Yesterday, we held our first quilting class at Toad Hollow. Most people attending were complete novices so Nancy, our instructor, began at the beginning. She brought some partially finished blocks to show us color theory and the importance of finding fabrics that work together.

We were starting with a simple 9 square block. From her quilter's bible, 5500 Quilting Block Designs by Maggie Malone, (which you know we now NEED to get!) Nancy showed us that there are over 1000 variations of the 9 square block. 

After pointing out which pattern we'd do (the first one), it was time to pick fabric. We had baskets of scraps and one of our customers brought a bag full of slightly heavier squares that made a great contrast. 

Everyone was given a 3" square template and pencils and told to trace 9 blocks out of their fabric choices.

Leaving a slight margin around the outside, since we would be sewing on the pencil lines, we began cutting. 

Once the squares were cut, we put them in the order that looked best.

Nancy showed us how to line up the squares by sticking a pin through the corner of first one square and then the next and checking the lines to see if they lined up with the pin.

We sewed the squares into three strips of three squares each. There were no machines used - we did this old school with a needle and thread!

After we got our squares sewn into strips, we then sewed the three strips together to make a larger square.

The finished 9 squares were beautiful!

The final step was to pick a backing piece and get batting to sew together.

Next class we'll learn about binding the quilt off so there are no unfinished edges. Nancy also brought some finished quilts that we can aspire to ... 

(this was done in a weekend - I think I'm still a long way off from that level of expertise!)

We had a great time and we have to send out a huge thank you to Nancy Carew for teaching the class! 

Hopefully, if you're in the area next time, you'll be able to join us. You never know what you can achieve until you try!


January 18, 2016 — Helen Graham

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