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I love it all: embroidery, canvaswork, quilting, crochet. So much to do, so little time.





Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cotton Theory

Good Afternoon Dear Blog Readers,

This past weekend I went to my LQS and took a class in Cotton Theory.  It's a funny name, because you think it would be all about the fabric (although my piece was certainly made of cotton), but the Cotton in Cotton Theory refers to Betty Cotton, the creator of this quilt-as-you-go technique.  The piece we were making was a runner, and we all had one block finished when the class was over.

This is "side B" of the block, but I actually like it the best because it's so much fun.


This is "side A," -- the blocks are completed reversible.  I just think I could have made a better fabric choice here, even though I have yet to meet a batik that I don't like.  The colors aren't working together the way I had hoped.

In brief, you cut the pieces for the top, and the backing and the batting.  The batting is cut 2 inches smaller all around than the top and backing.  Then, make a quilt "sandwich" out of each invidual piece and quilt it (above are the A and B sides of the quilted center piece).  Once all the pieces are quilted, they are all sewn together; then, all you add is the binding and you're done!  The only down side is that you have three times the cutting to do.

The seams are all one inch wide.  They are pressed to opposite sides in a consistent manner, then the "top" seam allowance is trimmed to a scant quarter inch, as in the above photo.  The remaining one-inch seam allowance is folded over the cut seam allowance and sewn down with a zigzag-type stitch.

All the finished seams have folds, so the piece turns out a bit bulkier than a standard quilted piece.  The technique is rather time consuming--this one block took most of us the entire class to finish:  5-1/2 hours if you deduct the half hour we all took for lunch.  And we all had the pieces for the top, backing and batting cut ahead of time!

I had a great time doing this.  As a matter of fact, I'm seriously considering taking the class for the purse that uses this technique.   I am really nowhere near as confident with machine quilting as I am with hand embroidery.  If you get up close and personal to the block, you see that some of the seams look a little funky, but I'm happy with it nonetheless.  When I first saw the piece and found out there was a class for it, I wondered, "Will I actually be able to do this?"  I was very happy to find out that I was.  I think it's going to take me a little while to do the remaining three blocks and turn it into a runner, though.

Thanks for visiting and for all your kind comments. 

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