One of the many great things about Bolt is that we cater to all levels and areas of the sewing world, from applique to zakka style embroidery. All of us who work here are here to help you advance or begin in your adventures through this wonderful art, and we are also just like you in that we need help sometimes in areas we aren’t so familiar with. I had the pleasure recently (well, about 6 months ago) of inquiring the advice of my fellow fabulous coworkers on quilting; something I have never done before! Starting a project can be a little overwhelming in itself, and starting a project in an entirely new field can be even more so. Quilting had always been one of those sewing things that intimidated me from early on. Older generations in my family have been quilters, and some of my earliest memories are watching my mom and grandmother take over their living room floors, literally making a floor plan of tiny shapes to piece together. As a tiny person this bombarded me, a room full of tiny fabrics that have to be tediously pieced together! That would take forever! With so much patience! From then on, I never thought about trying it. That is, until working at Bolt.
I love all the customers that come into Bolt, how eclectic and creative you all are, and it has been so inspiring for us as well on the other side of the cutting table. Coming up to my one year of working at Bolt, and during that time encouraging many customers to embark on their first quilt voyages, I had decided to turn the tables on myself. A goal of mine that I have been slowly but surely crossing off my list is making gifts for loved ones in my life, for holidays and birthdays, etc. I may be several months late with things, but they are made with love and care, so that’s fine right? Last spring, we got in a collection of fabrics that just screamed my mother. Her birthday was in April, and I thought hey, I’ll make her a quilt with all these great pieces! But what would I quilt? And the anxiety slowly began…
As I mentioned earlier, we cater to all levels of sewing, and I must say we have great projects for beginners, especially quilt wise. The quilt pattern company Zen Chic has caught my eye several times because of the simple, yet elegant designs they have in a wide range of styles. The names of the patterns are clever as well. Taking a closer look at these patterns, you’ll see they are ideal for the beginner quilter. Most of the patterns are whole cloth quilts, with appliqued pieces on them! That’s how they get the cool sporadic piece designs. The one that caught my eye was the Clarity quilt. Using the golden ratio rule, this quilt is just cut circles of prints aligned in different sized circle rows to create a visually pleasing piece.
This pattern is great in experimenting with different fabrics that appeal to you. I found it was great for my project because I fell in love with a whole collection of cotton prints, and this way I was able to use a little bit of each bolt and combine them into one quilt. To apply the circles to the front of the quilt I used wonder-under, a great applique and craft tool! The quilted stitched lines secure the applique pieces even more, so you don’t have to individually sew the pieces on. Easy peasy!
I will humbly admit this quilt wasn’t so easy peasy to me, as for anyone the very first project usually isn’t. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, this took me about 6 months to complete :p. Sandwiching the quilt was a hilariously complicated task for me, as well as quilting. Please admire the great wiggles that hold this quilt together (that should be straight lines). Regardless, it was such a fun project, and being able to get help, advice, and encouragement from my coworkers was a great experience as well.
So to all you fabulous customers who would like to venture into a journey of the once unknown, know we are here to guide you! With great advice, and wonderful projects for all areas to help get you started. See you soon, and happy sewing!!