My First Quilt

I finally finished my first quilt. It was quite a bit of work along the way, but as soon as I put the binding on and it came together, all the work was well worth it!

We had President’s Day off school. I had just returned from a long, but amazing music educator conference, so I needed a craft project to fill the day. I had already sandwiched my quilt, twice (see this post for details on that learning experience), and it had been sitting, folded neatly, waiting, since then. I declared it quilt finishing day! I gathered all my materials, and got to work. I sewed all my purchased bias tape together to create the binding. I had a slight miscalculation (3 yds = 9 ft, not 3 ft, oops!) in my binding needed, I now have about 90 extra feet of red bias tape. I guess I will have to find some good use for that, any ideas? In the future, I may try making my own binding for the quilt.

bias tape for days

bias tape for days

As soon as I pressed and pinned the binding to the quilt, I started to get very excited. It really looked like a quilt now, and not a bunch of raggedy squares sewn together, slightly haphazardly. I texted DH with a pic of the binding pinned on, with many exclamation points attached to convey my enthusiasm.

coming together with pins

coming together with pins

I watched about 7,000* tutorials on how to sew on binding, how to do mitered corners, and generally how to finish the quilt, and then I finally started to feel confident that I could in fact handle this project.

* so maybe it was just 5 or 6 videos

* so maybe it was just 5 or 6 videos

The corners turned out great, very clean looking.

mitered corners ftw!

mitered corners ftw!

The process took most of the day, and slowly but surely, I sewed each side on the front. Then I pressed and pinned and stitched in the ditch to tack down binding on the back. It looks really great. I had only one place where I did not catch the binding on the back but I was quickly able to hand sew and fix that at the end.

front and back

front and back

It is a lap size blanket, and it is very light weight.

quilt laid out on king size bed - for perspective

quilt laid out on king size bed – for perspective

Here it is in its more permanent home, the couch. I have used it every night since I made it. Since it is still Winter, I have had to use another blanket with it. It is not that warm, because I used cotton batting, but will be just the right thing for Spring evenings.

couch blanket

couch blanket

I am really proud of it, and have learned a lot while making it – not just about how to make a quilt, but about being a more confident sewist, sewer, (what is the right word here?). Even though I was nervous about several of the steps along the way to finish this project, I researched the steps, took my time, and really thought through each bit. As I planned out each section I took comfort in knowing I could rip out stitches if they were not right, and although that can be disheartening, I tried not to let it get me down. I did not put a deadline on this quilt, but allowed it to be finished in its own time, which helped make it a very low stress project. I am excited to add this craft to the list of things I enjoy.

Thanks for checking it out, and I welcome any suggestions and ideas for how to use up 90-ish feet of bias tape below 😉

Quilt progress

I am sooo excited about this quilt I am making. One of my craft goals this year is to try some new crafts. I want to explore crafting options, trying to keep it fresh. So this month has been a quilty month. I shared the first step – the quilt top making – here.

I basted it the first time shortly thereafter, but I did it on carpet and it created several huge wrinkles in the back. I was defeated, and set it aside to regroup. Last Sunday, I rebasted it in the living room, where we have wood floors. My DH was very helpful when I was laying out the backing, and our two wonderful puppies tried very hard to help as well. They are not as helpful as they want to be 😉

It worked-no wrinkles!

Basting party

Basting party

Today, I had some free time, so I decided to go for the quilting! It took several hours of very slow work. I had to fold and roll it strategically to fit it in my machine. I don’t think I would have the patience for hand quilting, although it looks amazing!

Ready for quilting

Ready for quilting

It was not tedious work, exactly, but it did require quite a bit of concentration. At one point, I had to stop and make buffalo wings for the game today, but then I went right back to it. Now it is quilted, and looks great. I trimmed the excess off, and it is ready for binding! I will try to get to that this week, or maybe next weekend.

Ready for binding

Ready for binding

Quilt ready

Quilt ready

I am thoroughly enjoying this process and learning how quilting works. If you are going to try it, I recommend a smaller project to try first. At first, I thought this would be the only quilt I ever made. Now that I have gotten the hang of it, I might do this again – I do have quite a few scrap fabrics…