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Tuesday, May 06, 2014

My First Quilt!

So if you follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, you may be fed up with this quilt by now as I've shared a lot of pics of it already but I wanted to blog about it too. Because I'm very proud of it.

Earlier in the year I promised both girls a quilt each. I thought I'd try to make them for their birthdays in April. As Vanessa's birthday was first, I started hers first. The top was pieced together with mainly 5inch charm pack squares, although I did cut a few from fat quarters too. I love using pre-cut squares. Just grap a pack and start sewing. 

The trickies part of this quilt was sandwiching the top, batting and backing together. I read lots of tutorials about how to do it but I didn't allow enough time and I didn't have any masking tape. I layed the backing fabric on the lounge floor, the batting (which was way too big) on top and then the quilt top on top of that. As we have laminate flooring, the fabric was sliding all over the place. If I'd stuck it down with masking tape I think it would have worked much better. In the end I got so fed up I just sandwiched it together and the backing ended up wonky with a bit of the selvedge showing. 

There are also several puckers and gathers on the back. I don't care though. It looks okay from the front.

I thought the quilting would be challenging but it was surprisingly easy, even on my compact Singer sewing machine. I started at one edge and did straight lines across the quilt. I lined my walking foot up with the piecing seams and quilted one line either side of the piecing seam. The lines aren't straight but the're not too bad.

I looked and looked for a tutorial for machine sewing the binding on but everywhere I looked it said to hand finish it. I sewed the first side on the machine on the back then folded it over to the front and hand-stitched it. It took days and even though I mainly worked on it in the evenings it did loose me some important knitting time. I dind't have a thimble and my fingers got sore. I've since bought some pads to stick on my fingers for next time. Although I've also found a tutorial for machine binding so I'm going to try that next time. I really do not enjoy hand sewing. It's too slow. When I sit down I like to knit! I thought i was supposed to stitch right though all layers of fabric but apprently that's not right. 

The quilt is big and meaures in at about 175x165cm. It's not quite enough for our double bed but hopefully it'll be big enough for Vanessa to snuggle under in her uni accommodation next year. She's coming home soon for the summer, so I folded it double and put it on her bed at home.

I'm now working on a single quilt for Emily. I'm using 5 inch charm packs again and using the same 9 patch blocks I did for Vanessa's quilt.

I've got lots of new designs to share later in the week but in the meantime take a look at this week's newsletter.


Bryl said...

What you need is a friend to help you sandwich the pieces together and then baste it with (curved) safety pins. I found it easier to use one of those cardboard sewing boards on a table - it saved back ache!

Anonymous said...

I did use curved safety pins and Simon did help but only towards the end of the process. The quilt was too big for the table. I should have waited and got some masking tape. got some spray basting stuff for next time too.