experience in constructing this quilt in future blogs. There is no doubt that there will be some adventures as I'm still a bit nervous about those mitered corners. Even cutting the strips from the striped fabric will be a challenge. So stay tuned to see just how often I have to reach for the seam ripper!!

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