Another new thing I learned this year was how to make a Doodle Quilt. My friend Annabel Wrigley, whom I first met at a Heather Ross Design workshop in NYC years ago, came to Michigan in September to teach two Doodle Quilt workshops with the Detroit Area Modern Quilt Guild and the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild. I was excited for the chance to learn how to do this from her, as I’ve admired her doodle quilts since she started posting them on Instagram a few years ago (check out #doodlequilt for some serious inspo).
I worked on this gold quilt during the workshop, encouraged by Annabel to really go for it with the bold background color even though my initial feelings were that I should stick to white or grey.
At the end of the day, I went home and immediately made another teal one #obsessed. Clementine was also intrigued watching me do this and together we made one for her. I still haven’t finished the gold one and Clementine’s is still in progress, but the teal one is already hanging up in our front entryway.
As someone who teaches, I find taking classes that aren’t about sewing garments to be incredibly fun. To be the person in the room who knows the least about what’s going on is amusing and interesting. I know you think I’m exaggerating but remember that this was a guild workshop, so these ladies were serious quilters. I didn’t even come with the right kind of thread (not knowing enough about quilting threads), but it ended up not being an issue. When you start knowing very little about something, the feeling of figuring something out (that light-bulb moment!) is really great.
One thing I love about these quilts is that start with this random doodle and end up with something that looks colorful and bold. It’s a great way to use smaller solid pieces of fabric (scrap alert!) and being relatively small, they make great wall hangings, and don’t take as much time as a larger bed-spread-style quilt might. I also love the matchstitck quilting. It’s downright calming to sew back and forth, creating lines that are roughly 1/4″ apart.
If you’re into learning how to do this, I’d encourage you to find a copy of Modblock Magazine 2018 vol 4, as Annabel is no longer teaching this workshop (as of this writing, she has moved on to other — very exciting — projects), but she has written a great article and included a pattern for a doodle quilt in this issue.
I also consulted Elizabeth Hartman’s book, Practical Guide to Patchwork, for tips on how to do the actual quilting of the layers (we didn’t cover much of that in the workshop, as we were mainly working on completing the top).
If you love these doodle quilts as much as I do, put it on your to-sew list — it’s really fun!