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 😉

Advertisements

Easy Summer Knit Skirt

This week I have been busy with my new sewing machine, which I LOVE!!! I mended the seam on a cover-up dress. I played with the stitch patterns on some scrap fabric. I started the gadget pouch, but may or may not be stuck on the zipper. I finished the bunting for July (more on that later), and I made a super easy knit skirt.

 

Gray skirt

Gray skirt

I had originally done this skirt as a maxi skirt, but realized that I had the fabric going sideways. I left it in my closet for a long while because the old sewing machine could barely sew a straight line, let alone sew a knit skirt again!

I cut the waist band off the old skirt and used it again. Then I turned the fabric sideways, which was actually the right way, cut it and sewed it to the waist band.

side view

side view

I decided to try one of my fancy stitches, so I folded the waistband down and used a sort of diamond decorative stitch to hold it in place. Looks totally adorable.

Decorative stitch

Decorative stitch

I am really pleased with how it turned out, and really excited to have a super easy breezy, wear anywhere, summer knit skirt!! SO it’s officially back. Summer of No Pants 2013 (SONP!!) – mostly because it is too hot to wear pants in Texas, but also because I want to keep working on my sewing skills. This summer I am challenging myself to make tops, shorts, and dresses as well as skirts. I am off to a good start.

How do you stay cool in the summer?

 

Sisterly inspiration

Two of my very favorite people in the world are my two younger sisters.  They are both fun and funny and creative.  We are a very close family, and I would do anything for them.  I am so glad that we all live in the same city so that we can be close and inspire each other.  Since this is a craft blog, I would like to share a craft I made, that was inspired by a project my sister did 🙂

Here is her fabric rag wreath that she made for her classroom.  She teaches high school history, and typically decorates her room in red, white and blue.  Here is the wreath I made to put in my elementary orchestra classroom.  

It almost makes me ready for the new school year to start 🙂