My First Quilt

My first solo quilt is finished! It’s small, and not fancy at all. But it used up my scraps in a useful way, and Jacob loves it. So I’m happy with it.

I didn’t intend for it to be Jacob’s quilt. It has flowers, after all. But the boy loves blankets, blue and green, and stuff that mommy makes. So this is now his cuddly quilt.

I had hoped that Hobby Lobby would still have at least one of the three fabrics I used on the front, but they didn’t. I guess that’s the problem with making a quilt from old scraps. But I was lucky to find this polka dot print that matched the existing colors perfectly.

I couldn’t find bias tape that matched very well, and I didn’t want to buy enough fabric to make my own. Just before I used the not-quite-matched bias tape I bought, I remembered Rae’s cheater binding method. The day was saved! I just used the backing fabric, folded over, to bind off the front.

I’ve helped with three other quilts in the past. I had a lot of help on those. Permit me a quick walk down quilting memory lane…

My first quilt was pink and blue triangles, arranged into a pinwheel pattern, that I made with my mom. I definitely remember her letting me use the sewing machine on that project. I think that I was about six years old – maybe seven. So I’m thinking that my almost six year old Taylor will be old enough to help with a quilt soon!

The next quilt I helped with took 18 years to finish. Seriously! My mom began it either before I was born or when I was a baby. All of the white squares were embroidered in yellow with simple line drawings of kitty cats in various adorable poses. In between the squares, and on the back, was yellow gingham. My mom started the quilt, and saved for years, all cut out and ready to go. When I was a senior in high school, she and I finished the embroidery together. Then she pieced it all together and “quilted” it with embroidery floss ties all over, so that I could take it to college. I requested extra batting to make it more like a comforter. It’s still in use on Taylor’s bed 13 years later.

My third quilt was cut out while I was very pregnant with Taylor. My mom and I picked out all the brightly colored fabric together, and I cut out the squares. It seemed like it took forever, because it was very difficult for me to sit at that point in pregnancy because my ribs hurt. My mom sewed the squares together while I watched. And then my sister quilted it with her newer machine. We added extra batting to that one too, so that it was a nice thick blanket for Taylor to play and learn to roll over on.

It’s neat that, with the possible exception of the pink and blue one, those quilts are still around. I even remember playing with a small doll sized crazy quilt as a child that had belonged to my grandmother when she was little. I’m not sure that this new one will stick with us for as long, but who knows!

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  1. Kudos on your quilt!! Lovely. I found you through your “Sew on and Sew Forth” print your husband designed for you. I too hope to have it hanging in my sewing room soon.

    As someone who has learned the hard way I want to encourage you to research how to make continuous loop bias tape. It doesn’t take as much fabric as you think to make yards and yards of bias tape. Your bias tape may become a fashion statement and not just a way to finish your quilt edge. Also, there is a reason one should use bias tape instead of the fold over or straight cut tape method. When you fold over or run a straight cut of fabric through your bias tape maker you are stressing the same thread all the way along the edge. This pressure on the thread causes it to wear prematurely causing holes.

    I learned this the hard way!! Many of my kids quilts that I spent hours piecing together need new bindings. Better and more time efficient to do it right the first time. I have too many projects I want to tackle to spend my time seam ripping old bindings :)

    • Thanks for your advice! I have made my own bias tape a lot, and I just looked up that continuous binding method. Nice! You’re smart about doing it the right way so it’ll last. For this quilt I don’t mind – mostly it was practice. But I’d hate to spend days or weeks on a quilt and have it come unraveled at the edges. I’ll be sure not to cheat on the biggees. :) thanks again!

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