Projects of 2020: Ray Quilt
Pattern: Carolyn Friedlander Ray Quilt
Top Fabric: Windham Fabrics
Backing: Kona Cotton in Storm
Binding: Kona Cotton in Indigo
Batting: Quilter’s Dream Cotton Select
Quilting Thread: 40wt Mariana King Tut Cotton
This was my first and last quilt of 2020. I had received the fabric for this quilt in the form of a set of fat quarters sent to me by Windham Fabrics about 5 years ago in exchange for some patterns I sent them. I always knew I wanted to turn them into a quilt, but being a set of 16 fat quarters rather than the 18 needed for many patterns, combined with the large scale print made it hard to decide what to make.
I’d narrowed it down to a few patterns I wasn’t thrilled with but then I received Carolyn Friedlander’s newsletter for the week featuring her Ray pattern – it was a perfect fit! Good for a large scale print and although it called for 18 fat quarters, being 2 short just meant removing the outer band and still having a good size, functional quilt.
I cut the strips out one night after dinner and arranged them for quick assembly the next day. Roamy helped a lot and spent most of the time pulling a sea lion on top of whatever I was currently working on. The quilt top came together quickly and only took a few hours, aided by the dual feed function on my machine which reduced (well actually eliminated in this case) the need to pin. When I got that machine I wasn’t sure how much I would use that function but I actually have found myself using it quite a bit!
Funny story, I didn’t realize that the Ray quilt had just been released in that newsletter and was kind of embarrassed that I was, I think, the first one who sewed it up the very next day it was released. Hahah ah well!
With the quilt top together I needed to order batting, backing, and binding, but there was definitely a run on batting leading up to Christmas with everyone who had planned ahead much better than I did. I finally found what I needed and got my order in…..then it was time to wait for USPS to deliver and hope it arrived before Christmas.
All the supplies arrived 3 days before Christmas so i had to work fast! The first day was pre-washing and pressing the fabric, then assembling the back. Day 2 I waited for a delivery of quilting safety pins I borrowed my mom, and started basting. Then on Christmas eve I finished basting and quilted it, which was surprisingly fast! It only took an hour per half, which was good because the binding took a lot longer.
I got the binding attached but not sewn down before Christmas Eve dinner, then after dinner I got to work on hand stitching the wrong side of the binding in place. Jon had a video call with some friends so I had a few hours to work before bed. On Christmas morning I got up super early with Oaty and finished up the rest. I had to wash and dry the quilt so it would get nice and puffy for Jon, but also because Oaty decided to clean her paws on it while I worked and got it kind of gross.
Well I got the quilt finished up, wrapped, and under the tree in time for Jon to unwrap it! He loves quilts and I’m so happy that I got to give him one meant just for him just in time for a long, cold, Chicago COVID winter. It now lives on the back of his chair in our back room where we hang out in the evenings. I really enjoyed making this quilt, the pattern was wonderful, the fabric worked great, and I’m just so happy with how it turned out. Definitely hoping to finish up at least one quilt in 2021!
If you're just looking to get into quilting, this is a really great starter quilt and Carolyn Friedlander has an entire video quilt-along over on her YouTube channel which you can check out here. I always recommend her patterns, they're really well thought out, have great instructions, and I love the designs.
I'm curious to know how many of you are quilters in addition to garment sewers! Do you sew garments & quilts? Just garments? Just quilts (probably not if you're following us)? Fill me in!