Saturday, January 7, 2017

Can I have some bicycle fabric please?

I don't know what it is about quilter's but they become obsessed with fabric. Well lots of us do! I think it would be an excellent thesis to discover whether quilter's are obsessive BEFORE they start to quilt or after. 

My first experience with fabric collecting happened shortly after I started to quilt in late 1998. Guess what was around the corner? Yep - that would be the millennium and YES - there was fabric printed specifically for that event. I remember there were exchanges, quilts with 2,000 squares or 2,000 pieces. I would search out this millennium fabric - I had to have EVERY one that was printed. I remember seeing one in a magazine that was advertised in a store in GB (yes Great Britain).  I believe I did call the shop and order some.  

And what did I do with that fabric?  NOTHING!  Ooops - I lied. I have used it for the backing of one small quilt. The rest remains in the basket. I just had a peek - too funny. I'll share that with you tomorrow. 

So it shouldn't surprise you that I have a collection of bicycle fabric. While the millennium stuff was for a very specific time frame, bicycles will go on and on as a theme. And I'm trying - I'm really trying to not buy as much, but when I do see one that I don't have? well - I have to buy it, even if it's a FQ. 

Laundry basket of bicycle fabric
There are some pieces that are large enough that could be used for backings, some yardage, but mostly FQ or half meter cuts. 

Have I made anything out of this basket of fabric? Hmmmm - not specifically. I do have a bicycle quilt, but I think I bought it as a kit so it doesn't count. 

A friend of mine was diagnosed with ALS last year - I want to say in the October time frame.  My reaction was total disbelief - he is an avid cyclist, bike mechanic and all around great guy.  Due to his rapidly deteriorating condition, all that changed in a very short period of time. My second reaction - I have to make a quilt!  Now you all know that I'm not good at getting things done on time, but this quilt needed to be done ASAP.  

I went through the basket of fabric and sorted out the most appropriate ones. I wanted ones with all over bicycles - not those with a bike as part of the design. I started by cutting a 7 inch strip of each. 

Seven inch strips of all over bicycle fabrics
 Not to say that I'm obsessive or anything, but I think there were 20 fabrics in each row. Oopsy - now how did I accumulate so many?   Although I did have a couple of duplicates, I didn't have too many.

Next up was to cut a 7" square from each strip. I only needed one square from each.

Pile of squares (actually this is the leftovers after the quilt was pieced)
 In case you're wondering why I chose 7 inch squares, I had a panel with these bikes on it. I could cut 7-inch squares from it, so the rest of the squares had to be the same size.

Cut into fifteen 7-inch squares
I think I got it cut before I went to Quilt Market in October. Then at the retreat in November I got it sewn together. Quilted (with a bicycle pantograph), bound (by machine) and a label in December. I was about to send it when he indicated that he was away for Christmas.  

The bicycle quilt

He received the quilt this week and sent me a beautiful note. It isn't a fancy quilt - it's dead simple. But this is one of the reasons I love themed fabric. They make great quilts.  Now here's the problem if you haven't figured it out already.  I better get to know a LOT of people who ride bikes because there is enough fabric in that fabric to make a "few" more quilts. And I can't wait until they get sick.

So this one is going in my finished book. I'm pretty excited about that.

Have a super day!



  1. It's a great finish!! You could definitely make quite of few more of these with the leftover fabric. LOL! Oh well, at least you have the fabric already in case you need a quick gift.

  2. My daughter commented, after reading some of my Facebook posts and responses from my friends, that there seems to be an element of hoarding in all quilters. I had never thought of it that way before, but she could be right!

  3. That's some crazy beautiful designs! Time to feature some of the latest and best mountain bike helmets too =)