As promised, here are some pictures of my first-ever quilt.
Let me start by saying this was supposed to be an experimental quilt. I meant to make a small throw for use in the office when I’m sitting in the red chair reading my books. I like being near Brendan, but I always need a little blanket as I get chilly fairly easily.
This small experiment, however, took on a life of its own. It is 8’6″ square. How did it morph into something so large? Well, I have a theory. I really didn’t want to commit to making a full-size quilt. I thought that would be arrogance in the extreme of this little sewing novice and would mock the skill and experience of other family members <cough-Grandma Leibbrand and Aunt Becky-cough>. To avoid commitment and the faux pas of hubris, I purchased fabric from the clearance rack at Wal-Mart. It is difficult to find matching fabrics with such a scanty selection, thus I went the shabby chic route and chose colors and patterns that looked nice together, but didn’t actually match. Brendan was with me, and in Eve fashion, I blame him for buying so much fabric that I ended up with a huge quilt because he kept saying it was so cheap I may as well buy a full yard in each fabric that I chose.
I cut the fabric into squares for a simple patchwork quilt because every website I came across suggested a simple patchwork as the best starting point for a first-timer. I am also too intimidated to even think of trying something more complicated.
After sewing my squares into rows of 16, I finally put them all together. I either can’t cut properly or my seams are off because some square points do not match up. :}
And some do:
I used a king-sized flat sheet (also from Wal-Mart) for the quilt backing. The quilting of the “sandwich” (what’s the terminology?) was the most laborious part. I hand-stitched a little X at each intersection of the squares.
Thinking I was home free, I moved on to machine sewing the quilt “sandwich.” I decided to do a square around every other X. I chose a ridiculous decorative stitch, not thinking that I would have to sew and feed the material through at an even pace to keep the stitches even (something I didn’t accomplish so well). I also wasn’t thinking about the fact that because of the stitch’s appearance I would have to stuff the entire 8′+ length of quilt through the little space to the right of my needle when sewing in certain directions to keep my stupid fancy stitch symmetrical.
Once the machine quilting was done and I vowed never to make a quilt again, I was ready for the binding. I bought pre-made binding tape and had to Google how to attach the four strips of binding. Once I sewed the binding on (again with my fancy stitch because I’m masochistic) I realized that it would flip up unless I tacked it down closer to the edge, which I did with a straight stitch. The corners are all wonky. I Googled how to do corners, but I must not have understood anything I read. Oh well. The quilt is done. And the mistakes make it charming, . . . right?
Overall, I do like it. I wish it weren’t quite so feminine, but Brendan doesn’t seem to mind:
I don’t know if I’ll ever put myself through that again, but it does feel good to walk into the bedroom and see it.