Quilting Bee Prep by an Amateur

So I had made one quilt [wrongly], I was very keen to just turn up with some fabrics and a book and see how things went [so we could all engage with the amateurishness]. However, I suspected that would be the quickest way for everyone to leave. I reflected on the processes and stages I had been through in my quilt and created a basic framework that provided the structure so we all knew what was happening but that allowed everyone to input into the process in their own way.

I did not have much cash and so went along to IKEA and bought metres of their reasonable quality plain ecru cotton cloth at £2 per metre. I then dyed this up in the washing machine with Dylons in 3 shades: mid tone grey, fuchsia and turquoise. Inspired by some of the simple uses of block colour in the Gee’s Bend quilts I chose for the daytime group to have Grey and Turquoise and the evening group to have Grey and Fuchsia. Having been washed and pressed, I cut them into long strips at 6″ wide. The idea was that people would each take a few strips, cut them into blocks and piece them together. If they wanted to keep it simple they could just join a few long strips, for those a little more adventurous they could cut it into small pieces for more intricate work.

I drew up some quick plans so I could work out the amount of fabric required and if people wanted a visual clue as to what I was thinking about, I would have it to hand.

gees-bend-quilt
Loretta Pettway, born 1942. Four-block strip quilt. Circa 1960. Cotton twill and synthetic material [men’s clothing]. 78×73 inches.
grp-quilt-plan
Rough plan for the group quilts.[Perren, 2015]
Gee’s Bend Quilt: https://blog.berroco.com/2015/07/22/what-inspires-quilts-of-gees-bend/

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