Travel quilting

Cutting Yardage While RV’ing

Well our first trip in the RV for an extended period of time (53 days) is over. We consider this our trial run – and things have gone pretty well. We not only enjoyed January and February Florida temperatures, but I was able to finish two quilt tops; a wool candle mat and begin a wool wall hanging. I also used my design wall, set up my sewing area at the booth table inside the camper and outside the camper on a folding table; as well as converting the kitchen counter top into the ironing and cutting area. The only thing I haven’t tried is cutting yardage in the RV.

I found the solution to the limited RV space when Tom and I were checking out some campgrounds for future visits to this area. Walking into the campground’s activity center, we met a woman who was cutting fabric on one of the 6-foot tables in the center.

Of course curiosity got the better of me and I had to ask her what she was doing. She was in the process of making a king-size quilt for her son who is getting married in June. The quilt, batiks framed with black sashing, will be hand-pieced and hand-quilted. She had made a test block with cream sashing – the block had no interest. It wasn’t until she framed the block with black fabric, that the colors began to “pop”.

This reminded me of a recent meeting of the Thumbstall Guild in Marcellus, NY with  Genie Barnes, who demonstrated this same concept. Working in groups, we choose four fabrics that we thought would go together in a quilt. For accent we put cream, white and black fabrics on top of the groupings. It was easy to see that black fabric was very often the choice to make the main colors pop!

This resourceful quilter was also painstakingly marking the black sashing with chalk and a ruler because she had forgotten to bring her rotary cutter. She planned on cutting the strips the old fashioned way – with a scissors! If it had been me, I probably would have had to go to the quilt store to buy a new cutter. (As though I really need an excuse to go to the quilt store!)   In addition, she told me that she normally likes to have 18-months to make a quilt.   She needs 18-months because she and her husband are full-time RV’ers – My hat to her! I can’t imagine finishing a quilt done entirely by hand in that short a time.

Unlike her, I normally cut fabric as I assemble the quilt blocks; rather than cutting all the fabric at once. Bringing kits and/or cutting fabric for a large quilt before leaving home seems to be the most convenient way for me to quilt as I travel in the RV.

Looking forward to our next RV trip!

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