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Mar 1, 2012

First Quilts on the First: Sarah of FairyFace Designs

Mar 1, 2012
Pin It Please welcome Sarah, of FairyFace Designs, as our guest on First Quilts on the First today!  I am so happy that Sarah is bringing us an international "first".... she explains below how quilting is really ramping up in Ireland.  What fun it is to have quilting friends abroad.  If you haven't been to her blog, you really must stop by.  She is very talented and shares all sorts of information and tutorials.  Here's her story....

Hi there, I'm Sarah from FairyFace Designs and I'm totally thrilled to be here sharing my first quilt with you! Thanks AnneMarie :-)

I started quilting only last year, and finished my first quilt on 25th January 2011. Quilting is an increasingly popular hobby here in Ireland, but it doesn't have the same kind of history it has in the USA and is still quite a niche area. I didn't know much about it prior to last year and I fell into quilting by accident really when someone asked me to make some quilts for them. Not having made one before, I decided to make one for myself before tackling one for that person, and this was it!

I bought my first charm pack (Bliss by Bonnie and Camille) and some yardage and after searching round some of my favourite blogs, I decided to use Kristie's tutorial for a baby quilt - the McKinley quilt pattern. It looked pretty straightforward to make, so I just dived in. I had no idea what I was getting myself into!

Even though the tute was perfect for a beginner, I found it much more of a struggle than I anticipated, and I had a pretty steep learning curve about the need for accurate cutting and seam allowances! Getting the rows of charms to line up accurately was not as easy as I anticipated, but afterwards I learned one of the biggest lessons about quilt making - that once a quilt is washed and all squashy and crinkly and in daily use, the little imperfections are forgotten about and disappear into the overall lovelieness of the quilt!

This applied to the quilting too. I straight line quilted it in the negative space, and when I tell you I had no clue what I was doing, I am not joking. When it said start in the middle and quilt out from it, I took that literally and started in. the. middle. of. the. quilt. (quilting out from the central point in both directions) for the first few rows until I figured out what it really meant!! My stitch length was all over the place, and my straight lines could only be described as seriously crooked. I had puckers all over the place. But I persevered and got it finished, binding it in some lovely Freebird fabric, and despite all the flaws, I completely fell in love with the gorgeous texture and loved how the charms popped out against the dense quilting. I became completely and utterly besotted with quilt making.

Its still in everyday use on the sofa in my living room, 13 months on, but its a little bit small for a proper lap quilt, so I'm currently working on a bigger quilt using more Bonnie and Camille fabric - a Ruby layer cake - which will compliment it perfectly.

In the meantime I've made 13 other quilts, 6 mini quilt, and lots of other smaller projects. I've made quilts from my own designs, written a quilt pattern and jointly hosted a quiltalong. I've graduated from crooked straight lines to free motion quilting - and can even manage some cute little detail in my stitching:

With every quilt I make, I feel like I improve my skills. I love tackling new projects - I did a Drunkard's Path quilt at Christmas, which was challenging and fun - but I feel like I'm still at the beginning of my quilting journey as there's just so many areas I have yet to explore.

I'd love for you to pop over and say hi on FairyFace Designs, where there is lots going on, including a series of sewing tutorials - {Sew} Get Started - with a new tutorial each Thursday.  If you want to see more of my quilts, you'll find them here.

Thanks again AnneMarie for having me :-) Pin It


  1. Love Sarah, loved reading this. :)

  2. Sarah - I just stumbled onto this blog. Congratulations on your first quilt!! I've been quilting since 1991 and have had such an adventure - hope you will, too!


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