Thursday, January 12, 2012

What to do now that my first quilt top is finished?

About 7 years ago I got the inkling of an idea that I might want to learn how to quilt, so I bought a couple of books on how to quilt (Quilting for Dummies, etc.). I found a beginner project in one of the books and went out and bought everything they suggested I need (many things I still have and never used). So, I have this material that I've carted around (2 addresses later) that is sitting in my basement in a storage container (with the book that had the project I was planning). After finishing the top of the rainbow block quilt and watching several videos and reading a multitude of tutorials on free motion quilting, stitch in the ditch and quilting with a walking foot, I was scared that I would ruin the rainbow by trying to quilt it with no actual practice (other than practice quilt sandwiches), and decided to take up that old project stored in the basement.

It had very little material in the "recipe" so I started wondering (at this point I had a concept of how much material a project would take)... I started wondering if there was room for miscuts. As it turns out, there was enough material, but the size of this quilt was supposed to be for a wall. Here is a block and the finished front:



I think the pattern is called "Ribbons."

I'm not the kind of person to hang a quilt on the wall. I like a little functionality. If I'm gonna hang it on the wall, it better be detachable in case of a blanket emergency! And, it needs to cover (at least) my legs!

So, at the advice of my Aunt C. I decided to be a little creative and make it bigger. At this point, the material was so old, I knew I would never find more of the same to make more blocks to extend the quilt. I took it to Quilter's Corner (nice store) when I was in Virgina for Thanksgiving visiting the family and picked out more fabric that would go with it. Now the front looks like this:


The original design would have stopped right before the white and light blue print checkered border. Now I have a 60 x 60 inch throw.  But at this point, I'm still afraid to quilt it. So, I start working on making a back for this quilt and the rainbow quilt.

Instead of using one print or color for the back. I like to use a variety of fabrics and at least one print that will tell the user/recipient that I made it, like a signature. My friends and family know that I like the Wizard of Oz (and I'm from Kansas) so I try to use something that will reflect that on the back.



These are the fabrics that I chose. Some were left over from the front. The yellow with red print is actually little ruby red slippers. I hang it over the quilt top on my wall to make sure I have enough before I start cutting and sewing. And, I can see sort of what it will look like.

Now it was time to practice quilting on some more sandwiches. Here's a picture of one of my first ones:


I was really just doodling and getting a feel for free motion. It was such a headache in the beginning, I almost gave up. I was having so much trouble, I couldn't imagine putting a bulky quilt in the machine and trying to do this. Just getting halfway decent stitches was a problem, not really because of me, but because I would always forget to set up something correctly with my machine after putting on the darning foot. So, I decided, everyone needs potholders for Christmas! Stay tuned.

Mike.

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