Yay!!! I've finished my first quilt. It's by no means perfect, but I am really happy with how it's turned out.
The hardest part of the whole process, was pinning the three layers together. I didn't have enough floor space without moving furniture, so I headed to my daughter's for this part. In retrospect, I shouldn't have attempted this on a shag pile rug. The rug was almost the exact size of the quilt and I just lay the backing on top without pinning or taping to the rug. As I was pinning, I had a nagging feeling that this would not be good, but I ignored it.
As you can see from the photos, this has resulted in puckering. If I'd used patterned fabric instead of the brown, it wouldn't be so obvious... LOL!!! Next time I'll roll up the rug and use pins or tape to attach the backing to the carpet.
I've quilted along either side of the seams following the zig zags and also a line in the middle of each zig zag. For the first half, I used my ordinary presser foot, but I felt the top fabric was stretching, so I switched to a walking foot. What a nifty little invention that is!!! Not only does it stop the fabric from stretching, but it has a moveable sewing guide. You can see which zig zags were sewn with which foot. The walking foot, good as it is, could not fix the fact that I hadn't pinned the layers evenly.
Do you know how hard it is to hold a quilt up? I'll have to build up my muscles... LOL!!!
Deciding on which fabrics to use took me a long time. I was determined to only use fabric from my rather large stash, however, as this quilt is for a man, much of my fabric was not suitable. I'm happy with my choices. Let's hope the recipient is, too.
The patterned fabric (front and back) was on special for $4 per metre some time ago at Spotlight. I have no idea where, or for how much, I purchased the brown and the solids. The only items I purchased were lots of curved safety pins, thread and the wool/polyester batting.
Cutting out the triangles was my first time using a rotary cutter. I still have all ten fingers intact and I'm wondering why I haven't used one before.. As you all probably know, the rotary cutter is very precise and will cut through many layers at a time.
I had no problems sewing the triangles together and was happy with how the corners lined up. As instructed, I ironed all seams. For someone who doesn't like ironing, that's a LOT of ironing!!! Funnily enough, I didn't mind.
Stitching in the ditch was a first for me. Sometimes I got it right, other times I didn't.
Cutting the binding should have been easy enough. Make the strips 2.5 inches wide. Why did I cut them all 2 inches wide, leaving no black fabric? Oh well, I made do. Instead of binding in the conventional way, I used this method I've used on pillowcase dresses:
- Fold in half lengthwise and iron (keeping fingers away from the iron and the steam... well most of the time)
- Open out so you can see the crease
- Fold each half in to meet the crease and press
- Fold in half again and press
- Sandwich the quilt between the binding
- Finish with a zig zag
I really should have changed the thread to black, but my reasoning at the time, was that the quilting was done in brown, so I thought it would match.
I don't think I'll ever get the bits of batting off. This is after using two different types of clothes brushes. Perhaps I won't use black next time... LOL!!! Is this why lots of quilts I see have white sashing?
Some questions for those of you who quilt. Thanks to those who have answered these questions on Facebook.
- Do you prewash your fabric?
- Do you pin or baste your layers together? Why?
- Do you wash and then dry your finished quilt in a clothes dryer?
My sincere thanks to Ashley (Mommy by day, Crafter by Night), for hosting the Zig Zag Quilt Along. Ashley's instructions were detailed and easy to follow. I'm of course linking up to the Quilt Along Link Party.
I'm also linking up to the Learn a New Technique Link Party, run by Wendy over at The Crafter's Apprentice. I have learnt so many new skills in making my quilt.
And of course, I'm linking up to the Quilting and Patchwork Link Party, here at Threading My Way.
I have come across a few quilters who say they wouldn't be able to sew clothes. In my opinion, with the precision and skills needed for quilting, quilters can sew clothes!!!
Have I thoroughly enjoyed my first quilting experience? At times I thought I was mad taking on this challenge... the aching back while pinning, the aching neck while quilting, the layers not pinned evenly. However, the satisfaction I felt upon finishing each stage and the enormous sense of achievement seeing my quilt finished, was worth every minute of it!!! Yes, I'll be making more quilts. I'm hooked!!!