I am by no means a quilter, although I have enjoyed making a handful of quilts over the years. In more recent years, however, I’ve stuck to English Paper Piecing for making quilts, which has proven to be a very long process. Very, verrrrrry long, in fact. I mean, I really enjoy it but I think one of my favorite things about this particular quilt was just how quickly it came together. Ah, such is the power of the machine, I suppose.
And actually it wasn’t totally completed on the machine since the plant parts of the quilt were ironed on using some great stuff called Steam a Seam and then I hand stitched around them with embroidery floss to secure them (which I think you can just barely make out in the above photo), so it was a good mixture of machine and hand.
And sorry, I’m definitely getting ahead of myself; I haven’t even introduced why this quilt came about. As I’m sure you know (because I blab about it all the time) my mom is an amazing quilter. Her business is custom and computerized machine quilting and she’s super talented. I think she’s jazzed when anyone expresses interest in the things she loves. So toward the beginning of the year, my mom posted the Rosemary and Thyme quilt that she had quilted for a customer. My sister and I both commented that we loved it and that we’d love to make it. Right around when all the stay home orders started coming into effect, my mom ordered patterns and supplies, and sent my sister and I packages containing all the things we needed to make our own Rosemary and Thyme quilts! Along with the pattern, she sent fabric, Steam a Seam sheets, and embroidery floss. I didn’t have to buy anything! So, so nice of her and such a treat for me!
I mentioned that I don’t make a ton of quilts and it was funny to me how different this pattern was from a clothes making pattern. I’m not used the instruction terminology used in quilting patterns, so I had to read through a couple of times (the part where I struggle the most is cutting layouts!). But, truly, the pattern is pretty easy. Especially since you’re working with such large pieces, it comes together pretty fast. The part that took the longest was embroidering all the leaves, which you do for stability as well as visual interest, but the instructions actually call for using your sewing machine for that as well. When I sew over anything that has adhesive on it, it gunks up my needle and makes my machine perform like garbage, so even if my mom hadn’t already paved that route, I think I would’ve opted for the hand stitching anyway.
I finished the quilt top sometime during the summer, but held onto it until we visited my parents later in the year. My mom has custom quilted a couple quilts for me and they turn out gorgeous, but it is quite time intensive. This quilt was comparatively fast and easy to make, so I wanted something basic for the quilting and I was able to choose a design that would work with her computerized machine, which was my first time having it done that way! I chose the design above (I think its name was something like Clamshell) and I loooooove it. I think it’s super cute and it adds to the overall look of the quilt. I think the quilt and the quilting ended up being an awesome match (which doesn’t always happen).
For the back, I actually used the same fabric that I used to make my Joy Jacket. I think it’s a cotton/poly twill. It’s a little sturdier than your traditional quilting cotton, but my mom and I both have a huge bolt of it, so we’re not worried about running out AND using this I didn’t have to buy a backing. So #sustainable.
I took the quilt home to bind it, which maybe was a mistake since I could have used my mom’s fancier, and very quilt-centric supplies, but oh well. I was going to bind it using my machine. I sewed it onto the back side and then when I went to attach it to the front, I had some serious struggles. I do not have a walking foot, which is where I think I can point to as my problem. I tried my regular foot and my edgestitch foot and was absolutely hating how it was looking. Luckily, I’m no stranger to hand stitching, so I gave up on using my machine and just bound it by hand. It’s not a huge quilt, so it just took a few hours of watching TV and binding to be finished.
My mom actually quilted all of our Rosemary and Thyme quilts while we were in town. It was really fun seeing all of them and comparing how differently they each turned out. I love them all, though! We had so much fun making them and catching up on each other’s progress throughout the year that there was talk about doing the same thing every year, with a new pattern each year. No set plans have been made, but I think it’d be very fun…
Pattern: Rosemary and Thyme from Cotton Street Commons
Fabric: assorted quilting cotton
Would I make this pattern again?: Yes! Very cute and easy!