My First Quilt

In my earlier post about quilting and EDS, I mentioned that my first quilt was made for my beautiful Goddaughter, Hermione, when she was 1.

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She’s now 3 and here’s a photo of her now with her quilt, she very much enjoyed being my model this week!

The quilt is a mixture of pinks and purples, her two favourite colours, with some blues and reds thrown in for good measure. I loved making this quilt and I loved the fact that I was making it for her. I knew that for Christmas she would get lots of toys and clothes, so I wanted to give her something that she would appreciate more when she was older. She wouldn’t really remember what she was getting at the age of 1, and was probably more interested in the wrapping than anything else!

I was surprised at how much easier I found it than I’d thought it would. The initial sewing together of the squares was quite straight forward, although I was surprised with how many squares I needed! I bought the squares already cut to size, although I quickly realised that I had to cut around them again with pinking shears so as not to let the material fray.

Once I’d sewn together the right amount of squares and i was happy with the size, I ventured in to a local fabric store to buy some wadding. I had no idea what thickness to buy, but the ladies at Fabric Land in Salisbury were really helpful and showed me which wadding was the best for quilting, and how much I would need for a single quilt. I was previously advised to use a single sized, cotton flat sheet as the backing as that would be the right size and I would (hopefully!) be less likely to make a mistake when cutting out the amount I needed.

I’m really lucky to have a fantastic sister-in-law who can sew/make anything, so she showed me how to pin together the sewn squares, then the wadding and then the backing. To make life easier we tacked it all loosely together with some black thread so that it would hold without losing too many pins around the house, and the dark colour meant that I could see it easily when it camre to taking it out again when the quilt mas more secure. I found the actual quilting quite tricky, but I used the lines around the squares as a guide. I quilted lengthways first, sewing down every other strip, and then the same again sideways, making sure it was again every other square. I was amazed how quickly I managed to finish that part, but I was almost dreading it as I knew I would finally come to doing the borders and I was really worried about how neat I would be able to make it. With the excess wadding and backing (the wadding was about an inch bigger than the front, and then the backing another inch or so bigger than the wadding), I folded the edge of the backing slightly and then folded that over the excess wadding, pinning it to the front of the quilt. I did this one side of the quilt to start, and then sewed small stitches, following the pins where the folded edge of the backing met the front of the quilt. The first side wasn’t too difficult, but when it came to the next, I had to make sure that I had neatly sewn the corner where the two sewn sides folded over each other to make a crisp corner and to ensure that the quilt kept its shape. I kept doing this with all four sides until I was finished.

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I couldn’t really believe that I’d finished something like this! I’m usually very good at starting something with great enthusiasm and then getting bored before the end. I have a box full of unfinished arts and crafts that I promise myself I will finish but have never got round to, and probably never will! I had completely underestimated how long it would take me to make the quilt, so I’d finished it in September. It took a lot of effort on my part not to give the present to her mum, or even tell her what I was giving her for 3 months. But her mum’s reaction was so amazing that I was really pleased I had. Admittedly Hermione herself wasn’t quite as thrilled as her mum was, so I’d wrapped up a couple of wooden jigsaws which kept her amused for a very long time!

I was so pleased that I had managed to accomplish something, that I wanted a quilt as well. So I embarked on a double sized version of Hermione’s and it lives on my bed where I still feel quite proud of myself when I see it. In the last couple of years I dread to think how many quilts I’ve made in differing sizes but I’m always proud when I finish each one. I still more or less make each quilt in the same way but now much neater and I don’t need to buy the squares or rely on ready cut sheets for my backing!

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This is Hermione’s little brother Dylan, guess what he’s getting for Christmas?!

If you want to see more of my quilts, please go to: Facebook.com/quiltyassin

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