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

Batting

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 http://www.fairfieldworld.com/products.

 TIP:  Understand the end result desired and research the right kind of batting to use.  I found this site extremely helpful: http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/techniques/finishing/choose-batting_1.html

Quilting

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

4 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!
    Michelle
    http://www.quiltystuff.com

    Reply

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