Saturday, November 6, 2010

My First Quilt

Welcome to my blog, everyone. I've created this site so that I can share some of my projects with you. The first one I'll showcase is my first quilting project! My first project happened to be a baby quilt for my sister, who just recently had a lovely daughter, Anabel. I made the quilt over the summer and gave it to her before Anabel arrived. It was a lot of fun, so I'm sure I'll be making more! I'm already working on my second one right now. It's a slow process for me because I don't have a lot of time for sewing - but it's fun anyway!

So, onto the quilt project! Here's a sneak peak of some of the fabric:

The quilt I decided to make was a rail fence quilt. Someone suggested Start Quilting by Alex Anderson as a good book to start out with. As it turned out, the rail fence quilt was perfect for me! It was so much easier than I was expecting, which made the process more fun. The first step, of course, was picking the fabric. I decided to go with a general palette of pink, green, and brown. My wonderful parents were kind enough to go fabric shopping for me on a recent trip to Tokyo, so there are six different fabrics direct from Japan in this quilt! The rest of the fabrics were purchased from and Ikea (the backing fabric, which I found on sale for $2.99 per yard, was awesome because it was 59" wide - no piecing necessary!).

Piecing was easy! Long strips that were sewn together and then sliced into squares. I'm glad I read the directions for this because if I had done this on my own, I would have cut out each tiny strip and then pieced each square separately! What a waste of time that would have been ... After all the piecing, I had to pick a border fabric. I selected this awesome piggy fabric from Japan.

Of course, it wasn't all easy-going. I nearly had a nervous breakdown at the basting stage. I took the directions I had a little too seriously and it took me 45 minutes to pin about 1/10th of the quilt because I was putting them so close together! I was freaking out a little bit. After some more reading in other books, I determined that maybe I should try thread basting, so I gave that a shot. At the end of my basting process, I had a Frankenstein-like basting job with half pins and half thread - and overall I had spent several hours doing it. Then I started the quilting! This was a fun part of the project ... except for the fact that I was a bit anal and wanted my diamond-pattern to be perfect. I marked out the lines using blue painter's tape - which is a great way to do it, but it did take a lot of time.

After the quilting was finished, it was on to the binding. I got a tip from a quilting friend (check out her blog here) on how to do the binding and it really helped. Of course, I was following the instructions she gave me and I made a HUGE mistake. I didn't realize this mistake until I had attached the entire binding onto the front of the quilt. What was the mistake, you ask? Well ... I attached the binding upside down ... so when I went to flip it over the edge to hand-stitch onto the back, I had two cut edges, rather than the folded edge! Wow. What a stupid mistake. Of course, I had to rip the whole thing out and start the binding over! Needless to say, I was pretty frustrated at this point. Oh well - I redid the binding, hand-stitched the back side, and it was done! I was so thrilled by the result.

What do you all think? Want to see some more photos? Here they are:

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