Quilting is a multi-step process. The first step is the pattern. Then based on the pattern, the fabric colors must be decided, cut and purchased using the guidance from the pattern. Color selection involves stacking bolts of fabric to decide if a certain fabric compliments the others.
Getting the fabric into specific sizes can often involve sewing cut pieces together and then cutting the sewn pieces into smaller sizes. Cutting is performed with a “rotary cutter” a quilting ruler and a specially designed cutting board.
Usually the next step involves putting the blocks together. There may be five or six pieces involved in putting a block together. Usually 25 to 30 blocks are required for the average size quilt. A King size bed spread may require 140 blocks.
The sewn blocks are now laid out in rows. The reverse side of a felt backed tablecloth is often used for the layout. In the “all day quilting” meetings this was a time for all to chime in on what looks best and where. Sometimes a quilt is left in this layout stage overnight, only to come back the next day with fresh eyes to make sure it is “just right.”
Sewing the Rows and Quilt
The next step is sewing the rows together piece by piece, and then sewing the rows together.
If a border is desired, that fabric is cut and sewed to the quilt.
The actual quilting is done by machine. This part of the quilt is outsourced. With fabric that is complimentary to the quilt. Once returned the binding or the edge material is sewn on and then secured to the back by hand.
Using a piece of complimentary fabric a message is created. The piece is hand sewn to the quilt.