Sunday, July 19, 2009

first quilt: part 1


i've mentioned here that i have a degree in clothing design. so, yes, i know how to sew, i can make my own clothes (i don't), i have experience with textiles of all sorts. i spent a good amount of my time in college and prior just thinking about fabric, clothes, and making stuff. but one thing i've never done? quilt. so i decided that i'd make one this summer.

i love lofty, worn-in, light-weight quilts. i love to cuddle up in them or lay them out at the park; it's a basic comfort that everyone should have...but i don't have any right now. my only remedy to this was to figure out how to put one together and then wash it 10 times to wear it in.
i'll write a few posts so you can follow along and see how it goes...

250+ squares cut

when i saw that joann's was having a quarter sale, it was the only push i needed to go pick out some simple fabrics and the rest of the quilting supplies i'd need. they don't have a great selection if you aren't into neon fabrics, so i picked as best i could and ended up with a pink floral, pink polka dots, blue floral, blue stripe, yellow floral, and yellow dots. because it's my very first quilt, i didn't feel like paying the big money for designer fabrics, but if this one tuns out...i'm in trouble.

i'm not following a pattern, a book, or any instructions. i'm making it up as i go based on what i know about sewing and what i've briefly skimmed about quilting.

basic first steps:
1. wash all fabric to shrink and hopefully bleed out
2. iron, iron, and iron (it's a lot of ironing)
3. trim quarters to get straight egdes
4. measure blocks and use a rotary blade to cut uniform squares
5. arrange squares randomly to create rows until desired size

laid out across my floor

this is how far i am. ive got the prep and plans done - the quilt is arranged and i just need to get to sewing. my squares are 5.25 x 5.25" and i think i've got 11 across by 14 down, so it will be about 55 x 70" finished. just seeing it laid out got me excited. i can't wait to drag it outside on the lawn or wrap up on the couch with a good book.

stay tuned for part 2 when i start to sew square after square to complete to quilt top.


Stacey said...

Just a note to say that I've followed your blog for awhile now and I love to check out your latest projects. I keep a running list of the recipes and projects that I want to try as soon as I have a moment of free time. Most of my own projects are crochet or knitting, photography, or scrapbooking. Learning to sew is on my to-do list and I love to cook. Your ideas are very inspiring!

Thomas said...

Fun! I quilted a duvet cover once (not squares but a Mondrian-like thing) and it went okay (I didn't do the cutting – the woman who taught me did). Sewing it once you had big pieces was a real pain, though. That's true for any sewing project, though, so I'm excited to see how you tackle that problem! (PS I have yet to start tailoring my old shirts, but someday, lady, someday . . .)

Liz said...

Good luck! If you're ever interested, there is a way to do a quilt like this, without having to cut and sew every square individually! Huge time saver. Also, when you get to the actual quilting part, remember this phrase "Stitch in the ditch!" :) Have fun, you're going to get hooked after you see how great it turns out!