Quilting stress!

I made a little quilt. As its a little quilt, I will keep this post short. (In the essence of honesty, it’s also trauma which is keeping this post short!!)

Panda-Quilts

One of my workmates was leaving for maternity leave. I saw the free pattern from Fat Quarter Shop for the Panda-Monium baby quilt and thought “eureka, that’s perfect!” for a leaving present. The unofficial theme for her baby presents was Panda’s and this would fit right in!

Then I started to doubt myself. I’m not experienced with quilting and the pressure of giving it to someone other than immediate family freaked me out I’ll admit. So I decided I “didn’t have the time” to make it and put it out of my mind.

Then, the weekend before my work went on leave, I found myself buying fabric to make this quilt. And I made it, quilted it, gifted it and it was well received. There was a bit of angst involved in the finishing and making the decision to actually gift it (I didn’t tell anyone I was making it in case I stuffed it all up and it looked silly). In the end, all the angst was unnecessary – why do we do this ourselves? A big thanks to Mr T who told me that keeping it “was not an option and of course she’ll like it”… thanks dude!

In the making of this quilt I learnt many things:

  • start early, not the week before its due
  • I need to work on straight lines when finishing the quilt top
  • my machine binding has improved out of sight since the first time
  • using masking tape to mark the quilting lines is easy, but has its issues
  • using the washing machine and dryer does not remove the masking tape you accidentally sewed over!
  • people love things you make them even if they’re not perfect
  • something can be great, even if its not perfect!

This was an angsty project, but if I’d not been going to give it to someone else I would have thoroughly enjoyed it. The piecing was so much fun, and as it was so little (originally approx 20″ square, though mine was a little bigger) it went fast! And now, after more words than I thought it would be, some photos!

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Have a good week! xx

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My first quilt

Sometimes I come across a project that gives me a burst of inspiration. Something that I immediately fall in love with and have to make. My first quilt is one of those.

Finished quiltI got Amiee Ray’s book Doodle Stitching: Embroidery & Beyond from the library the other week.   Oh my goodness I LOVE it!! Aimee Ray From the Pin cushion on the cover to the gorgeous patterns inside there is so much that I want to make in here!

I have done cross stitch for years but all other embroidery seemed too hard! :)But Amy explains it all in such a way that I can’t wait to dip in and give it a go.

When I first opened it  I saw the “Forest Friends Quilt” and it was love at first sight! I knew I had to make it, and have been consumed by thoughts of it ever since 🙂 The

It doesn’t happen that often that I get this obsessed but I love it when I do. If you look closely you can see the cross stitch embroidery that embellishes the quilt. There’s little trees, and animals and I loved the way it made a basic quilt a wee bit special.

So I decided to make my first ever quilt – just cause I could! This was a mission of love (wow how many times am I going to use that word in this post!!!) and I am so pleased with it! I know nothing about quilting so I just followed the books instructions and it all went a-ok. I am a little bit unhappy with the finish of the binding – its a bit puckered – but it will do for now til I learn more and replace it. One day….

The quilt isn’t that big at almost a meter square. It has 36 squares and I went out and selected 12 different fabrics. Then got home and looked at them and wondered if they were too dark AND too busy. Hmmm.the fabric selection

There were certainly patterned, but I limited the number of the three heaviest patterns and, although less bright than the original, they look ok. It does mean however my cross stitch is less obvious – but its more like a hidden forest. You have to look for the special bits!

The cross stitch is done with waste canvas which  lets you remove the threads after you have finished stitching. This is the first time I’ve used it and I’m a convert. I can see many many uses…

Waste canvas

And now some photos…

all done!

all done!

top left

Bottom left

I'm ready for my close up...

I’m ready for my close up…

the all important Gnome...

I thought something was missing, so I made up a pattern for a wee gnome – there is always at least one in any forest – and added him to the bottom left!

So my first quilt is done and dusted. Its not perfect by any stretch of the word, but I love it and thats what matters. It also counts as my first item for Indie Pattern month, another challenge run by the fantastic Curious Kiwi and the awesome Kat (check out the link for their great blogs, AND more info on the sew along).

The only issue with this project was that it made me realise how much time sewing takes away from other craft – you can only do one thing at a time. I’ve found over the last couple of months if I’m not working on something sewing-wise, I’ll be lurking on sewing blogs drinking in all your inspiration. Which leaves little time to pick up something else. Does anyone else have this tension between two loves? How do you deal with it??

The next post will hopefully be my update on my Charlotte skirt, also for Indie Pattern Month. Back to the sewing room I go!