There were a lot of firsts last week for me. I completed my first original design quilt top and also finished the largest quilt I’ve made to date. With both of these accomplishments in one week, it’s made me want to reflect on why I started quilting. It’s a good reminder, as I transition into making more of the same original design quilt top and start this business.
Unlike most people that learned to sew during Home Ec class, I only learned hand sewing in my class. I bought my first machine December of 2014 off of Craigslist. It proceeded to collect dust in my house for 5 months until my mom came to visit and read the manual with me to learn how to thread the machine and wind the bobbin! My entire family does not sew frequently. Over the summer, I learned to make small items, some bags, and some baby items for friends. It wasn’t until I decided to try a blanket that the quilting world crashed down on me. My first quilt was a simple patchwork quilt. The front actually looks pretty good, my seams match up and the sashing looks acceptable. I did not however understand that you are supposed to baste a quilt. I thought that was only for Turkeys. (Basting a quilt – pinning the top, the batting, and the backing together so it doesn’t move!) Nor did I understand that even if you straight-line quilt, you need a walking foot (a presser foot that helps evenly feed the quilt through the machine) or else the back is going to pucker really badly! And did you know there are instructions for the batting written in some cryptic language that tells you how far you can have stitches so you don’t have issues when you wash the quilt? Well I didn’t know that. Binding, well I made some binding with the bias tape maker (2in finish width, the bigger the better right?!) and proceeded to machine stitch it to the quilt haphazardly aka as straight as I could at the time without a walking foot. The photo does not show the disaster that is this first “quilt.”
Then I attended the Sewing Expo in Minneapolis in November of 2015. I took a free motion quilting class (oh yeah, jump right in, right?!) and a walking foot class. It was like the biggest light bulb went off in my head; that was the answer to my problems on the baby quilt with all the nasty puckering on the back! I took a lecture that talked about different shapes I could use in a quilt, but mainly precut squares, triangles, and rectangle templates. I thought, hey this is cool, let’s try this easy way of quilting. I have since neglected those shape templates and just cut them out myself! The one thing I did purchase was a small little kit for a mini quilt. I figured the baby quilt was not a great start, maybe I should start small. Well by small, I mean this finished quilt top is about the size of a piece of paper.
As you can see, I didn’t quite understand the concept of “trimming” down the half square triangles. I didn’t know what it meant, so I just skipped that step. I think I can see the reasoning now, the seams would line up if you trimmed the pieces properly. For all my friends that don’t quilt, starting extra small is not the answer. Start with a baby quilt size, patchwork even… I had it right, but just didn’t have the techniques!
I am definitely hooked on quilting. There are so many different unique steps to making a quilt so it doesn’t get boring. For all the other different crafty things that I’ve done, this is definitely the one I’ve fallen the fastest and hardest for.
So knowing this history and looking at all the quilts I’ve been able to complete since then, I need to remember I’m still really new at all of this. But I should be so proud that this Moroccan Getaway quilt is huge and it’s still beautiful regardless if all the seams are perfect or not. The quilt measures approximately 79″ x 91″. My husband barely couldn’t hold the ends of the quilt for me to take this photo, and the only way I could get the whole thing was to have him hold it over the deck railing! (FYI- don’t start with a large quilt either. This took me 6 months working on and off to finish this quilt top!)
I can’t show a photo of Pattern #101 just yet, but I can tell you that when I finished I was so utterly proud. I think looking at the quilt really represents my style and what I appreciate in designs. I can’t wait until I can share it with everyone. I am currently taking names for proofreaders and pattern testers. You can sign up here! Thanks so much in advance.
I almost forgot to share that my new sewing table came in. My machine is not completely flush with the table top, but it’s close enough to work out well. Sewing the Moroccan Getaway quilt top together was so much easier with it level! Totally worth the $100 investment for a new table.
I had a little bit of a change in plans for my travel schedule, and I did not end up bringing my Janome machine with me this week. So my Modern Heritage BOM blocks are sitting at home in the sewing room just waiting for me to get back. I think I might go through some sewing withdrawal this week for sure.
10/11-10/18 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Sunday all day and Monday night (yikes, not a ton of time)
Projects I want to work on:
Modern Heritage BOM
Powered by Quilting Patterns
Goals for the Projects:
Modern Heritage BOM: Finish Month 3 blocks
Cozy Christmas: Finish Block 9 and sew together Row 3 to the rest of the quilt top
Powered by Quilting Patterns: Finish writing the pattern and email to proofreaders! (Good thing I can work on this without a machine!)