Monday, April 6, 2009

Coin Quilt

These days my life has become closely intertwined with the Internet. For sewing ideas and inspirations I love to look at people's blogs and flicker photos. Recently in cyberspace, coin quilts seem to be all the rage. Using a handy tutorial by Moda Fabrics and some inspiration from a Coin quilt flicker group, I started on my latest creation.
This easy to make quilt is basic but quite attractive using up odd and end scraps of material. I used mainly various scraps from material designed by Anna Maria Horner. With my recent purchase of a sewing machine, I was looking for a project that I could do with my new acquisition. This quilt with its straight sewing lines seems like the perfect project.

After cutting tons of rectangles of scrap material with my rotary cutter, I spread them out on the floor of our living room arranging them first by color, then finally settling on a gradation of color, starting with darker red colors on the bottom gradually changing to light greens on top. Since I used brightly patterned material for my coins, I found that alternating colored material with white material made the quilt look less busy.

Next I pieced it all together using my new sewing machine, chain stitching heaps of pairs of colored material and white material. I then sewed these coupled fabrics into groups of 4, then groups of 8 etc. Before I knew it I was done, quick and simple. Next I chose a pretty, soft pink material by Moda for the borders and the backing. After I attached the borders, I was ready to put the quilt together. Using a process that I found on the net (crazymomquilts), I taped down my backing material to the floor, layered on my batting and finally my completed top layer. Instead of pining it all together, I hand basted through all the layers, starting in the middle and working my way out in a grid. This took forever and killed my back, but alas if you want your end product to lie straight and beautifully this is a crucial step.

Now that my sandwiched quilt was ready to be quilted, I turned to my sewing teacher, for advice. We agreed on using a combination of both sewing machine and hand quilting to finish the quilt. I'm interested in learning how to use a frame to hand quilt, so I figured this quilt would be as good a time as ever to learn this technique. Since the quilt has large areas of plain white material, I decided on some intricate hand stitching using a technique known as trapunto. So far, I've chosen the pattern, and begun the long process of hand sewing. After about 10 hours of using a frame and two thimbles to hand quilt my creation, I'm finally getting faster and my stitches are getting more regular, even and shorter. Perhaps I should have practiced this new skill first on a scrap quilt. As it is, my quilt in the end will be a little irregular, changing slightly as my workmanship improved. I'm hoping by the end of this quilt, I will have mastered this technique!

coin quilt on hoop


  1. Wow beautiful! What a great way to use up leftover fabric! You mention that this is a simple project? Sounds pretty complex to me.

  2. wow, this is amazing! i am so awed by hand quilting! it looks so beautiful and one of a kind. great job!

  3. Yes, coin quilts are lovely and I really love the fabrics you've chosen for yours! Your quilting looks very good. Not that I'm an expert myself, but I can appreciate the great work others do :-)


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