Sunday, July 31, 2011

My first quilt!

Finished at last! It's very far from perfect but I'm so pleased with it and it will keep my little one snug and warm for the rest of these winter nights. I've learned so much. Not least that my machine didn't come with a walking or quilting foot - I didn't realise this crucial fact until I was about to finish it this afternoon, which was rather unfortunate...doh! I made do with the regular foot though as I wasn't planning anything elaborate, just a few straight lines, and it's worked out ok (if you don't look to closely!).

I also learned that it is unwise to try and fix my machine by taking it apart when I should be asleep in bed. There were some sweary words not befitting a respectable sewing mama! Plus, I would probably not have had to take it apart in an emergency situation had I not left the dust cover off for days at a time. Lesson learned!

And finally, I've learned that something lovely can be made out of leftovers - I didn't buy any new fabric for my learner quilt. I was inspired by a quotation that I saw in a small town sewing shop in New England whose name I don't recall:

If life hands you scraps, make quilts!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Quilting - borders

The borders are on! Woot! I read a couple of articles  here and here but ended up winging it because I didn't want plain straight borders, I wanted them to be a little different and I didn't have the energy to google any more as by then it was going on 10pm! I'm struggling to explain what I mean here so all will have to be revealed at the end - fingers crossed it works out ok! Next I need to figure out the batting as I think I'm going to have to join two pieces together, and then I'll work out how to assemble the front, batting and back. Sewed instead of studying last night, shouldn't have really, but it's so satisfying to see it all coming together!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Quilting - nestling the squares

I've just finished piecing all 48 squares, done in 15 minutes here and 20 minutes there over the last week or so! I found a really helpful little video clip about nestling the squares, and I also took some more tips from Diary of a Quilter, including "don't have a panic attack if some points are not perfect...especially if this is your first quilt" - I'll go with that! Next step is to read up on adding the borders, which I hope to complete in the next week or so. I've been reading a lot about planning and time management recently so despite the fact that Miss M has recently taken to flipping onto her tummy every waking moment and roaring like a banshee because she hasn't quite got the hang of going forwards yet, and has also decided that afternoon naps are for wimps, I hope to be able to get everything done and still have some sewing time left!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Quilting - piecing , finally!

I can’t believe that more than a week has gone by since my last post! Poor Miss M has been sick with a coughing cold, seems to be doing the rounds here on the Banana Coast. I’ve not been feeling 100% myself but did manage to have a lovely night out with mothers group and also a nice walk in the Botanic Gardens with friends and a belated birthday cake for me (yum!) before we were struck down. Plus I found out that I got published on the Kleenex Mums website as a runner-up in their blogging competition – very chuffed!

Anyways so it’s Monday again already and after a particularly rough couple of days we’re on the mend at last and Miss M has gone out for the afternoon with her Papa, leaving me all alone in the house...bliss!! Several jobs to be done but first I made getting back into my sewing room the priority, and I’ve finally started piecing my squares. Last week I marked them grid-style (A1-H6) with small pieces of masking tape and today I have begun sewing strips of six, following a good tutorial from a blog called Diary of a Quilter.  I hope to have completed all the strips by the end of this week. Can’t wait to see how it all comes together!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Quilting - the journey begins!

Exciting times in Mama’s sewing room this week! I am finally starting my first quilt. A lovely friend gifted me a cutting mat, quilting ruler and rotary cutter for my birthday last month. I’d already bought some batting, which has been sitting in my stash for weeks waiting for me to get cracking, and I’m using whatever I have to hand in terms of fabric so I don’t have to worry too much about mistakes. This is my learner quilt, and I am so excited!

First step is the cutting. I was shocked at the sharpness of the rotary cutter and have read up on safety - blood in today’s pumpkin soup is one thing (ouch), blood on my lovely quilt-to-be is another! I’ve been doing 15 minutes here and there whenever my daughter is napping and I have a moment, and I’ve followed the fantastic cutting tutorial on a great blog called Sew Many Ways. I think I’ll be visiting this blog quite frequently as I continue my quilting journey. With almost 3,000 followers, Karen still found time to respond to my comment and even gave me some technical blogging tips - so lovely! 

I’ve worked out the sizing and basic design and will play with the placement once I’ve cut the rest of my five inch squares. I need about another 20 (63 in total) and I’ll be good to go. It’s taken me three days just to get this far so I don’t expect to make fast progress, but I think I’m really going to enjoy the process!