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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Featured #battgirl Toby Thompson



Toby Thompson

 Toby Thompson


     I began quilting after graduating from college in 1976 inspired by my grandmother's hand quilting. After my first-hand stitched quilt,  (completed with her help), I pivoted to machine quilting.


     In those days, my favorite was making log cabin quilts.  Just a few years after that however, my career path & children took all my time and sewing went on hold.  30+ years passed.  I retired from teaching in 2015 & had inherited my mother's Bernina machine in 2013.  






     The machine intimidated me until this past fall when I desired to make each of my 3 grandchildren (ages 1, 3 & 5) a cozy, flannel quilt for Christmas to wrap them in my love despite our being 525 miles apart.  Yes, 3 quilts to make simultaneously after 30+ nonsewing years!  Because I was so "rusty,” every step in the process required a lot of thought, research, and input  from more experienced folks - selecting patterns, fabrics, batting, techniques, & even basics of how to use my mother's machine, starting with how to load the bobbin!     


 I chose two baby quilt patterns that I found online (Fluffy Pinwheels and Lazy Logs) and enlarged them both.  I selected flannel fabrics online and from an incredible Amish fabric store, Miller's Dry Goods, about 50 miles from me in Charm, OH.  Acquiring all the fabric, cutting, piecing & sewing 3 quilt tops took time!  As much of an accomplishment as it was to finish three quilt tops, I knew I was a long way from being finished and Christmas was quickly approaching.  I wanted to finish each quilt with a warm, lofty batting & either hand-tie or stitch-in-the-ditch to a minky/cuddle fabric backing to keep the quilts flexible and cozy for the children to wrap up with and read their beloved books.


 
     The batting choices in today's marketplace are overwhelming!  I was leaning toward another well-known brand's cotton batting until I read on the internet about Dream Puff batting by Quilter's Dream. I even called them to discuss the appealing description of Dream Puff for my project. I received super-helpful, personal advice & was even provided a list of stores in my area code that carry Quilter's Dream Puff, which included the Amish fabric store where I had bought some of the fabrics. Whew!  


     The quilts exceeded my hopes of being soft, lofty, warm, & cozy. My grandchildren love them, and I've made my presence in their daily lives much more frequent than the miles allow.  I'm getting ready to make another quilt, but only ONE quilt at a time. lol 


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