Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Carefree quilting

Let me tell you about my craft philosophy. 

I come from the school of Cut Thrice, Measure Never (according to my husband). I want to have a good time making stuff, and I don't want to stress out about it not being perfect. 

When I started trying to quilt, sometimes it was successful and other times it was... not so much. Despite corners not meeting up and stitches going a little wonky, I still ended up with a quilt that I can use (or rather, a child can use). I imagine in time I will learn enough about it to make it look more professional, but for now I just love making

For this quilt, Strips and Whales, I was inspired by a book that Mrs. Snacky gave me called Fresh Quilting. The philosophy in this book was something that called to me: Don't worry, just get quilting. It showed that quilts made with different sizes and shapes could be attractive.

I took some whale fabric (left over from another craft project) and cut it into strips. I did the same for some blue, green, and yellow fabric I had laying around. (Notice a theme with my fabric selection?) 

I decided to make them all the same length but differing widths. Once they were all cut up, I sewed them together, then placed the batting and a large piece of fabric on the back and sewed them together. With the machine, they came out a little puckered, but I went with it and made the lines a little wonky and used the zig-zag stitch for some.


For the back: I used an old bed sheet. I never throw out fabric! I also made the batting and back fabric smaller than the front quilting. Then when I went to finish, I hemmed around it with the quilted front piece. As you can see, the back came out puckered, too, but I kind of like the way it looks. 

It's not a perfect quilt, but it's certainly something I can see my future infant doing tummy time on! And who cares if she/he spits up on, drools on it, etc. It was made from scrap fabric and an old bed sheet. :)

Pinks and Yellows is my first quilt. I was inspired by simplicity of a quilt design in Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts. For this quilt, I went to City Quilter in NYC. If you haven't visited, please go. I bought a bundle of fat quarters because choosing the fabric was overwhelming. There was too much great stuff!

I cut the fat quarters into squares using a plastic quilting square, sewed them to batting, then hemmed the fabric all the way around. It was all pretty simple. Some of corners don't match up, especially towards the end, on the bottom right-hand corner.

 For the back, I once again used an old bed sheet.

 Here is a shot of the corners, not perfect but close enough.

 Finally, I had to attach the front, batting and back together, so I started hand-stitching it with embroidery thread and a hoop. Needless to say, I haven't finished yet. I'm just waiting for that rainy day where all my other projects have been finished!

I encourage you to get quilting, too. Use scrap fabric, old dress shirts (which won't stretch like t-shirts), sheets, and see what you come up with. You may not end up with a perfect quilt, but you will learn a lot and hopefully enjoy doing it. :) That's the point really, to just enjoy making stuff!

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