First quilt: finished!

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.