27 Jun 2014
This post is so hilariously overdue. I was waiting for good light to take pictures, I was waiting to finish the quilt top, I was waiting to buy finishing materials. And then I meant to post it last night, but abruptly fell asleep at 9pm. Such is the life of a pregnant lady! In any case, I am excited to say that the quilt top is finished! I am kind of amazed at how blanket-like it is already, and I kind of can’t believe I pulled it off. This is definitely the biggest quilting project I’ve ever attempted.
But let me tell you all about my super classy quilting method. I am pretty sure this is not the way it’s traditionally taught, but I just laid out a big sheet of plastic on the floor to set out the pattern of triangles. Then I sewed triangles into squares, squares into strips, and strips into one large piece. Well, that part of it is pretty kosher. But to keep the pattern the way I wanted it, I just took a lot of pictures of the fabric with my phone and consulted them every time I sat at the sewing machine. I think most people just sew the triangles and squares more randomly, but I kind of got attached to the pattern I created, and I liked doing it that way.
And so I have a bunch of pictures on my phone like this one. Whatever works, right? I have so enjoyed the process. I think that my favorite part of making anything is watching a ton of little pieces of something turn into one big awesome piece. There is a lot of instant gratification with quilting. A stack of triangles becomes a stack of squares, and suddenly you’ve got strips and then a whole quilt top. Sewing the triangles was a little bit tedious, but I loved every other part of it.
This week Hillary and I (and one sweet twin) went to the Big Fabric Store to get the rest of the supplies and for general merriment. I was thinking of getting a yellow for the backing or binding, and then was thinking of getting some kind of subtle pattern, but then I saw this Kona turquoise and knew it was the right one. I loved this vibrant green thread too. The tutorial I’m following and my quilt book both suggest buying fabric to make your own bias tape for your quilt. I can see that this would be very valuable if you wanted to use a pattern or something beyond the range of bias tape offerings. However. That is a lot of cutting in straight lines and a lot of ironing. Those are my least favorite parts of quilting (but I would take ironing over cutting any day–I’m just not very skilled at it!). I decided that since this is my first quilt, and I have a baby coming in a month (!!), I would cut myself some slack and use some bias tape. Luckily, I found some in a cheerful color that I loved. (Of course, there is more thread and bias tape–just showing off the colors here). It’s important to me that the quilt look vibrant and joyful, and I’m glad I was able to find colors that feel that way to me.
I have a little bit of repair work to do on the quilt top (a few seams need reinforcing), but after that I’ll be laying out my quilt sandwich (top, batting, backing), pinning, and sewing! I can’t wait to hold this soft and chunky blanket in my hands. And I can’t wait to watch our little boy play on it or snuggle up with it when he gets a bit older. One of my favorite things about it is that it’s so imperfect. That said, I’m amazed that it still looks so good, given how many spots there are where the triangles don’t match up evenly. Who knows, maybe those wonky corners will become his favorite parts. And I hope that it will be of help someday in teaching him that there’s value in things that are made by hand, things that show the imperfect traces of their imperfect maker. And I hope it will help with another lesson that’s close to my heart: if you’re having fun, you’re doing it right.