It all started last year when I won a Lucy’s Crab Shack (by Sweetwater for Moda) charm pack from a giveaway on Rachael’s blog. I’ve never really been interested in quilting before – it seemed fiddly and time consuming. Not to mention that accuracy was a required skill, one that I’m not too good at.
So six months later, that charm pack and some additional yardage has become this!
It’s a fairly good representation of what is going on in my brain most of the time – a disorganised riot of colour with not much planning!
I made the charm pack into pinwheels without any thought for what the quilt would eventually look like. Lesson One learnt – plan a quilt before you start making it. Some of the pinwheels ended up being slightly different sizes, so this made for huge challenges when sewing the quilt top together. There are lots of spots where the corners don’t quite meet up and the piecing is not accurate. C’est la vie, right?
I also originally went with a more random pattern, then I changed my mind and decided on the prints moving in a diagonal pattern through the quilt top. This has meant that the dark pink polka dot really stands out, so I’m not sure it was the best choice. Oh well!
I bought some yardage of various prints from the Lucy’s Crab Shack range and made some into squares to go on the quilt top, and once that was pieced and completed, I made the quilt back using three large pieces.
The really hard part of this project for me was the basting and quilting. I have absolutely zero experience in doing this, so I studied up by reading loads of quilting blogs, checking out You Tube videos and skyping with Jill (thanks Jill you gave me a big boost of confidence!) to get some expert tips and ask questions.
I kept it simple – I quilted approximately one centimetre either side of each row and column seam of the quilt top. Free motion just looked way beyond me and I’d rather practice that on scraps before I attempt it on an actual quilt. It’s the kind of thing I’d need to see in person to learn how to do it. Here is what the final product looks like:
For a first time quilt, I’m pretty proud of myself. It was one of the biggest projects I’ve ever done, and I’m glad I didn’t procrastinate any longer.
That said, there are a lot of things I will pay more attention to next time. They are:
– plan it all out from the beginning, or use a pattern.
– pay serious attention to accurate cutting and piecing
– machine stitch the binding to the FRONT of the quilt not the back, so the hand stitching is on the back (oops)
– mitre my corners better
– try to get a flatter finish when basting so the fabric doesn’t bunch (it only bunched a teeny bit) – quilters, how do you avoid this? I feel like I pinned it in the extreme!
The things I think I did well are:
– Actually finish the whole thing.
– Kept going and trying even when I felt like things weren’t going well.
– Making and sewing on the binding (I do really love the pink polka dot binding).
– The size, I ended up with a perfect size for Lucy’s cot and eventually I’d like it to be a lap quilt for her. I envision her curling up with a good book and her quilt on a winter’s afternoon in years to come.
So despite the mistakes and inaccuracies, I’m really happy with the finished product and the main thing is that Lucy will now have it for a long time and know that it was made for her with love from her Mummy.