Everyone loves a Jelly Roll Race! I'd seen several variations, but the original with the strips mitered together seemed like the best option for me. Mom let me use a batik jelly roll called "Shenandoah", and then I was off to the races. (I know, I know, it's a cheap joke.)
This was the quilt where I learned that if someone has a tip or memory for you, you listen. I'd heard from various sources that getting the first seam together after your ends are mitered is pretty time-consuming - and at first, I thought it was just a horror story to make new quilters jump. Friends, I was wrong.
I don't have access to the pictures my brother took of me working on that monster seam, but if memory serves, the first pair of strips went out from my sewing surface (the kitchen table, that is) into the dining room, looped over several chairs in the upstairs sitting area, threaded down the staircase and finally came to a stop in the downstairs living room. My bro was a good sport through all of this and followed along, making sure the strips were untwisted before they fed into my machine. It really does take a village to get a quilt together!
I loved this border fabric. If the blues, creams and browns of this quilt are the Shenandoah's rivers, clouds and streams, then the border fabric made me think of soil and roots.
My other project came out of an old quilting magazine that the Guild had had on the free use table at the monthly meeting. Hmmm, I thought. This doesn't look too bad - the block is square and there aren't too many seams to match, at least on the block itself. I tried a sample block, and liking what I saw, I decided to go forward.
The pattern - from QuickQuilts July 2008
The sample (with a bit of color and patchwork variation)
This particular quilt proved to me that properly nested seams will cover a multitude of sins. Even if my sewing wasn't perfect, I still ended up with a beautiful product. If you'll notice, I included the sample as a bit of a novelty block. I used a thin blue plaid for the border. Along with my machine, I'd received my benefactor's remaining stash, and I'm still finding treasures in it.
I call the sample block "Mermaid Nation"
Both of these tops will be sent off to a professional quilter when I have the time. I do have a walking foot, and I've learned some basic quilting. However, both of these tops are large enough that I don't trust myself to wrangle them without making a mess.