Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My very first Quilt!

Well, its completed! I've made my very first quilt. Of course I've pieced four more; as I was immediately hooked, but this is the very first completed and ready to give away. Start to finish it took me almost a year. It was much more difficult to find someone to do the longarm quilting for me (for a reasonable price) than I thought it would be, but I found Amy through Bearpaws and Hollyhocks and am pleased with her work. Binding was a bit more tricky than I thought it would be, especially since I am a lazy woman and couldn't even entertain the idea of hand stitching one bit of this thing. So, the binding is a bit off and, as things always go, I learned a great deal on what NOT to do while I was completing this.

Here is the story of this quilt:

I was in Joann looking for some flannel for burp cloths and came across this.

Now, if you happen to know R and S you know that this fabric was just perfect for the little girl they were expecting. Not traditional, not contemporary, not baby-ish or particularly girly. Its like the modern girl's answer to the jolly roger; just girly enough with a bit of a trad tattoo feel to it. In a word, perfect. So, as Joann was having a great sale, I bought 2.5 yards and brought it home. The more I looked at it, the more it seemed a shame to chop up this perfect fabric into rectangles for her to puke all over. So, what then? Inspired by E's quilt for Punkin' I did some research online. I found a plethora of information, one website for beginning quilters recommended flannel for baby quilts so I read everything I could, bought some coordinating fabrics and got to work designing blocks. After some struggling and a great deal of help from E, I finally got the blocks cut. Now for the border. Well, I thought, if flannel is great for babies because its soft, a minky would be great for the border because its even softer. Little did I know that flannel and minky are VERY hard to work with. I think I took this thing apart three times only to re-piece it! But, in the end, I got it together. Wonky, but together. Amy did this great design with hearts and stars and sent it back to me. Then, more research. I could find 10,000 tutorials online about how to do a continuous binding with a mitered corner (exactly what I wanted) but they all required hand stitching! As I mentioned before, I'm much too lazy for that (plus it would be another year before it was finished). So, I made the worlds smallest quilt and practiced. I decided to do a straight stitch in matching thread. It worked ok, one side is longer than the other and I think after washing the binding is going to roll up on that side as the stitching is in from the edge a bit. In the end, I like the way it turned out even though there is so much wrong with it. And, I've learned a valuable lesson...never learn how to do something on a piece you intend to give away. I hope it holds up!

Made with love for Mia M. Enjoy!

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