When I lived in Washington D.C. last summer, I would wander the halls of the National Museum of Art and feel envious of the painters who were allowed to spend hours recreating the masterpieces that hung on its walls. On certain lazy Sundays, I like to take up the practice of mimicking another’s work. Though it may sound strange, I find the practice rather relaxing, but truly, studying the stroke and technique of another painter is the best way to grow as a painter yourself. Today, I decided to bask in the art of flowers (ones first created by Erin Gregory).
Having traveled to the cold land of the hot sun – aka Moracco – twice now, I have found myself with several meters of fabric that are calling to be used. On my second trip to North Africa, I purposely bought a meter of a different color of the same fabric with the idea of making a quilt. With such beautiful fabric, I wanted to keep the quilt simple, so I mapped out a basic square pattern – one that could easily be used to make a t-shirt quilt.
You can see the dimensions I worked with in the picture above. The squares were 11.5 x 11.5 inches, and I used a 0.5 inch seam allowance.
Since I was working with woven fabric, I prevented frayed edges by using the basic zigzag stitch to act like an overlocking stitch. It was a tedious process, but completely necessary. Fabric can still fray even after you stitch the pieces together.
Once I finished the edges, it was a quick process to sew all of the individual squares into the rows and then the rows into a quilt. Again, I used a 0.5 inch seam allowance throughout.
With the middle squares in place, I used a off-white canvas fabric to act as a margin of color – another simple touch to highlight the beauty of the fabric. The strips were 7 inches wide. I used the canvas fabric to match the thickness of the Morroccan fabric, but for the back fabric and binding, I used cotton. To see how I bind quilts, you can visit my previous post on the matter.
I couldn’t be more happy with the finished product. It achieved the goal that I wanted – something that could show off the beautiful, hand-woven fabric as well as encapsulate my memories of purchasing the fabric on my travels. You just can’t find fabric like this here in America – well, as least not for the price that I paid for them.
I found the fabric for the back side of the quilt at Handcock Fabrics, and it worked perfectly. For the back side, I think the fabric needs to be simple enough to not trump the front, but interesting enough to add to the overall look of the quilt. This fabric did just that.
This pattern is easy and simple to recreate since pieces are large, and you work with straight lines. Please feel free to ask any questions you have; I would love to help you as you work to create a quilt for yourself.