First quilt: finished!

10Mar12

Quilt on the sofa

I’ve been itching to write this post for THREE WEEKS. Three weeks ago I finished this, but I’ve only had the chance to take a few photos today.

So the thing is, this quilt is far from perfect, but I honestly couldn’t be more pleased with it. It’s a bit wonky, the stitches aren’t always straight, but I really had a lot of fun (and frustration) making it, and I learnt a lot. Also, it’s got a lot of happy memories associated with it, dating back to a beautiful weekend last August when I bought the fabric.

Anyone with the interest in reading this (if there is anyone!) will probably know how enticing bundles of fabric are in quilt shops. I finally succumbed in Quiltessential, where the owner was so helpful and encouraging that before I knew it, I’d bought myself a bundle of fabric and a rotary cutter. She seemed pretty sure I could make something, and I thought ‘you know what? You’ll never know till you try’. Up until that point all I’d made were lavender bags, I hasten to add, and I’d never heard of a ‘fat quarter’.

Anyway, I took from last September until 3 weeks ago to cut the pieces, patchwork them, buy the backing fabric, baste it, quilt it and bind it, but I’ve done it! And really, I did the whole thing by reading tutorials and watching some videos on the internet. (Thank you internet!) I should also add, that I wasn’t working on the quilt continuously, I doesn’t take *that* long!

back strip

I’ve looked at a lot of quilts online, and noticed people adding nice details to the back, so this is the back of mine – or a bit of it. It’s got a strip of patchworked offcuts and a strip of solid fabric, which runs across the shortest length. I really like it actually, and so when I make my next one, I’ll make more of an effort with it. And yes, I’m already planning my next one.

In the end I machined the front of the binding (this is my machine), and hand stitched the back, which really didn’t take as long as I thought it would. It’s not 100% easy quilting on the Singer (I still don’t have / really know what a ‘walking foot’ is) but it’s manageable. I might not win any prizes for the evenness of my stitches, but that’s not really a problem as I wasn’t planning on entering anything!

It’s the perfect size for wrapping yourself up in on the sofa – or just staring at for a bit 🙂

quilt

So here’s the thing. If you’d like to make a quilt and you’re a bit worried about it, don’t be. It’s just sewing, and if you get it wrong, you can unpick it. Unpicking might be annoying and take some time, but nobody dies. And at the end of it, you’ve got a *thing*, you’ve learnt something, and you’ve had some fun along the way. If you don’t know anyone that quilts, and you can’t get to, or afford any lessons, make the most of what you have – the internet. People are very kind with their time, and the online tutorials I’ve found have all been brilliant.

Useful links:
For inspiration, check out some of the Flickr quilting groups, it’s how I settled on a Pinwheel quilt.

If you’re beginning with biggish squares of fabric, this video shows how to make ‘fast and easy pinwheels’ (Please note, you don’t have to be fast, I certainly wasn’t!)

And if you’re using smaller squares, then the second method here is the method I used.

I used a variety of tutorials for basting and quilting – but I’m not sure that there was any specific tutorial I would recommend over any others you might find. I used the ‘stitch in the ditch’ method of quilting, as it was the best chance I had at getting straight lines!

For the binding I used this tutorial from Crazy Mom Quilts, and next time I think I might machine bind, using this tutorial from Red Pepper Quilts.

…Phew.

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22 Responses to “First quilt: finished!”

  1. BEAUTIFUL! Your choice of colours and blocks is perfect. Congrats on your first quilt, you did a lovely job.

  2. Well done. I love it. You have the right attitude too. Enjoy the process and the end product and don’t let perfection get in the way. Must get round to making another quilt one day, right now though too many ideas in my head!!

  3. Great job! Pretty fabrics. Have you decided what you want to do for the next onr

  4. This is fabulous! I love the colours and the frame you put around the edge of the pinwheels 🙂 It really sets off the design.

  5. 8 Jane

    It looks lovely and you are right to be pleased with it. You really are an inspiration you know, so many talents!

    So what’s the plans for the next one?

  6. 9 Katy

    It’s gorgeous! I love the colours and the wee pieced stripe up the back. I’ve just finished a top too, and I’ve been trying to decide what to do with the back…

    • Thanks! I hadn’t realised what a difference it would make to the back, actually. I did it in a bit of a rush as I was so anxious to get it finished, next time I’d definitely consider it as a bit more important. Show us yours!

  7. 11 Leeanne

    Great job on a lovely quilt. It makes me miss my grandma.

    • Thank you. And if you don’t mind me saying, if quilts, colours and happy hours spent making things makes you remember your Grandma, then what a lovely way to be remembered.

  8. That is just so cute! I love everything about it – simple design, colour combination, cute fabrics.

    Congratulations on your new skill. It is not something I wish to try, I think, but I can surely appreciate it!

  9. Love it. It is beautiful!

  10. 15 charlietwo

    What a great first attempt, I cannot wait to see what you come up with next.
    Just keep adding to you skills as no attempt at a craft is ever wasted ,what is a waste is not doing something in case you fail, we all have to start somewhere and learning by your mistakes is sometimes the best way to learn. it is also great that you are prepaired to share you success and failures with us all.

  11. 17 quirky

    I’m in awe! What a fantastic result! I spend so much time unpicking that I rarely get to see something finished 🙂

    I’m borrowing your quote as my new mantra ‘ It’s just sewing, and if you get it wrong, you can unpick it. Unpicking might be annoying and take some time, but nobody dies. And at the end of it, you’ve got a *thing*, you’ve learnt something, and you’ve had some fun along the way’

    Perfect! 🙂

    • Thank you! And I’ve seen your blog, so I know that’s not true 🙂 I found your blog via Oh Sew Tempting, and thought we were rather similar on the crafting front, hence the follow! And it IS meant to be fun, and you can only ever do the best you can, which (as Radiohead said once in a more cheerful moment) is good enough. (And no one likes perfect people anyway ;o) lovely to meet you!

      • 19 quirky

        Lovely to meet you too 🙂 A kindred spirit is always a welcome friend!

  12. 20 martin

    What a wonderful quilt and some amazing Tatting. I had heard so much about your quilt and how good it was so i wanted to see it myslef as i am about to attempt my first one on a machine very similar to yours. Will never be able to produce work to the quality of yours. the perfect work gene must run in your family as your mums work is always somthing to be aqdmired. I sit across from her every Thursday and can only admire what she produces. but would never tell her. She would be so proud of the work you produce. not seen tatting since my mum passed away 29 years ago so really nice to see it again.

    • Hello Martin! Thank you for dropping by, and for the kind comments. I’m not quite up to my mum’s standards just yet, but neither of us will ever get there if we don’t try. I have every faith you’ll be able to make a beautiful quilt! Mine isn’t perfect at all, but you can’t see the wonky stitching in that photo. I’m really looking forward to hearing how you get on. I think you’ll really enjoy it, which is surely the main point of doing it. And like I said up there ^ you can always unpick bits if you’re not happy. (I did).
      Good luck, and have fun. And if there’s anything you think I can help you with, then let me know.


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