Monday, 21 January 2013

A Ray-Stitch in Time!

Some time last year, May last year to be exact, I tried my hand at quilting. I really enjoyed it, was full of inspiration, and determined to make a quilt for Wiss. Time passed, I didn't do any more quilting so I realistically decided that it would be a Christmas present. Oops, did I say Christmas present? I meant birthday present!

Wiss's birthday is a couple of weeks after Christmas so that would surely give me enough time to finish it, right? Hmmmm.....

As good as my intentions were, and as pleased as I was with the squares that I'd completed already, I came to the realisation that log cabin quilting was very time-consuming and I barely had enough finished to make a cushion, let alone a quilt.

And then Ray Stitch came to the rescue! They run a class called 'Make a Finished Quilt'* held over two Sundays, which really does do what it claims. And it just so happened that the dates in January meant that I would be able to give Wiss a quilt for his birthday.

The class is taught by Michelle, and she takes you through every stage from designing your patchwork pattern, cutting the squares and sewing the quilt top to actually quilting and binding the finished article. She is wonderfully patient and very informed, so can answer any questions or queries you may have, and let you in on some tricks of the trade. The sewing space is downstairs at the shop, and with their fab coffee, delicious lunch and 6 Music on the radio it was a perfect way to spend the hours along side like-minded people. Each class was 5 hours long and with a little bit of homework I really was able to make a finished quilt!

I used the same fabrics as before, from the Robotics range by Moda, but added some Riley Blake chevrons just because they are so cool. This quilt had to have more yellow in it since Wiss declared it was his favourite colour, and so I backed it with a simple yellow star print cotton. It was really interesting to see the variety of fabrics chosen by the others in the class - each one looked so different to the next, but all beautiful. I think that's what appeals to me so much about quilting, the possibilities are endless and each quilt is truely unique.

Funnily enough, Wiss was almost as excited as I was about his quilt, and demanded to see it at the end of the first class. We took the sides off his cot on Christmas Eve and he is very proud of his 'big boy' bed. His quilt looks great on his bed and I couldn't resist making a co-ordinating piillowcase using this tutorial. I haven't got round to sewing a little square with the date on yet but I will because I hope that this quilt will become a long treasured memory of his childhood.
I think in total this quilt took around 14 hours to make from start to finish. That's pretty achievable in most people's spare time, and the results are fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed the classes, and being able to finish something gives you so much more confidence for future projects. I am a little worried that I've found a new addiction (but at least it will be a way to use up my ever-growing fabric stash!) I'm already planning my next quilt and I heard that there may be a Strip Pieced Quilt class soon at Ray-Stitch...See you there?!

*This class costs £125 for 2 x 5 hour classes. You must bring your own fabric for the front and back of your quilt but the wadding and thread is provided, as are refreshments and lunch. We also recieved a 15% discount on any purchases in the shop, including fabric, so perfect for stocking up for your next quilt! More details can be found on the Ray-Stitch website here


  1. That is fab well done you! I am trying to pluck up the courage to start a small one but my fear of mucking it up stops me at the first hurdle
    How much we're the classes and what is the location ?

  2. Oh you should definitely try a class if you can. It will really help with your confidence and show you that you can do it. I found it really useful to learn the little tricks and tips that you may not work out for yourself.

    The class at Ray Stitch was £125 for both sessions, with wadding, thread and refreshments (inc lunch) included. Check out the link to the class calendar as there's another shorter class for £75. The shop is on Essex Road, N1 London.

    If that's not local to you then check out other classes in your area.

    Good luck and just get stuck in!


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