I very recently had the opportunity to work with the talented Libs Elliott – Canadian quilt designer/fabric designer - to create sample bags for her Quilt Market booth in her very first collection “True Love”. During one of our meetings I mentioned that I loved her Rebel Quilt pattern as a wall hanging and was thinking of attempting it. She quickly handed me a copy and my first quilting experience began!
Now please be aware, I have never attempted a quilt pattern before so I am truly a beginner. I started by reading through the entire pattern and then selected my fabrics. I noticed a page near the end of the pattern (I had a paper copy) that was a black and white diagram of the quilt with each block given a grid coordinate.
This diagram gave me an idea! I quickly scanned it as a jpg and opened it up in Photoshop. I then used the dropper tool to add colours in the different sections of the diagram until I was happy with my design. I realize not everyone has a scanner or Photoshop but if you do, I highly recommend this step as it allowed me to see what the finished quilt would look like immediately:
In addition to this diagram, the pattern came with charts where you could write your colours and compare to a coloured version of Libs’ Rebel Quilt. This chart is perfect for those who don’t have a scanner and Photoshop like I do:
Since I am not a regular quilter, I don’t have some of the fancy rulers and other tools a quilter will usually have. I didn’t want to invest in so many tools since I had no idea if I’d ever make another quilt so I decided to make myself some block templates for cutting the squares. I went into the recycle bin and pulled out some empty cereal boxes. I then measured and cut out 3 square templates: (1) 8 7/8” template, (1) 4 7/8” template and (1) 4 1⁄2” template. These were perfect for cutting out the squares and cost me nothing!
Since I was not planning on using this quilt as an actual quilt but rather as a wall hanging, I decided to not pre-wash my fabrics. I wanted them to be crisp and the colours to be as vivid as possible. I did however spray starch heavily thanks to a quilting friend’s advice. Since the entire quilt is made up of HSTs (half square triangles - which I will explain shortly), she told me that it would help everything line up better and she was right!
As I just mentioned, the quilt is entirely built from HSTs in various sizes and assembled in various patterns to create a design. It is extremely easy to do which makes this quilt design perfect for beginners. You start by placing 2 squares of different colours RST:
Repeat this a million times and you will have your squares. Ok I do exaggerate here but it did feel like I made a million squares! You will end up with 2 different sizes of HSTs, which you will then assemble in various patterns according to the instructions.
It took me about 2 weeks of evenings to assemble my quilt top. For my quilt backing, I ended up using some of the scraps from the quilt top as well as some leftover HSTs It really didn’t matter to me what it looked liked since I was going to be using the quilt as a wall hanging so I used whatever I could find in my fabric stash.
When I created my quilt sandwich, I used straight pins to keep my layers together. I can see now why it is recommended to use safety pins. I stabbed myself MANY times! Do yourself a favour and get a box of safety pins!
Since I had never quilted before, I was really uncertain how I should tackle it. I decided to do diagonal lines in both directions and follow the diagonal lines of the HSTs. I now realize this was a mistake because it allowed more puckers to form than if I had used horizontal and vertical lines:
Binding my quilt was actually the easiest part! I used a tutorial written by my friend Crystal at The Cloth Albatross and used the darkest fabric in my quilt for contrast.
Although the size of the quilt itself could seem intimidating for a beginner, it really is perfect as a starter quilt because the assembly is incredibly easy, although quite long. It is such a great feeling to put up your work and admire it!
You can find all of Libs Elliott’s quilt patterns on her website, including the Rebel Quilt Pattern at: http://www.libselliott.com
You can also find Libs' new fabric line True Love at Sitka Fabrics, and don't forget to use code BACON10 to save 10%
Make sure to enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a copy of this quilt pattern.