Back when I was planning for Christmas, I got it in my head that I would make each of my kids a quilt. Now, keep in mind, my previous foray into quilting was a small rag quilt and some patchwork baskets. I had read about quilting, but never had any lessons on how to do it. I had read about quilt patterns, picking fabrics and the “quilt sandwich”, but beyond that, I was on my own!
My daughter’s quilt actually came together quite easily at first. I had purchased a ton of flannel for her as a baby since I used it to make diapers. I had a lot leftover and I started gathering fabrics I thought would work well together. I played with the fabric until I finally decided to do a pinwheel type pattern. Now, for any quilters out there, I will warn you now that I didn’t use any particular pattern, so any resemblance to a “real” quilt pattern is completely incidental! I had to get a few more fabrics to finish the quilt, but I had a lot of fun picking those fabrics out! I was worried at first that the patterns would clash or look bad together, but, as I pieced and played, I realized that I really liked the way they turned out and I lost a lot of fear of patterns and picking fabrics! I did stick with flannel, since that is what I had started with. I am not sure it was the easiest way to go since it made sewing a bit more difficult with the extra weight, but the end result was wonderful!
After putting together the top, I went to the bottom. I had seen several quilts where the solid bottom was put together with a strip of fabric squares. I decided to do the same thing, especially since I needed just a bit more length. I love the way it looks!
The hardest part was the quilting. I don’t have a free motion foot for my machine, yet I didn’t have the patience or the time to hand quilt (remember, I was hoping to have this done for Christmas!) I decided to just have fun and do some wavy lines. They don’t look fabulous or anything, but they work for a little girl’s quilt. Moving that quilt around as I sewed was not easy! And I was glad I wasn’t trying this in the middle of summer either!
After quilting it, I really got stuck. I put it down and started on a quilt for my son. I currently have the quilt “sandwich” made and it is waiting to be quilted. Obviously, these didn’t get done in time for Christmas! I suddenly had developed a mental block and it was all from one thing: the binding! I was scared to death of the binding! I didn’t know what fabric to choose, I was scared of not cutting it straight and messing it all up, I had no idea how wide to make it. It was terrible! And then I ventured to JoAnn’s and found premade blanket binding! Yes, I know it may be considered cheating by some, but it helped me break through that blockade! It isn’t flannel, but it works well for the blanket. Once I bought it and sat down to sew it on, it went on fast! I sewed it on to the first side with the machine, then decided to hand sew, using a slip stitch, to sew it to the bottom. My mitered corners left a bit to be desired but I got at least one good one!
I finally finished the quilt tonight! Thankfully, my daughter adores it. In fact, she, her daddy and her brother were all cuddled under it before bed while watching a DVD together! I can’t recall the exact dimensions, but it almost completely covers the top of our CA King bed. I wanted to make sure it was big enough for her to get use of it as she grew. I am proud of my first effort. I think I may invest in a free motion foot within the next year. And most of all, I am happy she likes it! She doesn’t care if the quilting sucks or if the miters are perfect!