Thursday, 3 July 2008

Start small

That was the advice given to me by many when I mentioned I wanted to make a quilt. Start small. Start with a wall hanging, a place mat or even a tiny lap quilt. It was great advice, but you know when you have a vision of exactly what you want and can't imagine making anything else? Well, my vision was a big quilt. A simple pattern, with large squares, but full size nonetheless. I picked out my fabric, cut some big squares and my son helped me lay them out. It was very important to him that all three of us be able to fit under it and how could I say no to such a sweet request?

My quilt grew and grew, and even when I sewed all the squares together, I didn't realize how big it really was. All went well and all went quickly until I got to the quilting part. It was there I learned that, apparently, I can't sew a straight line. When I finally admitted to myself that the quilting did not look good, I had already quilted half of it. And as I ripped it out, I had to laugh at myself because it looked so bad, yet I kept quilting away and thinking to myself that the finished product would somehow look better.

After coming to terms that I would not be sewing a straight line on my quilt, I decided to make the quilting lines purposefully wavy. This worked beautifully, and it quilted up quickly (for such a very large quilt). A few days to do the binding and here it is:

See how big it is? 87 inches by 70 inches to be precise. But I am so thrilled that we have a cozy blanket (which I just happened to finish in the hottest month of the year but oh well :-) I love the way it looks, I love it's weight and I love it's colours!
Here is a shot of the backing and my first attempt at binding. I have to admit, the whole project could have been very overwhelming, but by breaking it down into steps it seemed so easy. I had the help of Better Homes and Gardens Complete Guide to Quilting (which is loaded with tons of photos) and of course, the expertise of my dear friend, Katherine, who not only showed me how to do the hand stitching on the binding, but picked up a needle and thread to help me sew it. When I got home, I looked at my binding (where I completed 1/2 of one of the sides) and Katherine's (who completed almost 2 full sides) and was incredibly thankful to her, not only for showing me how to finish my quilt, but for helping me to complete it that much quicker.

I'm so pleased with my first quilt! And no part of it put me off quilting - as I was sewing up the binding, I was already planning future quilts. Hmm... maybe I will become 'Quilt Girl' and quilt all the time and make quilts for everyone...

8 comments:

Katherine said...

Way to dive into the deep end, Samantha! Your first quilt is absolutely beautiful. I totally believe you can become 'Quilt Girl' and can't wait to see what you make next.

Momma said...

It is truly beautiful Samantha, I love the colors! The family will be cozy warm under there!

You go Quilt Girl!

momma

Heather said...

It looks so beautiful, you must be so proud of yourself. What a great job.

Fantastic Five said...

I love it! You amazing quilter, you! The colours are fantastic! You have inspired me. I want to get out my fabric and play too.

Dianne

Mary-Sue said...

BEAUTIFUL! I say use it as a picnic quilt until it's cool enough to crawl under it! It's much to pretty to put away!

Amanda said...

That is so beautiful. I love the colours. It seems you have uncovered some hidden talents. You go, Quilt Girl!!!

Andrea said...

Oh, it is so beautiful! Congratulations!

Samantha said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone! :-)