Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My first quilt

I have an aunt who is learning to quilt and I must say it's been a lot of fun helping her along.  She's cruising along, making quilts & table runners, machine quilting, applying nice binding, etc.  I've been impressed!!  I mentioned my first quilt to her, in reference to how much I didn't know then that I know now (and wishing I'd had someone I knew in person to ask questions!) and she asked to see it, so Trudy, this is for you. 


To look at, I can admit that it's not too bad.  It's more the technique things and some of the materials used that are a little bit hilarious to look back on.  

Before I started quilting, I made a bunch of bags/aprons/placemats/household things so that's where most of the patchwork fabrics came from.  Also from some skirts that I cut up.  I cut everything for this project with scissors!  What's a rotary cutter????  ;)  I traced every little square (in strips, mind you, so at least I figured that part out!) with a pen onto my fabric and then cut.  It took forever and gave me hand cramps.  hehe

I had sewed other projects before, like I mentioned, so thankfully I already had the pressing part mostly figured out. 

I used polyester batting inside, and 100% polyester bedding materials for the black border and the binding.  The black in particular frayed like CRAZY, didn't have a nice soft feel, and I remember it even smelled kind of weird, but I soldiered on.  :) 

I didn't know how to make a proper binding so I just folded the backing fabric to the front using a tutorial I found somewhere online.  By that point having it all folded over, you are working with quite a few layers of fabric & batting and I could NOT get my machine to stitch it down.  I realize now that I probably had totally the wrong sewing machine needle (and the one I was using was probably dull as who knows what) plus the machine I was borrowing from my mother-in-law at the time was compacted with lint inside which I didn't know until later, so I think the odds were stacked against me on that one right from the start.  I ended up doing a running stitch by hand to secure the "binding", and then my corners weren't too pretty so I put a button on each one.  haha


I tied the quilt, which is not bad in and of itself but I think at the time I didn't even know about machine quilting.  Plus I didn't have a walking foot so it probably would have been a disaster anyways.

Sometimes I feel like I should take the whole thing apart, get rid of the backing, batting, and borders, and use the patchwork panel for something else because I actually quite like that part of it, but then I think that saving it for nostalgia is kind of fun too.  

What was your first quilt project????

10 comments:

mle said...

It's so fun sloking back at first quilts and really lets you see how far you've come!
On my first quilt I quilted diagonally across the squares in a crosshatch grid. Even though I used a walking foot and my stitches looked good on the top, I didn't know that my bobbin tension was too tight. I also didn't know how much fabric stretches on the bias and so the first time I snuggled under it the threads started snapping left and right! Oh well!

Melissa said...

I have a similar story... My first quilt was made out of t-shirts when I was a junior in high school. I used a permanent marker and a cd jewel case to trace onto the t-shirts and cut with scissors. The thing still smells like permanent markers! And jewel cases aren't square, it turns out... so everything is all fudged together! It's also tied and I don't even remember what I used for the binding. It's at my mom's house being used as a cat blanket :) haha

Adrienne @ Chezzetcook Modern Quilts said...

When I started quilting my very first teacher did not know about a rotary cutter. We cut everything with scissors, or, wait for it, just ripped the farbic in long strips. Needless to say, that quilt is still around but some of the seams are starting to crack!

Erica said...

My first quilt is far from perfect too, but it's nice to keep it around as a reminder of how far you've come!

Nat at Made in Home said...

It is a great first quilt! Keep it!

Poppyprint said...

Please don't take that sweet quilt apart! It's lovely. I never finished my first quilt. It was too ambitious. I took a row by row class and made it so big that it was just too much to finish (quilting by hand). I gave up. I think it's 2/3 quilted and squished at the bottom of my cedar chest. The colours are all dusty pink and blue, burgundy and green. Gag. At the time, I thought I was so clever putting that all together!

Carla said...

My first one was a bit of a sampler. I tried hand quilting it. Your first attempt is beautiful.

Debbie said...

oh it's fun to see this! I've meant for ages to share my first too, so one of these days I still will. I confess your having to hand secure the binding + the buttons are my favorite part. ;-) I hope you leave it just like it is.

Julie said...

This is a great post! My very first attempt at quilting was a tiny little quilt for a newborn. I had NO IDEA how to do the backing, batting, binding, so I stitched the front to the back right sides together and bagged it out and then put the batting in! It was not, shall we say, the most polished job. I gave it to my friends and I still shudder to think of it, and yet only last week they were telling me how much they had used it and how lovely it was. The fabrics were nice at least.

DH Stitches said...

It's great that you can look back at it and see all the things you have since learned. I would leave it just as is. It's part of your creative journey! Just discovered your blog and am enjoying it so much. Best to you!