Tumbler Quilts

I have made quite a few tumbler quilts in the past little while, and have written a book on this topic, to be published by C&T Publishing and released this fall. Stay tuned!

If you go to the Fat Quarter Shop you can have a sneak peek at some of the quilts from my book. I can’t wait to hold this in my hands!

Meanwhile, a sad tumbler quilt story. I have long collected a variety of teal fabrics, and made this tumbler quilt quite a while ago. I showed it at Quilts at the Creek, and these are the only photos I have left of it.

Why you ask? Sold, given away, stolen? No, bad batting! Yes, that’s right. I used wool batting in this quilt (and another one). One day, one of my cats was sick on the quilt, so into the washing machine. Cold water wash. When it came out, it had batting coming out of every pore of the quilt. How could this happen? Well we all know wool shrinks when it gets wet. I remember one British science show for kids, where they took a sheep, washed out the lanolin that protects their wool coats, then washed the sheep. Yes, the wool shrank right on the sheep! They then sheared the sheep to remove it’s and save it from discomfort.

Normally wool batting is either lightly steamed to pre-shrink it or chemically treated to prevent shrinkage. The batting was supplied by my long-arm quilter. When another of my quilts with wool batting shrank- and then another quilt from the same batch made by someone else, we knew it was the batting, not how we handled the quilt while washing it. The company who made it eventually made a financial donation to Quilts at the Creek, but never admitted responsibility.

Now I love wool batting. So light but warm. If I was ever going to use wool batting again, I would quilt make a 12″ square quilt sandwich and wash it. If it survives washing and drying without shrinking, hurrah! Good to go.

This is the other quilt that was ruined with this batting. We tried removing all the bits of batting fibres that were coming out of the quilt, but in the end gave up and tossed it. So sad- and expensive!

Maybe it is my science background, but this always reminded me of a molecule. I had originally intended to make a one block wonder from the center blocks, but ended up adding a blue solid to each block. and played with them on my design wall until I came up with this layout.

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