Thursday, October 28, 2010
This is my first quilt (I've never even quilted a coaster or 'mug rug'!). I took it off my sewing machine 2 minutes ago and wanted to jump around and start dancing!! It was definitely a monster project, but I'm so glad that I made it!
I used the Amy Butler Lotus quilt pattern, which I thought looked uncomplicated for my first outing. When I sewed the front of the quilt together, it was so sweet and fun. You can see my progress for this quilt in my previous blog posts for days zero, one, two, three, and five.
Fabric - This quilt took 198 squares, and I used fabric scraps that I've had shoved in a drawer for the past 4 years. I used each fabric once or twice, so it truly is a random work of art. These are all fabrics that I have used and loved over the years, and since I've had them for a bit, some of them are discontinued or hard to find. Besides the scraps, I purchased a yard of Alexander Henry Diamond Eye fabric for the binding; I love how the black and white pulls all the colors together. I used 4 yards of blue Kona cotton for the back, and Fairfield 80/20 twin quilt batting for the middle.
Illustrations/Instructions - Amy Butler's instructions are most always easy to follow. It was only one page of instructions, since you're mostly just sewing squares together, but I also appreciated the diagram showing how to connect the rows together.
Since this was my first attempt at quilting, I had no prior knowledge of what to use or how to do it. I consulted my sewing friends Kim, Amy, and Monique to answer my gazillion questions, and I also watched some videos on YouTube on how to sew the quilt binding to the quilt. My biggest difficulty was attaching all my layers together with the spray baster, and you can read my full headache on Day 5 of my progress (I don't want to relive it, lol). Thanks so everyone who offered so much helpful advice on my blog!!
The actual quilting took me a very long time. I used a pink thread in my needle and a blue thread in my bobbin (to match the backing). I feel like the two different threads gave it more coordination, as the front of my quilt had a majority of pink in the squares. In addition, when I cut the quilt binding, I used the cross grain and cut 4" strips (for double-fold bias). I wanted to make a thicker boarder in order to show more of the design of the border, as well as my main reason: I thought that a thicker boarder might hide any little design flaws I might run into (such as the batting/backing not being exactly straight from my 'wonderful' basting job).
Also, the quilt pattern called for the quilting to be done in stitch in the ditch. I had several people suggest I sew 1/4" off each seam, which I did for the vertical rows. When it came to my horizontal rows, the squares were not perfectly aligned (it's a brick pattern, but the imperfection was not that noticeable), so I sewed a straight line every 5 inches (as seen below). I think it turned out fine. I'm not a perfect sewer (ever).
Conclusion - I loved making this quilt pattern. The design was easy enough to build my confidence at the beginning to get me through all the tough spots in between. I definitely give credit to those of you who make quilts all the time...this was definitely a huge project, and I don't know how you do it! I promise that I will make another quilt in the future, but for now I'm back to sewing some more clothes and handbags. :-)
P.S. I'm posting this, my first quilt, for Quilt Festival. Please stop by and check out all the other quilts! And if you're visiting my blog from the Festival, please leave me a comment with any helpful nuggets that I can take and use for my quilting future. Thanks! :-)