My Favorite Quilt!
I told you I started quilting about eight years ago. I never really even sewed much before that. I bought a used sewing machine about 10 years ago and tried to make a few clothing items, pj pants, skirts, etc, but I wasn't very skilled. I wasn't comfortable with paper patterns for apparel, so I just tried to wing it. The problem was that I felt my clothing items came out a bit wonky.
So I tried my hand at quilting! I figured straight lines couldn't be that hard!
I can't say my blocks were turning out perfectly at first, but I was hooked right from the start!
I tried a few other items like table toppers/runners, fabric baskets, and pillowcases. I just loved the feeling of cotton!
But I kept coming back to quilting.
I was nervous. I didn't know what I could do. I just had a conventional, small sewing machine.
But I'm one who says, where there's a will, there's a way. I will teach myself how to do things I really want to accomplish. I taught myself how to make candles and ran a successful business for many years selling my candles that were, quite frankly, higher quality than most any other candle on the market. I taught myself how to teach literature and writing (and enjoyed doing that in our homeschool co-op for several years). And so I set out to teach myself how to quilt.
I'm very grateful for the tools we have available to us today with the Internet. YouTube and blogs were invaluable to me.
And when you dive into quilting, you also become a fabric collector! I started buying fat quarters from JoAnn. I loved all the pretty prints and colors!
When I had every color of the rainbow, I thought, this would make a pretty quilt! So I set out to sketch a design and figure out the math.
I still didn't really know what I was doing. But I heard about the quilt-as-you-go method that appealed to me because of my small machine. And since I didn't want to break the bank, I bought cheap muslin as my background fabric and cheap flannel at JoAnn for the backing.
I did a simple nine-patch design and quilted each block before joining them together. The method I found was to quilt the top layer of fabric to a layer of batting. But then I realized that I needed to do some quilting once I layered on the backing, otherwise it wouldn't be attached except at the binding. So I lugged the bulk of it through my small machine for a few straight quilting lines.
There were so many things I did wrong with that first quilt. I didn't buy basting pins and actually basted it with straight pins. Yes, I got stuck a few times! I didn't take the 1/4-inch seam allowance to mind when I quilted the blocks, so my diagonal lines don't meet my points. I used all-purpose thread rather than cotton quilting thread. I didn't know how to join my binding properly back then. It doesn't look terrible, but it's more of an overlap rather than the proper sewn join.
But this remains my favorite quilt! My husband even prefers it to the others I've made! It's soft, it's cozy, it has fabulous drape, it's warm because of the flannel backing, and it makes me so happy every time I look at it because of all the bright, happy colors!
So I say all this to say, if you are new to quilting, or if you're considering trying it out, go for it! You can do it! And it's so rewarding to finish those final stitches on your binding and have a complete blanket that you made with your own hands!
Do you quilt? Or are you interested in learning? Let me know in the comments below!
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