I got through it in the end and finished my first ever quilt, but it wasn't without plenty of errors and snarling along the way. I started this a couple of weeks back, then got to the point of spray basting it all together, but wasn't sure how to actually ‘quilt' it. I'd already made a bit of a problem for myself because I hadn't thought in advance about what size it was going to be, and you know how one problem often compounds to make a project a disaster?
Well, I think I avoided the disaster in the end and it came out pretty good, but I'm not sure I'm ready any time soon to be doing this again. I've had two expecting ladies ask me for a baby quilt, and this will satisfy one of them, the other will be getting something a bit different.
I was stuck at the point of actually adding the quilting stitches so I signed up for Start Free Motion Quilting. It really was excellent, and over the course of the lessons I learned enough stitches and felt confident enough at the end, that with a bit of practice, I could at least make something I wouldn't be embarrassed about handing over.
That didn't always go smoothly and sometimes I was concentrating so hard on what was happening under my needle that I didn't notice what was happening under my fabric and several times I quilted the quilt to itself and had to undo, luckily just at the edges. Snarl.
I found it really difficult to move the fabric around as I wanted it and get it all in the harp of the machine, even with this little quilt. Taking the course and practicing the stitches on test pieces was easy, but trying to move around the whole quilt smoothly to make the swirls and stitches was much harder. That are rather more jagged bits or abrupt stops than I would have liked. It took me the whole day and my hands, arms and shoulders were very sore by the end.
Overall, my free-motion quilting was pretty poor, but then I forgave myself. It is my first ever time, its not being entered into a quilting show. The expectant mum will be far too concerned about the upcoming labour to worry about the state of my quilting stitches and the new baby will just like it because it's snuggly and pretty. It gives me a feel-good feeling inside to make something for them both and I know it will be loved and appreciated.
Once it was all quilted, I squared it up, but nothing had really changed, everything was still good, except it had shrunk up a bit, and was more puffy and quilty so had actually lost a few inches in measurement. That's something I hadn't thought about, but it makes perfect sense.
There was a small piece of bright pink in my stash that just about gave me enough for the binding. My plan had been to completely machine sew it, stitching in the ditch from the front to just catch the back. That always makes me a bit nervous. I was about 3/4 of the way around stitching on the binding when I realised that owls were looking up at me – I was sewing the binding on the BACK of the quilt. Snarl again. Too late now to take it off, so I sewed the whole lot onto the back of the quilt and then hand stitched the front down.
As much as I can't be bothered with hand sewing, I think it gave a nicer finish so it was worth it. A quick press and the quilt was finished. Thank goodness.
So here it is – my first, and probably last, ever quilt. Now it's done I love it and I'm proud of what I made.
I think it's going to make a lovely baby gift. But I really feel sad about handing it over now.
Have you ever sewn something for someone else and then not wanted to give it away?
Authored by: Deby at So Sew Easy