Thanks Heather and Megan! I’m excited to have my quilt featured here on Quilt Story.
I fell in love with the Make Life fabric line by Sweetwater the moment I saw it featured in a quilt online. I ordered the fabric and went to work on a baby quilt that I could use to practice free-motion quilting.
Since I used a charm pack (42 pre-cut 5” squares), I wanted to see what sort of variety I could come up with instead of laying the squares out in a simple grid or nine-patch setup. But, I also didn’t want to spend too much time piecing the top in case the free-motion didn’t turn out. (No one wants to ruin a quilt that they’ve spent so much time on, right?) I sewed the squares into a nine-patch and then cut them all in half once on the diagonal. I then paired each new triangle with a different triangle. You can see the entire process by visiting my blog, Pitter Putter Stitch.
The amazing thing to me about this quilt is that I was able to get it all pieced in one night. That never happens! Since I work full-time from home, my day is filled with work and taking care of my two little ones. I only get sewing and quilting in after the kids have gone to bed. Usually, my quilting process averages a couple months per quilt, so you can imagine how accomplished I felt piecing the top in one night and finishing the entire quilt within a week!
I pulled it out a day or so later and decided to just tackle it. Stippling will be harder for me to master, but I think I can get loops down after a few more practice sessions. It turned out better than I thought – not perfect by any means, but certainly usable.
A few things that I learned making this baby quilt:
• Trying something on a smaller scale (a baby quilt) makes it so you can get a lot more done in less time. My quilting attempts before this were all on a larger scale.
• I need to be less arbitrary in my selection and placement of colors. Sometimes I think that if you use pre-cuts from the same fabric line it’s easy to think that everything will mesh together just fine without you having to make conscious decisions about where to place certain blocks or pieces. My quilt has a few sections that are too heavy with red, dark brown, and white.
• Pay attention to your binding fabric when you sew your strips together. The binding on half of this quilt only shows the dark brown, yellow, and green paisleys while the other half shows all the other colors too.
• When free-motion quilting, it was definitely easier for me to push the pedal all the way down and try to move the quilt slowly. This felt strange at first because I’m used to pushing the pedal down completely and then moving the fabric quickly under the needle when I’m piecing. It took a while to re-train my brain to take things slowly.
All in all, I think this “first” was a success for me. I enjoyed the process of making a smaller quilt and completing it within a shorter timeframe. If you’d like to see more of my quilts and check out what other sewing projects I try to tackle, come on over to Pitter Putter Stitch and say hi. I’d love to meet the rest of you quilting bloggers out there!