Friday, April 2, 2010

Making a quilt

This past summer I went to the Sister's Quilt Show and found some beautiful fabric to make my first piece quilt.

I learned a lot while making this quilt and thought I'd share some of the tips I learned for all of you who make be thinking of making your first quilt.

First, I needed a pattern. I purchased my fabric as a kit. It wasn't pre-cut so I had freedom to change the pattern. I didn't love the pattern it came with so I decided to try something else. I ended up using a combination of Amy Butler's AugustFields duvet cover and Nora's Quilt patterns, which are free on her website right now.

I decided to make a reversible quilt, like the reversible duvet cover pattern. I went and bought my backing fabric and got busy cutting everything out. Once the front and back of my quilt were pieced together, I was ready to quilt it. I debated between doing it myself and paying someone to quilt it together. The best price I found was $97 to quilt a queen size, which is a great price considering all the work it takes. However, I decided I wanted to do everything on my first quilt by myself, even if it meant not looking as perfect.

I really didn't want my quilting to show, so I chose to do the stitch-in-the-ditch method. I found watching a few videos on youtube was helpful. This one explains the tools and preparation you need to make to get ready to quilt. I purchased the Machinger gloves, walking foot, corsage pins, safety pins, and clear thread like suggested in the movie. I used the advise she gave and pinned my quilt back to my living room floor using corsage pins. See picture below.

Once the batting and quilt top were on the ground and tightly pinned down, I safety pinned the entire quilt. Tip: Move your rug before pinning your quilt so you don't pin your rug to the quilt. Not that I am speaking from experience or anything. :) Buy more safety pins than you think you need. I can't remember how many I used but it was at least 250.

I also like this movie on how to stitch-in-the-ditch. I bought a walking foot for my machine on ebay for about $14 and it really helped guide the fabrics. I found managing all the bulk of the fabric was the hardest part. I got out a really long table to put the quilt on as I stitch my quilt together and that helped. I used clear thread like the movie suggests. I felt like I was sewing with fishing line but it looks nice if you don't want your stitch really to show. It is hard to see so it sometimes made sewing difficult.

I debated between machine binding and hand binding. I decided to do hand binding. Here is a good tutorial on how to hand bind your quilt.

My quilt is by no means perfect, but I am proud of myself for doing it without really knowing anything about it. I think all the imperfections add character to it. If I can make a quilt with my limited sewing knowledge and experience, you can too! Below are some pictures of the finished product. I washed it before taking the photos and I think I need to iron it, but I didn't have the energy. I've been sewing so much lately I am pretty burned out with measuring, ironing, and anything fabric related! I loved doing it but am ready to focus on some new projects.

The finished product!
I'll be doing a post soon on making pillow shams. They were much simpler than I expected. Stay tuned. Happy quilting!


  1. Beautiful quilt! You did a great job! I think I am too impatient to make a quilt, but I'd love to try it someday.

  2. That is awesome! I just love it!

  3. You are amazing Erika! It is absolutely beautiful!

  4. It is absolutely beautiful! I've made a few quilts with a ton of help, and I am getting ready to make one for our bed. I have a pattern that will make it so I can quilt the whole thing on the machine, but I like your design so much better. It's just so pretty!

  5. It turned out soo great! makes me wanna make one! great job!

  6. Thanks for the tips. I love the quilt. I want to do one for our bed, too, but I've got to learn and practice first!

  7. Inspiring! I just made my first quilt this year, maybe I'll try another now!