We want quilters to be inspired and quiltmaking to be the best it can be. So, when we had the opportunity to hear from Catherine Redford about her experience when working with one of the Fons & Porter exclusive quilting templates, we jumped on it. We knew Catherine would give it to us straight. We sent the template over to her, buckled up and help on tight. Fingers crossed that she approves! Here’s her story:
I never know what the day’s email might bring…
Last July I received an invitation from Jean Nolte to try out the new Fons & Porter Template of the Month Club. I’d get a template and fabric and try them out and blog about my experience. It sounded like fun to me, so of course, I said yes. I mentioned that I’d need to wait a bit as I was a little busy finishing up a book manuscript, amongst other things…
I looked on the Shop Fons & Porter website to review the templates and thought that as long as I didn’t get the Apple Core template, it should be easy.
So, I received a big envelope in January containing my template, instructions, and a pattern and the fabric for a table runner. And guess what? It was the Apple Core template! Time to get my big girl panties on. I took the project with me to Southern California so I could try it while I was on retreat. That way, if there were problems I could get Sheila to help (my good friend who taught me how to quilt). 🙂 Here are the instruction sheets, fabrics and template I received:
It’s a big template so the curved piecing shouldn’t be too difficult? I read all the instructions and set to cutting out the fabric pieces. I had to be reasonably careful to make sure I got them all out of the materials provided. The template was nice and sturdy and worked well with my 45mm rotary cutter. Cute daisy fabric by Lynette Anderson for RJR…
Time to start piecing. I managed with just a center crease to match the seams and three pins.
Then I just had to keep sewing. One seam at a time.
I couldn’t believe it. I was actually making an Apple Core quilt.
My table runner laid flat and everything!
I had batting and backing fabric with me so I went ahead and laid it out for basting. Blue tape to keep the backing flat, nice smooth batting from Quilters Dream.
Lots of pins to hold it.
I trimmed it up a bit and that’s where I left it. It’s one thing sewing the seams on a borrowed machine but I wanted to be home to do the quilting.
Once I got home I’m afraid my project stayed in my bag for a while. Then it sat on the table while I got to some other things but last week the time had arrived and I set to quilting on my BERNINA 740.
I used my built-in dual feed to quilt the curved lines echoing the long seams down the length of the table runner. I switched between my ¼” foot and my open-toed appliqué foot (20D) to get the different widths and reduced the presser foot pressure to reduce the drag around the corners. I was liking the way it looked!
Next came some free motion stitching with the darning foot. I chose my chrysanthemum motif for the darker sections and flowers on the light color parts.
Narrowing the sections with the walking foot stitching first makes the free motion go much faster and defines the areas well.
Time for the binding. There was about 12″ of striped fabric included in the kit but the stripes ran selvedge to selvedge so if I’d cut the pieces straight across it wouldn’t have looked very nice. I bit the bullet and cut beautiful bias strips and pieced them together before stitching them onto my table runner using my walking foot. It was definitely worth it.
Time to put it on the table for a beauty shot…
I think I like it. What do you think?
I don’t often use a kit these days, let alone follow a quilt pattern, but it was a fun project to do and it turned out really well. I might even try another Apple Core quilt some time!
We love this! It’s a beautiful quilt, isn’t it? Thanks to Catherine Redford for test-driving the Apple Core template and finishing her table runner (that UFO pile can be difficult to resist). Take a peek at the Template of the Month Club and see what inspires you. Share your pictures of your template quilts with us on the Fons & Porter Facebook page!
Catherine Redford took her first class at Stitches and Stuffing in Naperville. There seemed to be lots to learn. Five years later, she started teaching classes at Pieceful Heart Fabrics in Lisle, just 10 minutes from her home for 10 years until the shop closed in June 2013. She now teaches and speaks at Guilds around the country and continues to learn. You can visit her on her website at CatherineRedford.com.