Terrible Tuesday: How I made my first quilt

The first thing I want to say is that I’m not calling this quilt terrible. Did you notice that? How I made my first quilt? Well,  I can look back now and say that my quiltmaking skills were terrible. I really didn’t know what I was doing, but I’m so glad I jumped right in and made a quilt.

So here it is new, the one we lovingly call ‘Chloe’s Quilt.’ I made it for her for Christmas in 2009 (almost 6 years ago). Silly girl that I was, I decided to make it queen sized. I didn’t have a design board or wall back then, so I laid out all the ‘blocks’ on my living room floor. 

And why did I call them ‘blocks’ with quotation marks? I’m glad you asked. 🙂

I had never made a quilt block before and had no idea how to go about piecing the design that I was imagining, but I was pretty familiar with applique. So I decided to simply applique one square on top of another for each ‘block.’ I cut my squares, pressed the edges down on the smaller ones, and stitched them to the larger squares. Interesting technique, I know.

I did read some quilting blogs to learn how to make binding and pieced together some pretty cute scrappy binding, if I do say so myself. I even managed to miter the corners.

If only I had known how to sew an invisible ladder stitch back then. Sigh. This binding is now coming off in more places than not, so I should probably just unpick all of the hand stitching and re-do it. Or sew it down with my sewing machine.

This was before I had enough fabric in my stash to cover the back of a queen size quilt (that’s really true, as hard as it is to believe), so I used a vintage sheet for backing. It’s silky soft and holding up better than the rest of the quilt, so I think I’ll have to try that again.

And my quilting? I free motion quilted the whole thing with a meandering design. Man, did that take a long time! The quilting is coming out in lots of places now, probably because I didn’t secure the stops and starts very well.

In spite of all its flaws, Chloe and I LOVE this quilt. She knows it’s the first quilt I ever made and I think she feels special because I made it for her. And I love it because it is kind of like the ‘mother’ of all my subsequent quilts: it’s bigger, older, and wiser.

Are you enjoying our occasional ‘Terrible Tuesday’ posts? Would you like to guest post here and share a sewing ‘fail’ or project from your inexperienced past? Email me… I’m always open for ideas!

Happy Sewing!

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