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Stitching Adventure! My First “Quilt”

Stitching Adventure! My First “Quilt”

When I started attending craft shows, I would admire the work and creativity that people had put into their handmade quilts.  Some I would just love, while others that looked like they had had every quilting technique thrown at them left me with a whopping big WTF expression on my face.

For many years I would admire, but never aspired to make my own quilts.  It is just another “craft” that I don’t need to get involved in because it comes with too many ‘accessories’, and to have the quilt professionally quilted is just way out of my budget.

A couple of years ago, Monica Poole released a few quilt designs that use a ‘quilt as you go’ technique which I have become fascinated by.  I have bought two of the patterns for that day when I will have ‘time’ to sit down and make them.  They don’t require me to buy any new equipment or special templates!  WOO!pieces

In the meantime, though, I found a pattern that I just had to try out.  It appeared in Patchwork & Stitching Magazine (Vol 11 No 2 – 2010 Annual), and jumped out at me as an easy project to cut my quilting teeth on.  It isn’t a “Quilt as You Go” project, but it’s also not a large project.  It’s called “Bright and Breezy”, and it is a quilted table runner.  The example in the magazine was bright springtime colours of yellow, pink, red and green.  These are NOT my colours.

I thought that in the right colours, it would be a great gift for my parents for Christmas.  Ambitious, much?

pieces

First thing I had to do was decide on a colour scheme.  Thankfully this was the easiest part of the whole project.  They have a Kingfisher blue feature wall in their dining/kitchen area.  So teaming that with a brown and off white pallette, I think it came together really nicely.

This pattern called for a lot of fat eighths, which are not that readily available in Australia, so I bought 30cm to cover myself.  This ended up being WAY too much fabric.  Next time I will make paper templates of the pieces that need to be cut so I don’t have a bunch of wasted fabric.  Thankfully I was able to make use of some of it as the backing.Centre Pieced

Following the instructions, I cut and placed, pieced and pressed.  I was ever so careful with the 1/4 inch seams (thankful that my machine has a 1/4 inch piecing foot), and worked my way through all the pieces.  I was surprised at just how easy it was.

Back

Because I had so much fabric left over from the front pieces, rather than buying another piece for the backing, I pieced three together, that reflected the three sections of the front.  Matching the seams front to back was a bit tricky.  It’s not perfect, but then, I’m not entering it into a show.

Quilted

Working the actual ‘quilting’ part was easy.  I decided to stitch in the ditch rather than the 1/4 inch away from it as per the pattern, as I thought that in this case, it would take away from the materials that I’d chosen.

The binding wasn’t difficult, but mitred corners are fiddly and a little tricky.  And let’s not forget the endless hand stitching to finish it all off!

Bound

I think it came out beautifully, and the best bit is, my parents just loved it. It now lives on their dining room table (as was my hopeful intention).

In Place

Countdown to Christmas & Crafting

Countdown to Christmas & Crafting

Christmas HollyWhen DH’s has a birthday, it means one thing.  It’s seven weeks until Christmas!  So after celebrating his birthday, our thoughts turn to getting organised for the festive season.  For me, it means thinking about gifts and food, for DH it’s thinking about decorations and whether we put lights on the house this year.

This year we decided that we would like to give handmade as much as possible.  I love handmaking gifts.  It gives me as much pleasure to make them, as I hope the recipient gets from receiving it.  I have eleven family gifts to organise this year, and some are easier to choose for than others.  I also need to keep in mind that I don’t have that long, so the gifts need to be acheivable as well as useful.

One blog I subscribe to for crafts is Sew Mama, Sew, and it has a “handmade Christmas” month in November every year.  So I’ve been trawling through ideas for family members, and I’ve just about got it figured all out.  Even throughout the year, for birthdays or other gift giving occasions, it is a tremendous resource for inspiration.

I have just short of 6 weeks, so while I need to get a bit of a wriggle on, I’m quietly confident that I’ll finish all the gifts in time.

How is your Christmas crafting going?