Tuesday, July 04, 2006

I finally finished one!

Hooray! Last night I stitched the final bit of binding onto my first ever patchwork quilt.

I started it about two years ago, after I went to my first Craft and Quilt Fair. My mother-in-law has been quilting for years and I've always been in awe of her skill and proliferation. Previous to this my only sewing experience was in Year 8 at school when I made a pencil case for my brother with his name appliqued onto it (which, I'm proud to say, he really liked! And used for years, even when it started falling apart and was held together with staples and gaffer tape)... I think I put his name on it "TIM" because it was the shortest and easiest to do!

At that first Craft Fair I saw a quilt made out of flannelette (or "flannel" as the quilters say) which was really soft and cosy. The kit (pattern plus appropriate amounts of fabric) was about $120. "What the...?!", I thought. And promptly went to Spotlight and bought the funky flannel that I used for this quilt for less than a quarter of the price. Heh :)

Daniel helped me develop a design. I wanted something a bit more interesting than the usual zigzag type of thing, and had already decided to use a pattern called "Rail fence" which is just straight strips joined together to form a square. One of the easiest quilting squares around! We agreed on the final one after making about a dozen designs. (Like these ones). Designing the quilt is the part which I love best. It's so much fun playing with the colours and seeing how they fit together.

Cutting and sewing the pieces together was pretty exciting, watching the quilt grow before my very own eyes! I slowed down when the weather became warmer, and as my belly grew. Then the arrival of Atticus slowed down the process even further! I finally finished putting it all together in winter last year, and it was nearly done... except for the actual quilting and hand stitching the binding. My wonderful mother-in-law bought me a "walking foot" for the sewing machine which she'd given me at Christmas the year before. And so I machine-quilted the quilt "in-the-ditch" (along the seams) and added the border. Summer came again and I stopped, and finally finished sewing the binding last night.

What a sense of pride and achievement I feel! I've started several projects now, and am so glad that I've finished one! It wasn't so difficult after all the delaying. I can't wait to put it on Atticus' bed and listen to him pointing at all the stars (and saying "'tar" each time) as he drifts off to sleep.

You can see a better picture of the quilt top here at my flickr account.


jovaliquilts said...

Wow, it's great! It certainly doesn't look like a first quilt. You have a wonderful flair for this. :)
(BTW, you don't know me, I was just looking through quilting blogs and came upon yours.)

jenclair said...

I agree, this doesn't look like a first quilt. Good job!

Jen said...

Aww, thanks so much! I am very much inspired by my mother-in-law who produces quilts at a phenomenal rate.