Thursday, August 2, 2012

Adventures in Quilting Part 1

Quilting is my new obsession. As a matter of fact, it has become so much of an obsession that in my last post I meant to write about a rug in Penny's room and accidentally wrote "quilt" instead. I didn't even realize it until my friend Megan pointed it out.
I was never a huge fan of quilting, I mostly just thought it was old fashioned. I thought most quilts were kinda lame and country bumpkin. But I've quickly changed my mind!
We were given a few quilts when we got married and after Pen was born and it really started helping me fall in love with quilting. A friend of mine on Facebook has been making gorgeous quilts for a while and I just drool over everything she makes. I decided to ask her if she could help me get started in quilting and she was so gracious and answered all of my (probably very stupid) questions. I had no idea what went into quilting and I am still in the baby baby BABY stages of quilting but I love it! We'll see if it sticks!
Here is the first quilt I tried. It went pretty smoothly but I made some pretty huge mistakes.

I was pretty whiney about the cutting process but once I got the hang of it it was really no big deal. I don't know why, but trying to cut fabric straight causes me an absurd amount of stress. After cutting all of these squares I decided for the next quilt that I would use precut fabric. That decision kinda came back to bite me.

This is after sewing the half square triangles and laying everything out. I LOVED this part!

The whole quilt all together before I started sewing it all together. At this stage I was a little bummed out because it was unintentionally looking really "Charlie Brown"

Here is the quilt finished. I "stitched in the ditch" and had a really cool straight line zig zag pattern. BUT THEN....

... I clearly didn't understand the importance of putting the backing on evenly, which wouldn't have been an issue if I hadn't been overly ambitious in trying to do color blocking with the yellow and white and had just stuck with the dark gray.  If you look carefully you can see that the zig zags are totally crooked on the back of the quilt. 
Lesson learned.

Here is the quilt finished (and instagrammed haha). The main mistake I made was in the binding process. If you saw this quilt up close you'd either laugh or cry :)

Here's what I learned with this one...

1. Putting the backing on straight is extremely important

2. Don't be in a rush. This may be my downfall with quilting. I don't really like projects that go on forever and I thought I could do this in two days (which I did). I think if I had taken my time it would have turned out a little bit better but all I wanted to do was get started on the next one. I was honestly pretty ashamed at my impatience when I finished it and saw how poorly it was done, but I decided this would be a good practice quilt.

3. Binding absolutely stinks. I have looked at tutorial after tutorial and I am still doing a really bad job. I need to get together with someone else who quilts so they can teach me how to do this (my quilt coach ;) lives in Hawaii).

So overall this one went okay, quilt #2, not so much...


  1. I hate cutting too! I just hate using a rotary cutter and mat. I swear I line things up like 3 times before I decide how I'm even going to cut the first line. I love using patterns and have even considered purchasing large paper so that I can cut patterns out instead of having to use a rotary cutter for large squares or rectangles. So I feel your pain. I still think you are doing amazing!!! I've got a pattern called "5 and dime" that I should show you... you make it with fat quarters and its basic theme is that it's SUPER easy to cut and SUPER fast. Great for impatient people like us :0)