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!