One of the quilts in Jo Morton's book, Little Favorites features her toile print fabric from her line of fabric called Jo's Best Friends.
At the spring Paducah Quilt Show, I found this panel depicting scenes from the Civil War and fell in love with it. I decided to use this Civil War panel instead of the toile which Jo Morton had used in making her quilt. A quick dig in the fabric stash yielded reds and whites which I thought would work well with the panel.
Here are some of the things which I learned from making this quilt:
- when in doubt, over cut. I used to think over cutting was a waste of fabric, I know better now, it actually saves fabric. Is far far better to cut off an inch of fabric rather than recut an entire strip because it is one inch to short. I have learned this lesson the hard way. There is very little waste in over cutting versus recutting.
- make the design in the fabric do the work. There are so many beautiful fabrics on the market. Use those beautiful fabrics to make beautiful borders and fussy cuts.
- step out of the box and make it your own. My dear friend, Anne taught me this. "Why are you stitching the names of people you don't even know, you have an interesting family, let them tell you their story." While Jo Morton's quilt and fabric are beautiful, I decided to use my Civil War fabric. While doing research at the Archives, I learned a member of our family was in several of the Civil War battles named in the backing fabric.
- Itty Bitty Rulers rock! Love, love love my Itty Bitty Rulers. Using these rulers has made me a better quilter because of their markings (more accurate cutting and measuring of finished pieces).
- a clean sewing machine is a happy sewing machine. After finishing or before starting a project, clean the sewing machine. It is amazing the amount of lint which can built up. Cleaning the dust and lint out of the machine helps the tension and results in a better stitch.
- sew borders North to South one one side and South to North on the opposite side. This helps to keep the quilt from getting wonky
- press don't iron. Pressing make a huge difference.
- quilting is teaching me patience: don't rush the sewing, take your time, press, don't iron, select fabrics carefully and with thought
Now for a little History lesson. July is a very pivotal month in the history of the United States. There is independence Day celebrated on July 4, the Battle of Gettysburg which happened July 1, 2, and 3, and the surrender of Vicksburg on July 4. Utah celebrates Pioneer Days in July, President Lincoln signed a tax on income into law in July and President James Garfield was shot in July.
The panel in the center of the quilt reminds me of the generals meeting in the field and planning their strategy during the terrible three day battle at Gettysburg. The floral outer border is a Windham fabric in association with the Clara Barton birthplace museum. Clara Barton volunteered to go to the battlefields and tend to the wounded soldiers during the Civil War. She later founded the Red Cross. The backing fabric lists the names of some of the battles fought in the South during the Civil War.
This is a super quick and easy quilt to make, a great choice for a beginning quilt: no points, no circles, no matching just straight line sewing.