At Long Last….

Number of years I’ve been wanting to try quilting: ~5
Number of years I’ve been kind of obsessing about quilting: ~1.75
Number of quilting-related books I own: 10
Number of quilting-related books I have checked out from the library: 9
Number of times in a row I checked out Your First Quilt Book: 29
Number of times I actually referred to Your First Quilt Book while making my first quilt: 0
Number of flickr groups I stalk, in hopes of seeing more quilts: 5
Amount spent on materials for first quilt: $24
Actually making my own quilt?

pattern: Easy Lap Quilt from Bend-the-Rules Sewing
fabric: solid cottons – pink, chocolate brown, caramel brown
prints – Tracy Porter
dates: September 21 – 29

  • I loved everything about making this quilt, from beginning to end. This book made me really believe I could finally actually make a quilt, and the process was so organic. In fact, I think that’s what helped me take the leap – the fact that I could design as I go, rather than following (and trying to get right) someone else’s quilt.
  • I went into the fabric shop knowing I wanted to do a quilt in pinks and browns, and then I just went from there. I played with possibilities in the store (which took a very long time), and finally settled on these three Asian-inspired Tracy Porter prints. I love all three prints – the delicate pink one with the brown tree branches, the bold red/gold/brown/pink one with litttle splashes of blue, and the brown with light blue wavy branch-like things. The backing is a brown with little red and tan and white diamonds on it.
  • I cut the strips as the book instructs, and the I just played awhile, till I found a design I liked – I loved this part. It really worked for me, and I see myself making quilts like this again in the future. The quilt top came together very quickly. The basting went pretty quickly, too. The actual quilting took longer than I expected, partly because I did some trial-and-error at this point (testing out thread color options, trying to quilt without drawing lines on the top first – which did not work for me!, trying to decide how many lines to quilt). This part was really fun, too – deciding where all the lines would go. Again, very organic.
  • Finally, all that was left was the binding. Amy Karol suggests that, though you may be tempted to do the whole thing by machine, it will look much better if you do the binding in two steps – machine for the front, hand for the back. I should’ve listened. Instead, I followed the method in The Modern Quilt Workshop – I got myself a bias tape maker, made the binding, and then machine-stitched it. And I messed up a lot. Part of this was due to machine problems, part due to operator-error. I didn’t notice the biggest problems till I’d already washed and dried it (like a couple of places where the binding didn’t get fully attached in the back!). For now, the problems remain, but soon I do plan to go back and do the whole thing by hand.

verdict: I am beyond thrilled with this. I love everything about it (except the binding, till I fix it) – the colors, the prints, the combinations of colors and prints, the size, the way the quilting came out, and the fact that, at long last, I have made myself a quilt. There will definitely be more of these in my future. And I would highly, highly recommend Amy’s method to anyone who has been hesitant to give quilting a go.

You can see more pics here. (Yes, I have finally fallen completely, madly in love with flickr).

And don’t forget! Today is the last day to enter my contest. I’ll draw a winner in the morning and announce it in a blog post tomorrow. Stay tuned!

22 thoughts on “At Long Last….

  1. Wow. You bowl me over! I’ve wanted to quilt forever, but can’t figure out where the time would come from. Also, I would have to do it all by hand as I’m morbidly afraid of sewing machines.
    (Also hot glue guns, but that’s another story.)
    My retirement fantasy: quilting and spinning.

  2. Yay! It’s really fantastic. Isn’t making a quilt so satisfying? Yu’re inspiring me to go get crackin’ on another one!

  3. That’s awesome! I’m so excited that you were finally able to make a quilt. It can get quite addicting, eh? The fabric that you used is beautiful and I like how the design came out. I’ve had the same problems on the binding with the bias tape before, too, but I like being speedier, so I guess I just deal with the mistakes and re-do them. Although, I’ve been contemplating doing it half and half on the quilt I’m working on now.

  4. Your quilt looks wonderful! I made Amy Karol’s lap quilt for my first (and so far only) quilt, too. I did hand-sew on the binding, and it ended up being my favorite part of the process. It did take a long time, but I’m looking forward to reaching that point on the several quilt tops I’ve currently got going.

  5. looks great!!!
    I really love the color choices.
    And hand sewing the bias edging on on one side is actually quite relaxing. I didn’t think I would like it until I tried it…

  6. I love love love it!!! Beautiful! I was similarly quilt-obsessed, and finally made my first one two years ago just before my son was born. This really makes me want to make another one. Lovely!

  7. Awesome quilt… well done…. I think filling your home with handmade treasures such as this gorgeous quilt to snuggle under, is the perfect way to create a culture of creativity in our children….
    keep up the great crafting
    luv Abby

  8. I’m so impressed that you made a quilt. It’s something that I *think* I want to do, but not ready to do… yet. It looks great!!

  9. Truly, truly fabulous!! I gotta get me one of them quilts . . . (Have sewing machine, also have a ton of fear. But look at you, jumping right in! And with such success!)

  10. It is really beautiful. I love the colors, the design, the way you quilted it. I have a number of quilting books myself, but haven’t done anything yet but drool over them. Soon.

  11. it looks fantastic!! congrats on your first quilt!! it’s a bit addictive, isn’t it? 🙂 really beautiful colors and pattern… you should be very proud!
    ps it’s true about the binding… it does take forever (and i’m particularly slow) but it’s worth it. in a way, though, it’s a bit meditative and nice to slow down at the end after a lot of machine work.

  12. omg, i am utterly in love with EVERYTHING about this quilt!!!! absolutely GORGEOUS!!!!! a THIRD free sewing machine fell into my hands last week, I think it’s a sign!!!! beautiful work!!!!!!

  13. congratulations… you make me ask myself… how many years till you finish your first quilt?

    like I said, congratulations!

  14. Pingback: Hunkering Down | earthchicknits

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