Friday, 3 July 2015

My first 'proper' quilt

Since getting back into sewing, I've made some small patchwork pieces, and have quilted some, but have shied away from anything big enough to require machine quilting using a walking foot or even worse, free motion!

But this year is the year of the quilt. I want to make something full size, I've absolutely no idea why.  Or in fact what I'm going to do with it when its finished, but hey ho!  And then I hit a snag, I had absolutely no idea where to start.

I've saved all sorts of ideas on Pinterest, but even if I found something I liked, I struggled to find fabric that worked. Partly due to limited time, but mainly due to limited ability with colours. I make cards,  have done a fair bit of embroidery, but I tend to stick with colours I'm confident with.  Fabric is fine when dressmaking, you find the fabric you like and make it into something, but getting lots of different fabrics to work together was something I lacked confidence in.

I tried with scraps from my stash, someone suggested a 'mood board' and I spent many hours laying different pieces out on hotel beds, all to no avail.

So I gave up and used the Daisy Chain quilt pattern from

Based on a jelly roll, sub cut into strips and measuring 44in square, it's a good start.  The picture below is a Moda charm pack and the jelly roll - which is from a collection called Lottie Da.

So the first thing I did was to try and work out how the colours went together. Now as its a jelly roll, in theory, its already been done for you, but in practice you don't want to end up with lots of orange in one part and not another. In fact, that's what I ended up with in some places, but better luck next time.

The first stage was to join all the strips together.  Not so easy when you suddenly realise you're sat at a slight angle to the sewing machine and your seams are going for a bit of a wander.
According to the instructions, the strips were then cut into strips.  At this point I started to get a bit confused, but plodded on, sure it would come right in the end.
And it did!

Then you joined them all back together again, but in a different order
It was at this point that I really started to notice some of my joins weren't perfect.

In fact the picture above should have been a perfect square! But you can plainly see that I had to do some tidying up.

Then came the fun bit.  Sat on the settee, with pins, joining all the squares into strips, then joining the strips together to make something that started to resemble a quilt.
Then I had to actually 'quilt' it.
Easier said than done, as I don't have a free motion foot for my machine, so I'm going to do it by hand.  I took it with me to a hotel in one week, but have hardly touched it since, so this is going to be a bit of an epic.

That said, its lovely to work with quality fabric, and there was something really relaxing about sitting in my hotel room sewing, with a cuppa next to me, while the world just passed by below.

The above was typed a month or so ago, and since then I've attempted some machine quilting too, although it did get unpicked a couple of times! But it's easier to cheat with wavy lines.

Next step, binding. Wish me luck!