This past Friday, March 18th, I finished my first quilt!
I started off by cutting strips off of three different flannel patterns. I measured them off on the rotary board and cut them into 5″ squares. Each strip of fabric made for eight 5″ squares leaving me with a hole in the middle. I did not want to cut a whole strip of the blue flannel for just one square. I had also not decided yet what I was going to do with the edges (let alone the backing). My initial thought was possibly using the green turtle fabric for the border and middle square:
Not knowing what to do about the middle piece, I decided to just start sewing the four outer strips together. I was so excited to have gotten just this far on my quilt:
I decided to just cut the blue flannel and use it as the center piece figuring I would use the rest of it for another project, another time and finished sewing the top together. Making me even more excited about getting this far with my first quilt:
With this being my first quilting project, I left myself a bit of wiggle room when I cut the piece of Warm and Natural batting. One thing we have noticed about where we purchase our fabric, is they are not very good at cutting straight lines. I laid out the piece of batting I had cut to measure it to see just how incredibly uneven it was (not to mention the uneven edges of the top I had sewn together). I deliberated for some time as to whether to just sew it as is or trim up the edges first.
I had just sat down to leave it as is when I changed my mind and trimmed it up (and very glad I did). First I trimmed up the top and then I did my best to place it evenly on the batting and safety pinned the two together. In some spots, the batting border was closer to 2″ and others, less then an inch. I did my best to leave about an inch batting for the border but it was up to a 1/4″ short in one spot. We have two quilting books (one on blocks and one for general tips and how-to’s) and one of them suggested a basting gun over safety pins for basting the layers together. If you click on the image below, you can see both the safety pins (pinning the first two layers) and the pink basting tags (holding all three layers). I picked up a basting gun at Michael’s for about $20 after a 50% off coupon.
To finish off the quilt, I sewed the seams along each 5″ blocks. That was quick and easy and really pointed out how crappily I pieced together the squares! Cut me some slack though, this is after all my first quilt and I used it more as a learning piece then anything. The border was the trickiest of the whole quilt. My having to stitch rip three of four borders and redo them was a good learning experience in needing to slow down a bit and pay attention.
The entire work of this project was somewhat me “winging it” and learning as I go. I looked online enough to know I wanted a 1/4″ foot to help with the piece work and that I would need at least three layers for the quilt. A former boss of my often said, “learning is doing” and that’s what I did. I will make an upcoming post about the tips and tricks I learned both from blogs I read and my whoopsies from this project.
My son has already claimed it as his own stating “how cool” it was!
Full Flickr set from Quilt #1: Quilt Photo’s on Flickr