New quilt

I’ve decided to take on the block of the month from Polkadot Chair blog!

  
Super excited.  I can’t believe how much my piecing has improved in the past two years – both the cutting and the 1/4 inch seams.

I’m using the Lined Dried sampler from Connecting Threads.  I think I’ll just stick with this whole line for the blocks – should then come out with some sort of cohesion…hopefully!

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Quilt #2 complete

My second quilt is complete and has been shipped off to my mom.  She received it yesterday and loved it.  Hopefully she gets lots of time snuggling underneath it during the upcoming winter.  

I didn’t use a pattern, just sewed some strips together in like colours and then added sashing and border.  It turned out larger than I expected, so I pieced an extra strip on the back.  

This was fun to make, but I realized that quilting with two little ones around is hard – there is not a lot of time when I am really “free”.  I actually took a half vacation day to baste it and do the quilting because I couldn’t have them running all over it while I was trying to pin it!

  

The Quilt.

It’s been basted, quilted, and the binding has been machine stitched to the front awaiting it’s final hand sewn finish. And it has been sitting that way for about a month.

This was the first time I have made a quilt so of course it is also the first time I basted. I used my basement floor and lots and lots of pins. The batting is 100% cotton and I’m glad I used a natural fibre.

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So many pins!!

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I made a simple label for the quilt back using the same solid cotton I used for the backing. I cut a square (maybe 5 inch?), folded it in half across the diagonal, pressed it, drew some lines with a water soluble market and just wrote “hand made by (my name), (place), spring 2014”. Just something to give some context to it in 50 years when I hope it is still being used by someone. I pinned it to the bottom right corner (on the back) lined up with two sides and stitched it into the quilt as I sewed on the binding.

I did notice one spot where I didn’t catch the edge of the quilt top in the binding. I think my only option is to stitch a second line in that spot, to catch the edge, and just have a bit of an uneven binding. With so many other imperfections, that is hardly going to be noticeable.

To quilt it, I couldn’t follow the seams like I wanted to do. Because they were so out of line with each other it would have been very obvious. Instead I did parallel diagonal lines across the top. I used painters tape as a guide.

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First quilt top complete!

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This has been a very fun project. Not very difficult, which was perfect for practicing sewing straight lines and just using the sewing machine in general. I used charm packs of Baby Jane by Eric and Julie Comstock for Moda. It actually wound up being cheaper than purchasing yardage of all these different prints – even if I only purchased quarter yards. I found that strange, but went with it. This top is larger than I thought it would be. Considering I used actual math to figure out what size I was making I’m not sure why I’m surprised…I think visually it is larger than the picture I had in my mind. Quilting will shrink it a bit, and so will washing since I plan to use a cotton batting. The backing will be the coordinating Bella Solids In Flax (the grayish tone) and the binding will be the coordinating Bella Solids in Aqua. Not very imaginative, but it’s more about process.
The seams are not perfect…at all. I put together long strips and then had to sew those together. I would have had better luck sewing nine patches or something similar and then putting those together. But of course I didn’t come across that hint online until after all 14 strips were done and I was wondering how I could fix mismatched seams without ripping it all out. There was a fair amount of ripping! But there was also a fair amount of embracing the learning process and being happy with imperfections. My husband pointed out that no one was going to be cuddled under it on the sofa critiquing it… I’m also hoping quilting makes it less noticeable. I think I’ll do parallel lines on each side of the seams – maybe 1/4 inch on each side. I’m not sure yet.
All hands on deck seem to approve.

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Coming together

My first quilt top is slowly coming together. It feels exciting and like the start of something really great. Learning to use a sewing machine has been on my list for quite a while. It’s been on the big general “to do” list for several years, in fact. So I’m quite pleased that I have actually started down the path. My straight lines aren’t perfect and I’m only starting to figure out that in order to fix issue A you need more/less tension on thingy B, etc…but it’s very fun to be figuring it all out.

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Hobbies

I have a number of hobbies. All are craft oriented and all involve creating. The satisfaction of working on something and finishing with something tangible is wonderful. This morning I am working on learning how to finish a quilt. I have only recently figured out how to use the sewing machine and have been making mini placemats (mug rugs they are called, apparently) and coasters. I have machine stitches the binding to the front and am now attempting to hand sew it to the back. It’s not great, but practice will make…not perfect, but better.

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