Saturday, July 18, 2009

quilting questions answered

Here is the super honest (I promise) truth about
my first adventure in quilting.
{feel free to catch up on the back story here}
Out of all of the things I have ever made,
this quilt is by far my favorite.
A huge part of my love for it involves that fact that I can't
believe that I actually finished it.
Or that I actually loved every single step.

It didn't hurt that every step was
simply illustrated with pictures here.
I big puffy heart Old Red Barn Co.

With my whole heart, I want you to know, that if I can make this, so can you.
Seriously.
Skill wise I would rank it a 2 out of 10 in the difficulty scale.
I am not kidding.
Not a 2 from a person who is a professional,
Parsons School of Design trained seamstress.
A 2 from a self taught, real person, who only sews simple things.
Who is horrible at following patterns,
has insane A.D.D.
and sneaks in craft time as the critters sleep.

Rotary cutting.
Straight line sewing.
Ironing.
That's it.
Seriously.
It took me less than 10 hours from start to finish.
Just four Monday's worth of nap time.

The only hard parts were choosing the fabrics
and battling my A.D.D. when I was ironing the seams.




What always held me back was the thought of actually "quilting" the quilt.
I know myself.
I know my skill level.
I know my severe lack of patience and detail.
I know my sewing machine.
I know that if I attempted to quilt it,
I would have to break up with my sewing machine.
I also would probably have to go to the ER for a
broken foot from kicking said machine.

I felt like a failure when I decided to send it out for quilting and binding.
But then REAL quilters told me that is what they do as well.
For their quilts that are real works of art.
With curves, patterns, details, things that I could never ever do.

So I got my quilt ready to go to Back Porch Quilters.
I pressed all of the seams,
clipped all of the threads,
made the backing out of pink and white polka dot fabric,
included batting,
one yard for the binding,
(as soon as I found out they did binding too I did a little dance)
folded it all up,
said goodbye and gave it to my mailman.

Within days Mr. Backporch Quilter called me to discuss thread color and quilting pattern.
I told him how clueless I was, and if he could help me pick.
Quickly he put Mrs. Backporch Quilter on the phone.
She advised me on thread color (I used Pinky Pinks)
and when I told her the pattern I was thinking about (Waterworld) she kindly suggested that pattern might be a bit too busy for my already bright and vibrant (read busy) quilt.
Together we chose Alfresco.

A little over a week later my quilt returned to me.

I didn't pre-wash my fabric or binding, so when I did thrown it in the wash it would wrinkle and crinkle. I think that is actually my favorite thing about it.
How it is so new, yet already looks well loved.
This quilt is 5 x 7 feet.
It could have been bigger, but thanks to my lack of details, I mis-measured and didn't pay very close attention while I was cutting the squares.
12 of them came out the wrong size.
But, 5 x 7 is a perfect size for a twin bunk bed.
I am going to make pillows out of the leftover blocks

Halley would much rather play dress up, than be bothered with posing for a photo, but each nap and bed time I tuck her in under her quilt and she looks at me and says:
"Mommy, thank you for making me a beautiful quilt."
While she is off in dream land,
she doesn't notice that many of the blocks do not line up.
Or that it is far from square.
She just cuddles under the warmth and love made for her by her mommy.

I rarely make anything more than once.
It doesn't take much to bore me.
Shockingly, I already have fabric picked out for three more quilts
and I simply cannot wait to carve out time to work on them.
That is how easy this was.
That is how much I loved making it.

So find some yummy fabric.
(All of mine is from Etsy. You can find
great 1/2 yard sets here, here, and here.)
Grab a rotary cutter and sew.
You will never know if you can do it unless you try.

Happy quilting.

37 comments:

  1. Taking Chloe's doll quilt out of the dryer was my favorite part too. Maybe someday I'll finish the big one! Or just come steal yours.

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  2. Yep! Going to start mine tonight! :D Trying for Tuesday to send it out to Backporch. ;)

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  3. You did a beautiful job and should be very proud of yourself!!

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  4. Okay Okay... you've inspired me! Going fabric browsing right now. It is simply gorgeous!

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  5. Absolutely beautiful!! Awesome job!!

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  6. Gorgeous quilt. I have a secret dream of making a quilt (or 3 for each of my kids).. I am at a loss of where to even start.

    I have a sewing machine, rotary cutter and all the simple tools but no idea of where to go from there. Any advice? Pattern you used? or just some simple tips?

    Feel free to email me...
    tw1717@gmail.com

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  7. Hmmmm....you are the first person to convince me that maybe I can tackle this.

    B.jane

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  8. The quilt is so beautiful! I don't think I would have the patience to make one, but some day I hope to try.

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  9. I love the quilt but I think I love Janey more. I want to steal her for a day or two, she is so darling!!!

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  10. Love it--great job! I have only made one quilt...and I also didn't quilt it myself. The gal who taught me how to do it, had me mail it to her and she finished it for me! I loved it though. I loved cutting it out. As funny as it is, I enjoy that kind of stuff. It's relaxing to me. I hope to do matching quilts for the girls' room before we leave Korea!

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  11. You did a fabulous job!
    I can't wait to start my own quilting journey.

    Thanks for sharing yours :)

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  12. Oh my goodness!!!! this quilt is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! I LOVE, LOVE the colors!!! And you know what? You have inspired me!!! I am soo not a professional. And the only quilts I've made are small baby quilts. And I have never done the actual quilting on them either, I was going to have a lady show me how. But that hasn't worked out yet. And the last one I attempted to make, I really messed up and got super frustrated, threw it, packed it up in a box and have not attempted to fix it since! But the thought of getting it out again has been in my mind. I so want to sew and make beautiful things, but for lack of talent and skill, I get too discouraged. But hearing from someone that seems to be a lot like me and that isn't a professional. Like I said, you have inspired me and encouraged me to attempt it again!! I just love the vibrant bright colors of your quilt. I could go on and on. Of course, I have two boys, so I don't think pinks would work good for them! Oh how I crave to use pink! But I think maybe if I find some yummy enough boy fabric, I will be happy! Thank you soo much for sharing all of that! And for encouraging so many of us who are afraid to attempt what seems impossible or intimidating. God bless you!

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  13. Oh, and by the way, your daughters are ADORABLE!!!

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  14. Thank you for this post. I believe this is the quilt I am going to make for both my boys beds. And now you having given me the go to do it! Thank you!!

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  15. Thanks for the encouragment and inspiration. I really want to make one but money is tight for fabric. One day soon though :)

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  16. You have me thinking I can do one for each of my boys...and maybe myself if I get that far...eek!

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  17. Not perfect, but perfectly loved is a success in my book! I Love the quilt!

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  18. What a beautiful quilt and what beautiful colors. Thank you for your inspirational write up. I think I am ready now to try my first quilt too. Back Porch Quilters, here I come...!

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  19. I never did find my sewing machine. So I never got to make one of those cute party buntings. But if I buy a new machine, will you come over and walk me through the quilt thing? :) lol

    ps: have you already told us where to find the pretty fabrics like the ones you used?

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  20. I just ordered the fabric for one for Moses...why do I feel like screaming? :)

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  21. Loved this post, its funny how many of us how the same fear of quilting... Your quilt looks darling.

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  22. i am so glad yo wrote all this.
    so good to hear the real truth.
    it really is just the prettiest quilt....i love it to death!

    maybe someday i will make one.
    and it will be an exact copy of yours because i love it so much!

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  23. Oh my gosh Julie...I love, love, LOVE the quilt! It turned out amazing {and the colors are so bright and fun!}!!! I am waaaay behind on mine, but can't wait to get going on it again.

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  24. I am totally inspired! And I think we were twins in a past life because everything about the way you described your sewing abilities and love/hate relationship with your sewing machine is completely me.

    I think it still makes me nervous though...

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  25. Your quilt is absolutely gorgeous! I can't believe it only took you 10 hours! It took me that long to make my kids super hero capes. :) I am starting my first quilt next week. You are truly inspiring!

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  26. Okay, let me get this straight... you sewed/pressed the top layer, made the backing and then sent those in with your batting and they finished it for you?????

    I think I can do that! The quilting part is what makes me want to hide in the corner.

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  27. Your quilt is beautiful!!! You did an amazing job Julie!!

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  28. It is so gorgeous and sooo YOU!

    Don't you just love Dana at ORB? She rocks my socks.

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  29. OK! You have so inspired me! I WILL make a quilt by the end of the year! I'm determined! I love yours!! :)

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  30. I LOVE the way your quilt turned out. I loved the Quilt a long, it was soooo easy! I am quilting my own though, so I am still not finished :( But I LOVE it too.

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  31. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions (and others as well!) I am ready to start!!!

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  32. That is exactly how I feel about the quilt along! I can't wait to do it again!

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  33. I want to make a quilt- yours turned out AWESOME! I'm VERY intimidated by the actual QUILTING aspect of it and will be sending mine out to be done (I have a husqvarna emerald 118 machine and I don't think there's NEARLY enough space to do the quilting) but I've heard it VERY pricey. If you don't mind me asking- what do they charge? Thanks!

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  34. That quilt is eye candy! I love all the fabric choices! Very beautiful!!!

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