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 😉

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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…

WIP to share

Today, I have a rather large project I am working on to share with you.

I am trying a new craft-quilting! So far, it has been pretty easy. I have made smaller quilted items before, and I took a quilting class at our local craft store with my mom a while back, and it was pretty fun. The block we made was far too complicated for me at this stage, so I decided to make it a little simpler. For my quilt, I took 7″ squares in fabrics I really like and sewed them together to make the quilt top.

Beginning of quilt top

Beginning of quilt top

Why 7 inch squares, you might ask? Well, because I confused perimeter and area when I was trying to figure out how large to cut each square. I was thinking 6 inch squares, with 1/4″ seams, and well, mathed it out in my head, and, well, it did not quite work out. It does not really matter, though, as long as they are all the same size. I eventually got them all sewn together and I have 8 columns and 10 rows. It is HUGE!

Quilt top finished

Quilt top finished

I like how it turned out, and I am looking forward to the finished quilt. I am not looking forward to the next part, sandwiching and quilting. I am a bit nervous about it, worried that if I mess it up, all that hard work would have been wasted. I will get brave (hopefully soon), and begin work on the next steps. Maybe even later today 🙂

First Attempt at Fabric Stuffed Animals

Here is my first attempt at a stuffed owl from fabric quarters and scraps.  It was really fun to make.  I got the pattern on Neesy’s on Cut Out and Keep.  It was really easy.  The only foreseeable problem is that I will never throw away another scrap, because I now know I can repurpose them for eyes, beaks, mouths, etc.  Oh well, it is good and bad 🙂  I stuffed him with polyfill and the yarn scraps I have been saving up 🙂 He is not perfect, but I think he was a good trial run, and I know what to do/what not do for next time.  And yes, there WILL be a next time 🙂