First Quilt – Baby Quilt for Jack

First Quilt01

Lessons Learned:

  • Rotary Cutting Fabric – harder than it looks
  • Using a Quilt Ruler – do you know they can slip?
  • ¼ “ seams – what happens when you are not consistent
  • Batting – they’re not all the same
  • Oh…now I have to quilt it, hmm…

I can now state that sewing doll clothes did not prepare me for quilting.  None the less I was very sure I could do this.  I found a free, very simple pattern (which actually had applique but I left that off), and was confident I would succeed making this quilt. I’m sure I can figure it out.  Piece of cake, right?

Cutting Strips

I did just enough prior research to know I could fold my fabric in half, selvage to selvage, and use a ruler and rotary cutter to cut my strips.  What I didn’t understand was the proper way to hold down the ruler to prevent it from slipping.  I thought if I pressed down hard enough, right in the middle, I could cut my entire strip.  Not so.  The ruler slipped at either the beginning (bottom) or end (top).  I only ruined two strips before I figured out what to do.

Correct Method:   Place your hand towards the bottom and cut part of the way, then reposition your hand towards the top and finish cutting.  I’m glad I bought extra fabric.

Consistent ¼” Seams

Although I was pretty consistent with seams on other sewing projects, I know I also learned how to hide my mistakes.  Apparently that’s not always possible on quilts.  This quilt was constructed as follows:

Quilt Diagram

If you don’t sew your seams consistently any strips that were supposed to look lined up actually look wonky, as mine definitely did!  Even with a strip running between them.

TIP:  Get a ¼” foot for your machine if at all possible.  If there isn’t one available, use a ruler to measure a ¼” from your needle and tape blue painter’s tape on your machine bed to mark a line to follow. The painter’s tape will not leave a residue when removed.

Quarter Inch Tape


Who would have guessed that there were so many different types of batting available and that each type dictated how close your quilting should/could be!  It’s a good thing I read labels.  Since I had never quilted anything before I didn’t realize how important it was to know these differences.  I found a Bamboo blend batting (Fairfield Nature-Fil, 50% Bamboo/50% Cotton) that was very soft and allowed quilting up to 8”.  I had no idea yet how I would quilt this so I wanted as much room as possible.

I love using this batting.  It does not seem to shed as much as cotton batting while I’m quilting.  Here is a link to the Fairfield website for more information

 TIP:  Understand the end result desired and research the right kind of batting to use.  I found this site extremely helpful:


I had a lot to learn at this point.  I knew I had to do something to keep the layers together so I stitched in the ditch on every seam then did a few rows of straight lines of stitching from one side to the other.  I also ran two diagonal lines of straight stitching through the entire quilt to form a big X and sewed diagonal lines in the four corner squares. Very basic but it was fine for my first quilt.

I did not sew a binding on this quilt but instead folded extra length of backing up over the edges, folded it under for a clean edge and sewed it down.  As I learned more about binding I’ll be adding that in future posts.

That was it!  I was so proud that I survived the effort and the quilt wasn’t horrible. I couldn’t wait to tackle more projects and continue to learn.

One more lesson learned; cats like to help you quilt.

Aussie on Dinosaur Fabric rev

6 thoughts on “First Quilt – Baby Quilt for Jack

  1. Michelle

    Denise, You have a very cute blog. It is very interesting to read as you mention a lot of the struggles we all had when we began, but we have now forgotten about. Good luck on your future pattern publishing. It is a lot of fun. Here is to many happy quilting days in the coming year!


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