Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Quilt Revealed

(Warning to all skilled quilters: You might want to skip this blog post, as it will probably be too painful to see!)

Darling Daughter H. is expecting a baby soon, so a couple of months ago I decided to sew a quilt for this grandchild, using the simple pattern of two tied quilts I had done in the distant past.

But I couldn't remember quite how those were put together, so it took some scribbling before I could remember the fundamentals of this design.

After I figured out how many colors to use, I went to the quilt store with farm or outdoorsy theme in mind. We don't know the sex of the baby.

I thought there would be a plethora of possible fabrics, but after looking for an hour, these seemed to be the only ones that would work for me.

I washed the cotton cloth in hot water and hung it to dry...

...then cut the pieces out.

You can see how my initial design calculations were off! Also, I made a goof in measuring and cutting one of the fabrics. Methodical, I am not. Woe is me.

But in sewing I tried to fudge everything together. Two of my children said, "Aren't quilts supposed to be kind of folksy that way?"

I zigzagged the seam allowances to give me confidence that things won't fall apart in the wash.

Here is the top all completed.

It takes a lot of pins, held up by Chinese quints, to put the three layers together. I used polyester batting and Minky backing. Then I tied it with an orangey-brown embroidery thread, using all six strands. Before tying, I thought, "I bet there is something on the Internet about the proper knot to use." And on my first hit, I found a short and sweet video that showed me how to tie my quilt with a surgeon's knot.

After begging advice from several crafty friends, I ended up with binding along the lines of what my husband had recommended. I would have preferred something a little darker, but nothing else seemed to be "it."

Mitered corners were my plan, but of course I didn't want to take the time to study the online lesson of how to do them properly, so I did as I have done in the past: sewed fake mitered corners by hand, with mostly blind stitches.

Then sewed the sides with the machine.

VoilĂ !

What I did have left over was some of the binding fabric, so I made a gift bag from it. My intention was to make it a drawstring bag, but I ran out of time. It has a black-and-white checked bottom, with a cardboard insert.

Everything was finished in time for the baby shower this past Sunday, a few weeks before Baby is expected to arrive. All the ladies, and the dad, seemed to like the quilt.

I like it as well, now that it is a quilt, and not a series of iffy decisions, a collection of design elements. Thank you all who helped me and gave encouragement!

Back at home, kitty Malcolm is already enjoying the new blanket!


Left-Handed Housewife said...

Wonderful quilt! I myself am a liberated quilter and agree that quilts are supposed to look folksy. I liked seeing the documentation of your quilt's progress.

I've nominated you for an award. Stop by and see!


Xenia Kathryn said...

Beautiful quilt, Gretchen! I'm with both you and the above commenter, Frances, in regards to folksy quilts. I love being spontaneous and creative. I once visited a quilting group, and my spirits were almost crushed with all that I "realized" I was doing "wrong." Fortunately, I'm still quilting :)

By the way, THANK YOU for your etsy order-- your prints are in the mail!

Take care,

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

I think it's beautiful. And it looks just right, outdoorsy, suitable for either sex, folksy.

I could never have made that - even if I could sew, I mean. The symmetry thing would bother me, and poor Malcolm wouldn't have had a chance to enjoy it. That's just me and my own stupid quirks. Glad you don't have 'em, so you could create this beauty and everyone can enjoy it.

The documentation is interesting and (for me) educational and I enjoyed seeing the step-by-ste progression.

Thanks for sharing.

Martha said...

I've never made a quilt...but your photos of how you did it step-by-step, make it look possible...and the outcome is STUNNING. What an awesome photo of the cat enjoying your quilt!!!

Anita said...

Lovely, charming quilt! I love your crafting philosophy.

Gigi said...

Oh, that's a lovely quilt! Love the pretty fallish earthy colors. And a lot of patience required, I think? Well done!

Matt said...

Beautiful work. Thank you for letting us see it.

Pom Pom said...

What a loving, homespun endeavor! Beautiful!

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

I have neither the skill nor the patience to create something as lovely as this quilt of yours. Well done !

The cat looks very contented in the photo :-)

Caeseria said...

I don't think I could EVER make an entire quilt. That is very, very impressive!
Love your blog!