Hi, my name is Gene Anne Berst. I am your guest blogger for today. I am 17 years old and I go to North Fayette Valley in West Union, Iowa, where I will be a senior this year. After that I will be going on to Wartburg College. At Wartburg I will be majoring in psychology. My favorite hobbies are dancing and cheering. I also enjoy reading, writing and doing makeup.
I have been making quilts since I was in 5th grade. I have made 6 quilts since then. My favorite quilt I have made is a winter themed, flannel quilt. It was the first quilt that I ever made. My newest quilt, I made for my dorm room at Wartburg College. I wanted it to fit my twin mattress, with a little extra fabric on all sides. This will probably be the last quilt I make before college, so that is why I decided to make it Wartburg themed.
I didn’t know what pattern I wanted to use, but I knew I wanted it to be geometric. My mom and I Google searched geometric patterns and found this pattern, which is “herringbone.” The original pattern we found was too small for my twin bed, so we modified it and added a row of blocks.
My mom and I went to Quilter’s Window in New Hampton to find the fabric for my quilt. I like to go here because I have used fabric from the store since I began making quilts and I know the workers well, and they know my fabric preferences. I also know they have very good quality fabric. For the colors, I took inspiration from the pattern we found on line. They used all yellow and grey patterns. I really like how this looks, so I decided to use mainly orange and grey, with black and white accents. I wanted all the colors to match Wartburg. I chose these fabrics because I liked how they look against each other. For example, I think that the dark grey makes the orange really pop.
I started off by cutting all the fabric out. I had my mom cut the fabric because I had problems with it slipping. The oranges and grey in the middle were all cut into 6-inch blocks. This part was very easy and we had extra fabric left. Once the blocks were cut, I marked a line diagonally, using a ruler, across one of the six inch blocks, pined them together (one orange, one grey). Next I sewed down each side of the diagonal line. After that, I cut right down the diagonal block. There was then two squares of orange and black triangles. Once the blocks were cut apart, I ironed them, and snipped off the corners.
Next following the pattern photo we laid out the blocks. Then I sewed all the small blocks together and continued to sew the blocks until there were rows. In between sewing the blocks together, I ironed the seams so they laid flat. My mom helped me finish the top by sewing some of the the rows together. I don’t like sewing the rows together because I struggle with marrying the seams.
After the quilt center was done, we cut the small white and black inner border and sewed it onto the quilt. This took a long time for me to sew as I wanted it to be perfect. Once the small border was done, I began with the outside black border. We measured the quilt in three different places on each side, averaged that number out, and cut the black border to fit that number. This was done so the border would not be waving, but instead lay flat. After that, my mom sewed on the black border on the quilt. I did not want to do this because I didn’t want to mess it up.
I am excited to finish my quilt and I will not be using it until January in my dorm room. To finish my quilt, I will need to longarm quilt it and sew the binding on. I am planning on using a pantograph to machine quilt it. In the past, I have only done free hand swirls on the quilts and I am nervous about using the pantograph, but I think it will look good on my quilt.
I had a large amount of fabric left when I finished my quilt top. I decided to make a quick, easy pillowcase from the left over fabric. I did this by sewing three different oranges together in a row, and then added black on the end. It was very easy, and I finished it within an hour. I am also considering making a rug with more of the left over fabric. I have looked into it, and think it will complete my dorm room.
I brought my finished quilt back to the shop to show Denise!
The last time I was at the shop with my mom, helping her pick out fabric for her Bonnie Hunter retreat, I saw a store sample backpack that caught my eye. It was very unique and I had never seen anything like it before. It was so cute, I knew I had to make it. We bought the pattern and the fabric and I have it completed already. We took photos, so I will write another blog and show you how it turned out!